Saturday, 16 April 2016

Face to face chats + texting = increased participation

March 2016 Intermediate girls softball team at the
Auckland Inter-Zone tournament, Rosedale Park, Albany

How do you get more children playing sport?  How do you get whanau support?  How do you find good volunteers?

There are a couple of ways that have been effective so far:

1. Face to face chats
2. Texting

In this digital day and age of multiple social media networks, it's the face to face conversation with someone, that is still engaging and effective.  Texting a volunteer or whanau directly, is what I also find is successful.

I'm fortunate, that in my role, I'm able to walk around and be available to chat with students, families and the local community.  My office is located in a handy place that's near the main school and hall entrance, the toilets and the office reception area.  It's the central location of our school where I see lots of students and whanau - it's the opportunity to 'catch up' with them.

Face to face chats with students is basically having a chat with individuals to see if they'd be interested in playing a sport, what sport etc.  I listen and try to 'read' their reactions, their body language and what they're trying to say.  Then I offer options that they'd possibly be interested in or offer solutions to what hinders them from playing.  I chat to them about the benefits for them, encourage them to 'have a go' and invite them to 'join in' anytime.  I leave the conversation to say that I'm available to chat more about it, to go away and think about it and to contact me anytime (whether I'm out at a practice on the field somewhere or by leaving a note in my office mail box or by email).

The texting form of communication is so good too.  There's always someone who has forgotten to give their parents the newsletter or they'd missed watching P.E.N.N, or they'd forgotten what the coach had said or they can't even remember what day it was today...

By texting a parent or whanau member directly, they'd receive the most recent news, given friendly reminders and are informed about any changes.  By being accessible by mobile phone (99.8% of adults I imagine, have one) is very helpful for parents so they get answers straight from the adult in charge.  It's also a good way to gage what support is needed, an opportunity to be encouraging and positive in all circumstances and most importantly, a favourable time to share how great their kid is.

It would be interesting to see how much more we can engage our students and community when the sport site is updated...

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Introducing my 2016 Inquiry to staff members

My 2016 goal is to basically create a mini website, a sport site.  I'm not a fancy web designer nor do I have the desire to become one :) however, I do desire for an online location for our sport and P.E programme that's easy for our students and families to navigate and find all the information that they need to know, plus more.

This is a presentation to a group of staff members to introduce what I'm working on this year.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Inquiry Focus 2016...ummm...

I've pondered a lot on what my inquiry focus should be this year (10 weeks later...) - a specific focus on analysing my current teaching practise in sport and to share this evidence with the world on how that can be improved for better student outcomes for our Maori and Pacific Island tamaiti.

I've narrowed it down to 2 areas of personal and professional interest.  First, there's the sport site...using this online location as the one place to inform a larger focus group: everyone in our school and local community.

Then there's another area that absorbs my interest, the 'face to face' interaction I have with a selected group of children, like the sports council (house / sport captains) and the 'gifted' students who are in every sports team - these children that I see almost daily.  My desire is to see them become all rounded happy athletes, who embrace education and develop a resilient and reputable character.
Undefeated Winners of the Auckland Cricket U12's Girls
Quikhit Grade 2015/2016 season - Melville Park, Epsom

The second group is the one that drives my practise to become a better teacher, coach and manager.   But maybe one way to work smarter and to reach a larger number of athletes and the community (apart from the sports council & gifted students), is by developing the sport site as the hub for everyone.  A place to learn from, to teach from, to inform, to celebrate, to accelerate.

Okay, now that I've made that decision on what to focus my teaching inquiry on, I need to share what's been going on...