Friday, December 11, 2009

This year it was a good report mum

I have been musing today over the power of language. The way we say things makes a difference. Last year my daughter was suffering very much from a low self esteem at school. She did not feel confident in her abilities and often saw herself as failing rather than as having challenges ahead of her. When we read her report together she saw the language 'below the expected level' and instantly begged me not to show the report to anyone. She didn't want her grandparents to know she was failing. It was very upsetting.

This year the school has reworded the reports. She has done very well with everyone remarking on her lovely personality and helpful manner and the only area she is struggling with continues to be maths. But this year the report states 'near the expected level'. We had a chat and I explained that this meant she was making good progress and the report was showing her that this was where she needed to put her efforts. She was very happy and bounced all over the place with the thought of success and challenges ahead.

What a difference the change of one word makes. We underestimate the power of words for motivation and self esteem. Please do not let the deficit words of 'below' or 'well below' anywhere near our students.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I finally got an iphone

It has taken me a while but today was my first day playing with my iphone. I have high hopes of this device saving me time and supporting me in my work. Since my work has changed over the last year I am less in the classroom and more working by supporting teachers via digital stories and websites. So the posts I write about the iphone will be focused in that way.

My first find, for those who do a bit of travel using Air New Zealand is the free application called Air New Zealand mPass. I am always forgetting what time my flights are etc and then having to open up my computer to find out. Now I have it in a handy list on my iphone listed succinctly with flight number and time. This application also has the mpass for your trip so you can use this at the gates to get on the plane or when booking at one of the machines. Thanks to CORE colleague Nick Rate for this find!