Category Archives: Portfolio Item reflection

Do something with it! (Reflect, Share, Create)


(Where I have finished writing this post from, truly personalised)

   That is my challenge. I have no problem consuming material, I read blogs, listen to multiple podcasts, watch YouTube videos, am becoming more active on Twitter and participate in Twitter chats. Yet just consuming through hearing, reading and watching does not necessarily make you better at what you do, or make what you have taken in something of value to what you do. Listening to the two guys podcast they were talking to Vicki Davis the cool cat teacher, and their challenge was to do something with what you hear or take in.

Personalising your PD

   The week starting December 7th I was given the privilege of moderating the #asiaED twitter chat by Kieron Eaglestone, this is a slow chat of one question per day. The focus I chose was on personalising your professional learning journey. The week after the chat there was no host for the chat so I came up with the challenge of reflecting on the chat and your learning journey. This challenge was as much, if not more, for me than for everyone else.

My Learning Journey

   Having no school as a relief teacher means that I need to be responsible for all of my professional development. Everything that I do is guided by my choices not anyone else’s.  Which can also be my downfall as I am often all over the place, not enough focus on any certain path or direction. Personalising my professional learning leaves it all up to me, choices, follow through, medium, topic.

   I teach multiple subjects and areas.  I am a qualified health and physical education teacher, I have taught math and science also. I also have capabilities in or have taught on a regular basis at some stage music, material design technology (wood or metal work) primary classroom generalist and also enjoy technology.

   Having spent some time thinking on this over Christmas and the New Year maybe this randomness needs to become my focus and made into a strength for me to use to my advantage, not a weakness depriving me of growth. I can read, share, consume and create material that is somewhat random in nature, but it feeds into my strengths. It also acts as my learning and growth, not as a distraction.


   Podcasting is something that just doesn’t leave me alone. I am a frequent consumer of podcasts currently having 60 in Pocket Casts that I listen to as I can. I would like to use podcasting in the classroom as a learning tool with students. Yet this still bugs me that I should use podcasting as a personal tool to reflect and share my learning. This is likely to be my challenge for the new year. I would call my show #EdTechWannabe. I believe this sums up where I am know, and then as my personalised learning path moves forward. Although the title of #WhataRelief borrows from my current role as a relief teacher.

   Will I find an audience for this podcast? The more I think about it the less it matters, I would be doing for my professional development and again as a reflective tool to critically think about my learning journey. I hope to find people to connect with through this podcasting but do it more for me to start with and to share my learning and learning journey with others. I have enjoyed the support and encouragement offered by podcasters in Jeff Bradbury, Chris Nesi and Stacey Lindes.


   Twitter chats are a great way to share ideas and challenge your thinking. Other ideas and people’s points of view can make you think deeper about what you hold in your belief structure. Care needs to be taken in curating and following ideas and people that can challenge your way of thinking, not use it as an echo chamber just to reinforce your point of view. This has been a problem many have identified as a downside to using Twitter. I am trying to use Twitter not just for curating content, but connecting and creating.


   I have made many connections with educators all over the world. Through twitter I have followed many leaders and been followed by some people also. I have made some connections with the creators of podcasts that I listen to. Twitter is my preferred method to connect with other educators, I can follow anyone I like and have made connections with people who have encouraged and supported me in growing and learning.

My Weakness

   That sums up my weakness, to do something with it. I often fail to finish a free course that I start. I got right out of the habit of writing frequently, this I need to do on at least a monthly basis although would like to do so much more regularly.


   Podcasting definitely interest me, but there is also voxer. I have set up a voxer account and would like to use this with purpose moving forward, engage in discussions and learning opportunities through this medium. I must blog more, why, because this writing is a result of engaging with critical thinking about a topic and your personal learning. This thinking then expressing through writing or any other way of creating content is what deepens and entrenches learning.

   Please join me on and through this journey, any comments thoughts and connections are welcome. Let’s learn together.



Reflection on 2009 BHM Thesis, The role of golf in the lives of older adults.

Thesis link:

This is a piece of work that I am both proud of and disappointed in. Proud because I achieved the goal of completing honours, one I started the degree with. I came through a lot of personal problems at the time to complete and hand in a thesis that was marked. Disappointed that I did not complete this to the standard I had desired, I spent one month unable to work on this and feel that the end result was a much lower grading because of this. I achieved the goal I set out to four years earlier, but at a standard much lower than I truly desired and aimed for.

I enjoyed the challenge of studying and writing academically, generating a desire to complete higher degree research to develop a career path to teach back at the university. This study came as a result of the original study involving migrant students playing golf as a means of generating social capital and integrating into school, falling through. The support and guidance I received from my supervisors gave me a great insight into research and what is required to deliver valid results. I enjoyed the process of study and work, delving deeply into a topic and writing academically to communicate your results. I really enjoy academic reading and work, with the necessary processes involved to maintain rigour.

One finding that came through from the interview discussions with participants was the development of lifelong participation in physical activity originated in school physical education settings and engagement. They identified with certain parts and activities in the physical education they received as critical to them playing golf throughout their lives and becoming more involved as they aged. Physical education to them as students engaged them in such a way, and provided them with opportunities that gave them a lifelong desire to participate, and to pursue golf as as sport of choice.

One topic area that came through this study, and research, that relates well to sport, physical activity is the ability to use sport to generate social capital. Sport groups, activities, and friendships that provide people with social benefits through the people they know and interact with. This is a more intangible form of capital, but evident in the ability to ask people that you know for favours or help, because of the connections you have with them. This is important in student lives and learning, with the ability to form learning connections and communities with other people in such a way as to deliver a support network to support and enhance your personal learning pathways. Social capital is fitting into groups through norms and expectations of behaviour whilst also sharing informal interactions between members.


Reference/Work Record from Ray McMillan, Principal Roebourne District High School

Reference link:

During my year at Roebourne I attempted to be involved in as much as possible at the school. I had opportunities to work with a wide variety of people employed directly at the school, and also through the wider community connected with the school. I was able to attend and be involved in a variety of professional development and learning opportunities. I was given the responsibility of organising school carnivals, and coordinating teams and excursions for inter school events, I thoroughly enjoyed the challenges given to me, and have gained some great experiences to use in future schools and positions.

Reference from Scott Cummings, Deputy Principal at Roebourne District High School, (my first school).

Reference link:

This is the item that I am most proud of from my first year of teaching at Roebourne The fact that my mentor and immediate supervisor thought enough of me to write this reference is very humbling and a great feeling of achievement.  We were able to work very closely with Scott being a great sounding board and guide,  providing me with direction and help when needed, and the odd redirection as required. This was a daunting, challenging position yet extremely rewarding with what I was able to achieve.

I felt that I achieved a lot for the year I was there, bringing in a structured curriculum whilst also succeeding in developing some great learning relationships with students.  I was given freedom to try new things and the support to resource the department properly enabling a variety of activities to be available for students. The opportunities I was provided with were great for a first year teacher and I really enjoyed the many challenges that arose. I strongly believe I left the school in a much better position than when I left, a strong curriculum focus in teaching, well resourced equipment, and the beginning of a filing system to build up records for the department.

The many trips I went on for excursions, professional development,  and carnivals providing me with a very quick but deep learning experience into planning and managing school trips. I was well supported by Scott and given more responsibility and opportunities as I learnt along the way. I learnt so much and had so many beneficial experiences in my first year that I will be forever indebted to his guidance, mentoring, and friendship throughout my teaching career.