Quick #HackYrClass post

So have been watching all the tweets and blog posts following Claire Amos’s initial post about hacking your classroom.
Didn’t think I was really going to have enough time to get involved with it (madly busy learning python!) but sat down with two colleagues who are doing some hacking as well and came up with how I could do it.
I teach PE and Health and we have 1 lesson of health a week. We still use a workbook set up and I often get pretty bored taking those lessons (not sure you could really cool it teaching, maybe preaching!). So I have decided to hack my Year 10 Health class. Upcoming unit is drug education and I am throwing the book out the window.

It is great that others are blogging about what they are doing. Someone I just followed that teachers science had some good ideas which I am going to hack!
It has also been great having a couple of people at school who are keen to do this as well, as good to bounce ideas of each other


What do a mohawk and making connections have in common?

On the 23rd of October I took part in the Canteen Headshave that had been organised by our head and deputy head girl. It took place in the school hall with quite a few students and teachers watching.

There were 8 students that had ALL of their hair shaved off and they all had long hair! Big ups to them, as I can’t imagine what it would be like to shave all your hair off at 15, beginning in an all girls’ school (I have had short hair forever and went to a co-ed secondary school). They also had number 0’s, I only went to a number 1. There was also one other teacher that joined in.

I got the hairdresser to shave mine like a mohawk with the intention that it would all come off but on the spur of the moment I took hold of the mic and said to all the students “If you can raise $100 by the time Mr Dixon gets his head shaved I will keep the mohawk for a week!”. Mr Dixon was just about to have his started so I thought I was pretty safe. How wrong was I! About $150 in less then 5 minutes.

Mohawk 1

So, a mohawk at school for a week! Plus, one of the hairdressers had colour hair chalk and about 4 students jumped at the opportunity to let their creative talents loose on my head!

mohawk chalk

It was really cool participating in this event and helping raise money for Canteen but I got heaps more out of it. I made connections with students.

Even with students that I have never taught, I now have a connection. Walking around school with a mohawk is a bit unusual and when students saw me with my mohawk and knowing why I had it (although some didn’t know) they would smile at me or make some positive comment. Students who I didn’t know giving me a little smile and me smiling back, that is a connection, a little connection but worth a lot.

Which links in nicely to this from Justin Tarte’s blog:

We can’t accept that our content is more important than the relationships we establish with our students. It is with almost absolute certainty that students won’t care about your content if they don’t care about you. Develop strong relationships to truly bring your content to life for your students.


Teaching, to me, is more then the content I teach. It is about the students, it is about the relationships we as people have with them. It is about being positive role models for the young people I see every day. What I do, how I behave, how I care, what I say does make a difference – what I teach, not so much.


He aha te mea nui o te ao?
He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!

What is the most important thing in the world?
It is people! It is people! It is people!