When I was a kid my cousins and I often used to go to the Naenae Olympic Pool for the day and leave the relatives at home to drink and argue.  We would stay there from dawn until we were kicked out at dusk, heading back on up the main road to number 2 for dinner.  I specifically remember the day when Glen and I decided that we wouldn’t swim.   We were going to sneak into the movies through the back door.  The Naenae picture theatre was a classic forward sloping affair with wooden floors.  I remember almost tripping as we made our way in the dark up to the almost full front row.  We lay our heads back in the seats just in time to see the opening sequence of The Sound of Music…..”the hills are alive with sound of……”.  Shortly into the movie Glen said “give me you towel”.  He lay both of our towels across the base of our seats on the floor and smiled at me in the glow of Julie Andrews.  It was about ten minutes later when we received our first Jaffa’s.  You may well think that  catching Jaffa’s at the front of the theatre was just an urban myth but I would like to confirm that this was an actual food gathering event that we became really good at.  Even in the winter we would take our towels to the movies.

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One might ask what this has to do with anything at all but while out walking tonight was thinking about my transition from living in New Zealand to becoming a resident of Auckland and the connection to our Jaffa hunting jaunts as kids.  You may, by now, realise the connection.  I have been on a Jafa hunt for the last 3 weeks.  If we are to believe the ‘Hosking’ blogs, one could be forgiven for thinking that the ‘Jafa’ is alive and well in the City of Sails.  To be honest, the search for a ‘Jafa’ so far in Auckland has been a dismal failure.  So far I have only found some seriously neat people, however I did think I found one last week when a woman wanted to replace her car simply because the alternator was buggered, but alas the car was repaired displaying some sense of normality.

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 While walking past our new school tonight I was quietly getting very excited by the progress of the building and the anticipation of working there.  I reflected on the previous three weeks and clearly remembered back to my first week.  Back then I thought that I was reasonably skilled as a teacher and quite prepared for the change of teaching and learning style that was being implemented.  I thought that I knew how I was going to fit into the big picture and what skills I would bring.  Only three weeks in and my reflection reveals just how shallow that initial thinking was.  In fact I have been challenged and stretched to the point that many of my ideas about learning have shifted.   These shifts have occurred because of the amazingly skilled and knowledgeable people that I work with and the collaborative nature of the work that we do.  I feel incredibly confident that what we develop over the next few weeks will result some of the most effective education that many of us have ever experienced. 

Early into the 7pm sitting of the movie my cousin and I decided that we had better make a move.  We had been too scared to leave the theatre for fear of being recognised as imposters and had viewed the movie 3 times.  Gathering our towels we crept to the exit at the front of the theatre and made our escape.  I never really enjoyed ‘The Sound of Music’ or ‘Jaffas’ ever again.

 

 

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