I can’t believe we’re in Week 10 of Term 3 already and at the end of our Heal Country Challenge. I’ll be honest in saying that this term certainly didn’t pan out the way I had planned it when I put my Challenge Planner together over the holiday break back in July.
I was so excited to get back into the classroom with my students and create the learning experiences I had planned for my students each week with so many of my favourite resources, but COVID had other plans and we were thrust into remote learning. The Challenge Planner was out the window and it was back to square one of planning and organising how the Challenge would look. At the start it would have been easy to just press the pause button on the Challenge and do it later in the year, but one thing I have learnt over my many years in the classroom is that teaching is all about being flexible and adaptable. Honestly, some of the best learning has come out of those ‘unplanned’ and ‘unscripted’ moments where I deviated from the original plan I had in place.
Taking part in the Heal Country Challenge remotely has been made so much easier thanks to our Wingaru Kids subscription. It has allowed us to continue to set learning tasks and activities aligned to our weekly themes as we had originally planned and for those students without digital access, we have been able to provide them with the printed resources from Wingaru so they can take part in their paper booklet. I have been able to follow these up with my class through our weekly zoom sessions. Our zoom sessions have involved discussion about some of the lessons, and providing students with some of the original learning experiences we had planned like shared reading sessions with quality texts from First Nations authors.
One thing that has come out of this remote learning experience has been the opportunity to broaden my bank of digital resources for embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in the classroom. I’ve come across so many new links and digital learning tools thanks to the generous community we have in our Challenge Team and other First Nations educators online who have been sharing their favourite resources with us. For me, this has been another valuable learning experience again. It has provided me with the opportunity to grow in my knowledge, skills and understanding when it comes to embedding First Nations content, culture and perspectives into the classroom learning environment because regardless of our learning context Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives should always be a priority for us as educators.
I hope that this Heal Country Challenge has been a positive experience for you also. Thank you for taking part in the Challenge with us and for continuing on this journey to authentically engage all our students in learning about how we can all be part of the movement to Heal Country together.
Stay safe and keep embedding
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