Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fellowship Reflections (week 1)

So here we go, my Royal Society (RSNZ) Teacher Fellowship for 2009 has begun and I near the end of my first week. The year really kick started with the symposium in Wellington last Thursday. All fellows met for an overview of the scheme, to be given hot tips for a successful year and ways to to be effective presenters. One thing I latched on to was Rose Hipkins advice "Reading is work. Thinking is work". All too often our job as teachers revolves around doing and producing. Reading and reflecting are too often seen as indulgent activities, only suited for evenings and weekends - who reads educational literature during their non-contacts? Yet, it is so important to continually be informing and improving practice. It is one thing I will relish this year and with one book down in my first week, I have made a good start.

My first week at Massey is nearly down, based at Ecology Group I have spent the week getting familiar with my environment, reading The Shorebirds of Australia (in preparation for our forthcoming trip to Broome) and practicing my photography with a very nice Canon camera and 400x lens. I've always wanted to do bird photography and the local vet pond has provided me my first opportunities, some of the better shots can be seen on the slideshow below.

Thursday was also a field day, checking out the southern side of the Foxton Estuary. We had tried mist netting for godwits, unsuccesfully, a couple of nights in the last fornight and the possibility of netting on the southern side needed exploring. It was a good feeling to be walking across the salt marshes and be thinking - This is my job for 2009 & I like the view from my office window!
Dr. Phil Battley (my mentor) & me

Out in field - Foxton Estuary

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