This week's episode brings you even more CAFS related gems with special guest Katrine Barnes!
In this chat, Katrine shares how to successfully apply teaching strategies and connect with your students to improve their CAFS journey. Katrine explains when to change up your methods and how to realise when what you're doing is working!
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Intro by Kelly Bell:
Hey everyone and welcome back to episode number five of The Learning Network Podcast. In this particular podcast episode, I have a beautiful chat with the amazing Katrine Barnes. Katrine is such a dedicated CAFS teacher we connected probably back in 2013 or 2014 when I set up The CAFS Network Facebook page. Katrine was all giving, she would constantly come on I think maybe a few times a week sharing, resources and ideas and links and, and lots of little things to CAFS teacher.
Katrine is a beautiful CAFS teacher who has lots of experience in life, but was fairly late into education. Katrine is a PDHPE, CAFS and dance elective teacher and Pastoral Care Coordinator at a Catholic school in southern Sydney. Pursuing an education degree as a mature aged student ignited a passion for teaching and learning through a strengths based approach, embedding a positive psychology framework to the diverse needs of students. Katrine believes in supporting young people in constructing their own knowledge and autonomy in a safe, faith filled inspirational environment for building confidence and self esteem, resilience, empathy and creativity.
What I love most about Katrine's story is that she actually left school at 15 to follow her dream to become a dancer. She actually was awarded the Royal Academy of Dance London's highest award and she went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Performing Arts in Dance and then later on, in 2007, actually pursuing the career of Dance Education as a teacher.
Katrine is completely passionate about teaching CAFS, she embodies this all the way through. She brings her life experiences to the CAFS classroom by encouraging students to function effectively in their everyday lives in families and communities so as to be responsible in their decision making and personal management for the range of different options and opportunities available to them. She also encourages her students to be competent, confident and productive members of society.
CAFS crew, this is our interview with Katrine Barnes.
Hey, I'm Kelly Bell. Welcome to The Learning Network podcast. I guide Community and Family Studies teachers, newbies and experienced, through best practice to improve knowledge, increase empowerment and alleviate stress. To help you and your students to make meaningful connections across the course. I will share strategic and purposeful applications from my 16 years experience in the classroom that I have adopted to increase student motivation, enjoyment, engagement and results. Together, we will grow and transform your CAFS crew to the next level without impacting your sleep and well being in the process. To join my free how to improve writing and fast track results webinar. Head to thelearnnet.com/writing. So tune in to get inspired and let's connect, learn and grow together.
I have followed Katrine's journey for quite some time now. I've absolutely loved seeing you blossom. Your energy and your passion for education is second to none, so I know that our listeners will get so much value out of our session today. So today we're going to talk about some effective strategies and some practices that CAFS teachers, if they're starting from scratch or if they're coming to a new year, of what they might do to really set their students up for success. But what they can really do behind the scenes before they get started, do you want to go through what you think are the main areas initially of what a CAFS teacher might do when they get their class for the year?
Thanks, Kelly. It takes a lot of reflection. It's hard to just go into a classroom and go "hey, how are you" and introduce yourself as a CAFS teacher. I think it's really important to really know your students and who will be sitting in front of you on that first day. Over the last couple of years as a school, we've been looking at data. So I've been thinking about, ‘how do I work that data in to setting up my classroom?’ So particularly heading into Year 11, I started to look at the 10 Orwell and NAPLAN data. And that sort of gave me an idea of where my class is sitting in the whole year cohort. Last year we're really lucky to have three CAFS classes. So having three classes, we're having nearly two thirds of the whole cohort. So as I started to look at the data, I actually came to the realisation that in my particular class, I had the majority of students who were actually under the cohort mean. So that made me start to think, okay, we're looking at literacy, as our professional development, I need to start thinking about how I'm going to work on these students' writing because I could see as I looked at the general ability and the literacy levels, they actually were quite low, particularly in the real world testing. So I sort of knew that I'm going to have to start identifying some strengths and weaknesses in their literacy levels.
So do you want to tell our listeners a little bit about Orwell data and where that comes from?
Well, the Orwell data is all multiple choice and it's looking at general capabilities and looking at sort of reading levels and your maths levels. Again, it's the level of thinking so its in stanine so if you're looking for a stanine seven to stanine nine, you are in the higher end of the cohort. And you're writing, your general abilities, you would be in that higher order thinking range, where as when I looked at the data of my year 11, CAFS class I'm looking at a 3, 4, 5 stanine, which showed that it was quite low. And something I read when researching the Orwell testing and researching general ability. General ability, I read a comment where it said that if your general ability is sort of low, you may have trouble understanding and discerning and deciphering multiple choice questions. That really got me thinking, really got me thinking that wow, and we have 20. And if I've got girls that at the outset, are going to struggle discerning which question or which response is the correct one, I'm going to have to do some work here.
So your journey over the last nearly what two terms has probably been a bit of a shift, you want to talk to us about what you've done to really get those girls to where they need to be?
Well, we started last year, in COVID, we started some PD. We had the opportunity to choose one chord pivot, which was around student voice. I think if I backtrack, as I've been reflecting on my teaching, I've been finding that I've probably been providing far too much information to the class going beyond the textbook. I say that because I've been constantly trying to embed those relevant, unique responses. But upon upon my reflection over the last number of years, I almost feel that it's been too out there and airy fairy. I've needed to actually strip that back to be able to just get back to some basics. I think listening to you about that success in CAFS about getting back to those Glossary of Key Words and really understanding them has been really helpful.
Alright, so teachers would know how much I bang on about that and get on my soapbox about it. How did that look, say the first couple of weeks before you have the kids?
Well with my Year 11 Kids, I actually put them in a seating plan. I did a Kagan collaborative learning. I think the thing was, is that I hadn't had my own classroom for such a long time. So I was just in varying classrooms. I think that was a frustration, I was really blessed to have my own classroom. So I started with the table seating. So I was really doing a lot of collaborative learning. I think I started literacy is getting some content down, and then doing those past paper questions, but doing them together, and marking together and really teaching that together. Rather than the past paper booklet, I was actually doing it probably spending longer in class. And I think that was inspired from what you were saying it's really taking more time in your class around the writing.
Now, when it came to my Year 12s, I'd been using some new worksheets that had come out on the market. The students love these one because they're really clear, colourful, and probably straight to the point with some good summary templates. So we decided as part of this student voice to stick with those. Which I guess in one sense allowed me to probably not find too many other sources at that point. However, in the pivot feedback, I'm always watching the news. I know what's going on. Still, the relevant unique examples, it's still top of mind is that I would put those extra things on Google Classroom. So it was clear that the girls appreciated that and wanted me to keep doing that. So if and when they wanted to go and have a read, they could if they feel you know, and usually I find the higher order girls will go and do that. The other thing is this year is that we were doing the pivot, which is the student voice again. However, last year there was an option for peer observation.
I've been speaking with one of my colleagues, who is the EAL/D (English as an Additional Language or Dialect) Coordinator, and we were sort of doing some talking. I said, look, this is my class, I'd really love some help. So we decided to do our peer observation by doing EAL/D strategies, particularly with my lower class. So we've been developing a few little things to try and help the girls read, because when I sort of looked at, I guess, the general marking feedback from the HSC exams, the first point was about making sure students are reading and understanding the question. So it showed me that the girls are just skimming and not really reading. So we started with some articles and some margin outside the margin activities.
So when you say outside the margin, I know, kind of familiar with like writing on the reading that sort of thing. Do you want to unpack that for for teachers, maybe what that might look like in the classroom?
I'd find some articles that I'd like the girls to be able to read. But we had stimulus questions, particularly around the dot points unpacking, being able to identify the sort of dot points in the syllabus, and put those on the side to be able to say, look, if there's an example here, where can I see that in this article? Can I see wellbeing mentioned in this article, which meant that the girls will reading looking for it, and then writing it down in the margin? So we were sort of actually colour coding, the article had some stimulus questions on the side, and the girls are actually searching for it. So then that way, they were pulling out the information that I actually wanted to assist them in writing a response.
And that's gold, because a lot of our kids are able to, if we give them the tools, they will follow up, more often than not. They might be reluctant at first, but if we give them the tools, if you show what it needs to look like, they're good at pulling it apart. I think scaffolding is so important and really getting that to them that step by step guidance to if we don't show them that they're not going to be able to pull it out. But I think obviously, you know, reading is really important attention and like you said, they can't understand the question, how they can then go to be able to go question content, what is the contents it has a back, what do I need to do to provide, you know, 18 lines in response to that question, comprehension and literacy. So I really think that a lot of CAFS teachers and a lot of leaders across New South Wales, really dumb CAFS down. Really think our course is a fluffy course. We know that it's not we know that entire literacy. I think the quicker we get that message across to the whole state isn't going to change our core significantly.
Yeah, I think that's right. I can recognise now already that, you know, you get to this time of the year, and sometimes I look at the students, and I just feel like yeah, at the moment, this time, every year, I feel that cats takes that backseat in their mind. I think unfortunately, the last assessment task is sort of shown that. So it's sort of like a couple of steps forward and one step back. And again, it comes down to did you really understand the question? You're skimming, and just trying to get something down without that depth of knowledge. And that really is where your band 4, 5 and 6 is, is understanding the depth and what it is that we're requiring? So it's a constant?
So you mentioned before about that data driving your practice? Did you do anything else at the beginning of the year to, to help that so you had your Kagan seating plan? How has that evolved over the years?
I think it was hard because the girls struggled with not being with their friends. But that worked out and then I changed the seating plan. I found it actually has caused distraction in term 2. So I've not been overly happy with how the girls have worked. However, in saying that we've still done a lot of collaborative work. Again, a lot of the collaborative work is trying to get that depth. It's trying to have the stimulus to getting all of the resources and the understanding around let's say, a formal support service, what it does, and the more information that we can get around that then the more we have to write about. Tt's trying to get the depth not just skimming the surface. So again, thinking about how I go back in the next fortnight, I was actually going to put them in in groups of two and three, trying to sort of trim back the chat because they came a little bit chatty, and just losing it a little bit. I think it was changing the seating plan, I probably didn't stick to what I probably should have been a little bit more, "No, this is how we're doing it."
Yeah and "I'm the expert, I'm the educator. I know my stuff have been teaching for a really long time. Trust me when I say..."
When I did the tables, I was doing the high, high-medium, medium-low students. So everyone was learning from each other. It did garner some good conversation. I do think the kids learn also, I make them read each other's past papers as well. Yeah and provide some feedback, because that way, they're saying, "oh, oh, I didn't do that." Or, you know, and they're actually quite good at giving feedback.
How long have you been doing Kagan Cooperative Learning for?
We've probably do it been doing it for probably about three or four years. But again, on and off, I probably found after we had done some PD on it in the first year. We then had a lot of instances where we were just in rooms all over the place. So it was really, really difficult to sort of had do it properly in the sense of how you set your kids. Yes, you can do some collaborative learning and use the strategies, but the actual act of having, specifically putting kids with kids to assist in their learning. Yeah, I think sometimes it might work a bit better in maths, things like that with their little whiteboards and that, and I try to do that. But for me, I don't think I've been consistent enough with that.
It does take a bit of consistency, doesn't it have a lot of pushback on my journey was a really long time ago, probably my first couple of years of teaching. I was super lucky in the Parramatta Diocese where I was working, we had Kagan Cooperatively. We even saw Laurie and Dr. Kagan, we actually attended the PL. It was the best PL. Sometimes it can be a little bit primary school is going to say the same thing, the energy and all that sort of stuff. But it honestly has shaped my teaching. I think it's something that I probably haven't spoken openly about. But I think that's one of the secret ingredients to my success in the classroom, or even in PE, was yes, I made my kids sit in cooperative learning groups, they hated me. They couldn't sit with their friends. But the energy and the collaboration that happened in that classroom, because of that, I think is honestly one of the secrets because kids working together, kids who would ordinarily not sit together. It builds their energy across the class as they are not with their friends, they get caught up in the conversation, you know, from the weekend, or from some issue with some boyfriend or girlfriend that's out there. I think it does take a lot of work. I think being in a 7 to 12 school, it 100% helps, I try to do a little bit. I've worked in a senior school, but it took a bit of pushback, but I was I was literally, you know, so strict on making it work. So I knew that it was what I had seen what success looked like before so I was take a bit of pushy.
I think it does give the students confidence, particularly those that don't speak or never speak, you know, when you've got Table Talk, then everyone's talking. And then you can ask, you can go around to the tables. And you can ask for people to respond. And I think you know, one of the biggest things you find that you tend to, you know, you feel like you're doing all the work sometimes. And I'm really starting to push back. It's like, No, you need to show me and I need you to now to get up and to, you know, demonstrate your understanding. So, again, even if it's not particularly Kagan, we will have groups and have big bits of paper, and they'll brainstorm and they do have to present to the class. That way. They're getting up and they're engaged. Otherwise, I'm just talking and they're falling asleep.
Yeah, yeah, they have to do the work.
Yeah, I find I do far too much. And there's been times I've learned and I learned from a good lecturer, that if you ask something, and if you stand there long enough, someone will speak. And I've found that I've just stood there and I've stood there and I've stood there. Someone then will speak it breaks the ice and then you can move it opens the way and I think always saying look, there's no right or wrong answer. And be I think being able to do that question and answer will so that kids don't feel like pivot. They're wrong, that you're always encouraging them. And I'm always saying there's not I'm not looking for a specific answer everything you say Write, be confident, and just encourage and I show how I do that. And they do feel confident, to be able to share. And it's interesting, particularly talking around parenting and caring. Once we were talking about families, and particularly blended families, it was amazing how those from blended families were so willing to share. It was like the whole class came alive, because it was real lived experience. Yeah.
Yeah. And I think that's the benefit of our course, we can talk about it, and it is, it's real life. And I think that's why we get so many students, you mentioned that, you know, you have had majority of the cohort, taking caps, you know, working all your schools, and I, you know, you know, that I've worked on all girls skin, that was literally by me, we had forecast classes, it was over, it must have been close to 90 students. 120. So once you slowly build that and build that, those connections, they will keep coming back year after you. So do you want to talk about that knowing of your students and where that kind of balances. Yeah, know what that might look like in your classroom.
I guess, you know, even I have 13 students, and they range literally from a band one to a band six, that and I know that's probably in most, you know, every CAFS class, which is great, because that's what we, you know, that's what we're there for. And it was interesting, I was listening to one of your talks yesterday on my walk. And you talked about two students that impacted you, in the PE class. But there's also another one that verbally understood the content, but absolutely cannot write it down. And that's the hardest when you're trying to teach the paragraphs and how to write things down. All we want that student is to just get what they know down on a piece of paper. And I've started to say to this girl, right from your heart, you know it just right from them heart. And at this point, I don't care how she gets it down from the heart, because she's the one that will give me the answers. It sounds like this is what I think it is. And she is spot on. But the struggle of being able to write that and you look at the stanines, and her literacy is so low. And you know, we don't see that until you know, well, year 10 I'm looking at that.
The way you said, 'write from the heart' and we say that to the kids, go with your gut. Yeah, what is your gut telling you to write about? Because on paper, you need to write something. If you're writing nothing, you're going to get no marks, but you need to write something. This particular student i was talking about, she literally came from a really rough family, lots of trauma, lots of drugs. She struggled a lot. And when she came to this revision session in the holidays, we were kind of a bit taken aback because thought, well like you're not, you're not on the top, you're not high flyer, but it shows her persistence and her dedication to her learning. And she absolutely loved it, she did railroad, the revision session a lot, I think. I don't know, it was actually an idea. I had never I worked in Western Sydney for 14 years. You know, non English speaking background, students from Sudan students, you know, English was a second language, but I never thought of that strategy. It was just something that, you know, I thought of the cuff. And for her to get a raw mark of 63 or whatever it was, yeah. Some of my lazy kids who knew their stuff, they got a mark worse than than hers. And I was so proud of that mark for her. That would been a real struggle. But I think by her, the strategy I shared with teachers was for her to talk out loud. Yes. And to talk out loud, but obviously not like in a voice that people could hear, but to whisper to herself, whisper the answers, because she could articulate it. She just could write it down. She could say it she could verbalise it but she just couldn't write. And I think, I don't know if that was a secret ingredient for her. But no, she came in with the goods of getting a 63 or 64.
I think what'd you say about talking about content is true. I say to my girls, when you go home, the best way that you can get that embedded is say, Hey, man, do you know we did today? We talked about and start talking about what you learned because in that way, you are embedding it as a don't save it up until you're writing in an exam talking about it's great. That's why I guess in our subject, there's so much more discussion because, you know, in that discussion, you can hear learning take place. That's what I find good. It's like are you see the penny drop? And as they start to discuss those, those concepts are gaining some depth but again, it's trying to get that how do you get that on paper? Hence, you know, some EAL/D strategies and using as many sort of resources as as one can Yeah. I was like another thing I was thinking about, you know, when we are starting the year is particularly when you have a number of teachers teaching the same subject is really, I guess communicating as a team.
I can't stress that enough. We have a great team of CAFS teachers. And we've been training teachers up along the way. Those that have been job sharing, and I know they've had it joy, but we're sharing resources, sharing your ideas, but also having the confidence to know who you are as a teacher, because often you can compare yourself and go, ah, you know, this student, this teacher just has a way of doing this, and they're really experienced, but be confident with how you teach, be confident with your lived experiences as well, because I come to CAFS. I guess I've only been teaching for 11 years, and I'm not young, which meant that I went back to uni in my mid 40s. But what I bring to cats is my life experience. So teaching cats for the first time was like, wow, yeah, got an exam, I was able to pull examples from my life. You know, I've had a coffee shop business. Yeah, I know what it's like when we have a recession. So I can talk about the economic cycle, because I've lived it. And I think it's being confident with who you are as a teacher. And we're constantly talking and sharing stuff, but actually respecting each other, and knowing that we're all teaching the same content. And I think that's something we say to the kids because kids talk, kids talk, oh, in our class, we did that. And I have to keep saying, we're all on the same page. We are one cohort, we go in together. No one's in competition with each other. We're all teaching the same content. We just have our way of teaching it. And you got to instil that confidence in everyone.
Yeah, I think, you know, my teachers know, my perception about collaboration and sharing. I think there is so much power in that. And I think we forget that there's someone next door across the road, down, you know, in the next suburb across the state teaching that course, there's no point in us sharing or keeping it to ourselves, but sharing and I think I think CAFS teachers are really good at, I think we're very good at collaborating and sharing. And I think, oh, you know, I'd love to see more of it. That's the power of us sharing together. I think, for the kids, like they're not competing against each other, they're competing against a stake, you know, the more closely alignment, they're together, the results are going to be there, you know, the average is going to be higher, because they're working together, you know, my kids are working lower kids feeding off each other is all part of that secret. So, let's talk about feedback now, because I know that's one of your loves. Where I suppose what kind of journey has your feedback looked like in the past? Maybe? And where were your feedback in the CAFS Classroom?
Um, you know, I think back to university, and think about all those different ways of learning how to write feedback, and I guess my degree was a dance degree, but PDHPE was my secondary one. So a lot of that feedback was just quite simply looking on the arc resource guide, looking what teachers had said, but also when you're watching sports and games, just putting a little dot with high low medium, that was an easy way to do it. I found once I started teaching CAFS that. First, I was really nervous at it. And I'll tell you why later on, but I was really nervous. But I found I was riding far too much feedback on every person's response. And, and it became it became too much. And I thought, I'm not sure whether they're really responding to feedback. We're the ones that are doing all the work, but I'm not sure how much the kids are. And even you know, today, the kids still say to me, we just look at the mark, and unlike so you haven't looked at the feedback, and you're not responding to that. What about the feedback sheet to the general cohort? And you know, thinking about the last task the girls have done, I actually am going to go back and really go through that in depth. I think in times I've just gone well, it's there. You can go and read it. But I think it's time to revisit a few of those things. And I think trying to refine my work. I think I did attend a little marketing course. And just getting back to the criteria was really, really important. And I think also, as you say, getting back to those NITSA outcomes, knowing What it looks like to sit in each of those bands and just trying to just stick to that language. So it's really working smarter and not harder, because I think it gets too much for the kids. Yeah. Again, they're not reading for understanding they just going off, there's a lot of writing...
Kelly: Yeah, they tune out.
So do you, when you when you give the kids feedback, what does it look like on a page? And then what do you give at the end for them?
So on the page, I've now started, I've been adopting your win strategy. And I did that for the first time. In my last session, again, trying to reduce the writing. But I went and bought the coloured pens, and started with the highlighter started with the underlining and writing in different colours. So really looking at the first thing, what what what have they done? Well, and we've been drilling in the peel paragraph. So really, this is what they've done? Well, they'd understand some content and then really focusing on you know, what, where are those improvements? And that's what I was putting on the general probably in depth on the general cohort feedback to look, there's a number of ways we can look at feedback, trying to give a specific example, in the student I was looking at what was their specific improvement rather than giving 10 things you didn't do this? You didn't do that? What? What was the overall one thing that you're you're not doing? And then I love that idea of the third one is thinking about now what can I do? Where's my responsibility? And I think I really resonate. Kelly with with it has to go back, the onus has to go back onto the student, where now is your responsibility to take that feedback to you know, even yesterday, I was working, marking one of my students past paper questions. Now, again, I didn't give her a mark, there were only three mark or four mark, but I was just annotating like, you know, you haven't done this, you haven't done where's this, and really, I just said go back, I need you to rewrite this and make this a three out of three. If we can't nail those three out of threes, it's still it's like some of those just, I find I call it skirting around the edges. And I find a lot just skirt around the edges. And I don't know whether it's laziness, I'm not quite sure how to do it, or I just want to get this done. I'm not sure. But that's something I'm trying to get to that depth. So again, we're still, you know, looking at those past paper questions, and I think just listening to a couple of your Instagram, things this this week, has given me a little bit more depth as well, with the feedback. I think I need to talk about a lot more, not just write it down. I think we need to have more of that conversation.
Kelly: With the kids you mean?
Yeah, with with the kids. Yeah, definitely. And that's where I'll be going. It's like, Yes, I have content to get through. But I think I'm just going to have to hold, hold that and go right, we need to talk about this feedback. Because if I if I am not talking about it, I'm just assuming they're going to get it. And I think I've done too much assuming, and I can't let this go any longer, if that makes sense.
Oh, it makes complete sense. And I think when I reflect on my practice, so 16 years in the classroom, lots of different experiences, lots of different kids. I think, I think I probably spoon fed them a little bit too much. In the sense of content wise, I think, yes, I stripped out the content after a little while after I realised, hang on, like not stop, stop teaching the kids all this content, they need to really work on the basics, get the basics, right, we can then kind of move on. But I think just those those general reminders like, you know, even like even when you have your own children, hey, we're going here. Don't forget to do this. Don't forget to read that. Don't forget we're moving here. I think it's just they're still kids. They're still children, like if it's 1718. Yeah, they're kind of getting towards that adult stage. But they still need a lot of hand holding and a lot of guidance and reflection and modelling and demonstration. And I think I think teachers sometimes put it back on the kids way too much. Well, I didn't turn up to that revision session, or I didn't see a draft for them. No, did you actually check that they did a draft because if they didn't do a draft, it means they probably haven't started. It means that you need to meet them halfway and say, Hey, let's work together. How can I help you actually get there in the end, rather than handing nothing or complete na? Let's work out a way that we can kind of meet halfway so I can help you rather than setting them up for failure and success.
And that's exactly right, Kelly, I mean, setting them up for success. And I think you know, hitting into the trials. I think it's really important to you know, as a I've just sort of written a list of all the I guess up the things that you've been talking about. Even starting with run far. I mean, thinking about as soon as you look at that question, what is that question saying? And I've said to all of my students, I want to see every question annotated at the top, do not even start writing until I know you understand the glossary word, that you're underlining and knowing what it is you're looking for that you can even put an acronym at the top. So I know straight away, right, you're in the right part of the syllabus, how many times if they put an acronym you've gone? Well, no, they didn't, they were at car. And, and you just know, as soon as you read that they are, they've written stuff, but they just in the wrong part of the syllabus. So I think, you know, run far, annotating is really important. And that's what I really want to see. I'm also wanting to see, as we said, that planning from grandfather planning take the time to plan and often they just write and you know, what they don't do, they don't read read their response. I don't, and I often say if you read this, like it does. So I think the time in planning and preparing our hope would garner a better response. You know, so working on those peel paragraphs, particularly in that the eight marker that because you often find that it just sometimes you're reading stuff that just Watts from one thing to another, and it's not making sense. And I think we need to make that clear. And again, back to those glossary words. And I loved it the other day, when you spoke about those two PE girls that were doing that exam, and then they were madly highlighting, I actually was on a walk with my husband listening to you, I've been listening to you, as I've been on my work, or and I was laughing because in my first year of teaching, I had to supervise a student who had missed a PE exam. And I was in a little room and I had to supervise her for two and a half years, for two and a half hours. So she was madly writing her PE paper. And then I saw her with all these highlighters. And she was madly highlighting, and I'm sitting there like, what is this, what is going on? What are you doing? And then when I went to my coordinator at the time, whose class it was, I said, Look, I just noticed all this stuff. Then she explained to me about highlighting the glossary words, where's your link? Where's your terminology? And that's where you know, your GLUE sheet comes in. So with these, my current you twelves when we did research methods, and they did their little task, the white the ones that had finished, were just sitting there I said, No, no, they had their little highlighters out why because girls, love girls love the colours. So then they started, and my top girls started doing GLUE, and I thought this is really good. So again, it's another little thing, when you've got time, get back to it and start to, you know, go over your work and make sure that you have got all of those key elements in. Because if they're not going back over it, they can miss so much. Often they sit there with a head on the desk. Yeah, "I'm done." It's like I'm looking at them like, "Go back." "Oh, no, I have..." "No, go back. And reread." Yeah. So it's all those little strategies that I think makes sense. And I think as you're explaining some things yesterday, I thought, 'Oh, this is so logical.' There is an order, there is an order to this.
Kelly: There's always a method to my madness. [laughs] I say that to the kids.
Katrine: [laughs] Yeah, it makes sense. Yeah.
So is anything else that you wanted to add in regards to just effective strategies for the kids, for teachers to finish off?
Look, I think you know, that there are so many strategies out there. It's just deciding on work, what I think works for you and your class, knowing the kids that are sitting in front of you and what you need to do to help them understanding that there's a plethora of activities and things in in the toolbox, and going with those and using those and being consistent with those. So I think that's really important. And that's something I'm really learning. You know, I start one thing, but then don't change it up the next time. If it is working, or maybe give it a real good go to make sure it works. You know, for the WIN feedback, I'm going to do that again with my year elevens because I'll be marking all the year 11 cohort, but if I can actually show them, this is how I am marking, this is how you'll get feedback. And then I would expect that I need some action after that. So there's so much out there. We can get overwhelmed I think find out what works for you and in your specific classroom because every classroom is unique every student is unique, every teacher is unique. And it's just being able to work, work together to do the best and see that success for everyone.
That's awesome. That subject so I can add to anything. So at the end of each of my podcast episodes, I have asked teachers, educators, experts, if you were to give some advice to yourself, your younger self, what would it be?
And that was an interesting question, because I nearly emailed, emailed you back to say, what is that? As an educator? What, what do you mean? And it's funny because, you know, I often share my story first up in my in my CAFS class, and I share my story. Because kids just assume that you've gone through your HSC, you've gone straight to uni. And you've done that. And I start with my girls, this is who I am. I left school at 15 at the end nine, and they like the jaws drop, and I go, and here I am. So as I was looking at, you know, what advice would I give myself, I've got stay in school. Okay, stay in school. And then I thought, you know, I actually oscillate between that because I'm not sure whether leaving school is what eventually made me into the person that I am today. And I read this quote, it said,
"Education is an interesting thing. Because depending on age, and financial ability, you can go back and fix that."
And I think over my years, I have gone back many a time in various forms of education.
So stay at school, however, you know, you know, I might say to the kids, you know, go with your passion. And my passion was dance. So I left school at the end of year nine and went to do full time ballet. We tried to do distance education, but they wouldn't let us do it, because we were dancing for as long as they expected us to do distance education. You know, so I sort of think well, could I have gotten to teaching sooner? Yeah, I could have if I'd stayed at school, and, and realise that I actually love teaching. But I wouldn't have known that then. What I do know is that I have a passion for teaching that I don't think I would have known way back then. So in essence, I sort of followed my passion.
But two years ago, I'm also the United pastoral coordinator, and I enrolled myself on a leadership course that was over a year, and it was called "Leading from the Middle." And it was really such a blessing to be on that. But one of those things that it drilled us down into is really finding, I think, finding your values. If I could say, you know, what would that thing be? So I'm just trying to format paper. For me, now, the key to finding my purpose, or is to identify what my purpose is, and finding joy and contentment, that then would give us a clearer understanding of, I guess, your values and meaning. And I think understanding your values and your beliefs, I think is really, really important to understand who you are. And I think being able to identify my values, particularly over the last two years, has been able to make me more specific with who I am as a teacher.
And I think one of the key things we did in this course, the buzzwords all about branding, and I'm sure you've, you've heard that Kelly. What's your brand? It's like, what do you mean, what? And who am I and we did a lot of activities. So so many things trying to drill down into what are those core things that you believe or value. And, you know, I really I got down to that, that place where I was able, after a lot of soul searching and tying in my beliefs with the Catholic school that I was in, with my faith life, just with who I was as a person, I was able to sort of come together with a statement. So the branding, I guess, I've learned to articulate is I advocate for the importance of relationships by listening and understanding an individual's needs and acknowledge their unique story. Now, I could unpack that in a million way. But I think that's now that gives me somewhere to go, Well, this is who I am. And I think in reality, it's saying that you know, every story is unique.
We're all created individual and original. And we need to work together holistically, body, soul, mind and spirit and that that comes with In our education, our pastoral care, as well couple that with our academic care. And I think when we look at our students, we've got to look at them as a whole person, not just what can you give me this past paper question, what else is going on with your life? What else is happening in your story that might be inhibiting you from actually achieving your potential. And I think one of the greatest little quotes that I have always remembered from university was by William Spader, who said,
"All students can learn and succeed, but not on the same day, and not in the same way."
And I think, you know, what, were we expecting our kids to beat to get it that moment in the classroom, some don't, some some clicks a couple of lessons later, and to begin to give, that's okay. I've, I've sort of delivered the lesson some of God at some haven't, but they will get there. And I think, you know, this not only that one way for a person to achieve, I think we need to understand their uniqueness, and even their motivation and their skills and abilities. And sometimes that's a big ask for a teacher. But I think if you're passionate about the classroom you're in, and the kids that are sitting in front of you, I think that that really will, will come and flourish. And you know what the kids know it. And I think that's where that authenticity lies.
And I'm going to leave you with this quote. This is from a man called Parker Palmer, who is a speaker and activists who focuses on education, community leadership, spirituality and social change. And at the end of this was a beautiful Catholic nun that spoke to us about spiritual leadership on this course. And this really resonated with me,
"As good teachers, weave the fabric that joins them with their students and subjects. The heart is the loom on which the threads are tied. Tension is held, the shuttle flues, and the fabric is stretched tight."
So it's like here we are. We're weaving together all of our students to be able to join them together to make that that hole, whatever that looks like. So there we have it.
love it. Loved our interview together, you have opened up so many things that I think are going to be so valuable for CAFS teachers. I just want to say a huge thank you. It has been an absolute honour to have you on here. I have loved working with you over the last. I don't know. I don't know. I can't remember the actual year that we kind of met. But honestly, hand on heart. You are an amazing educator, amazing human being and your kids are so lucky to have you as a teacher.
Thank you so much, Kelly. I've really appreciate all that you do. And I know that you are certainly making a difference to all of those CAFS teachers out there so keep on and know that we're all supporting and cheering you on. Thanks so much.
Outro by Kelly Bell:
Our professional discussion topic for this episode is for you to share with us what you currently do to set your students up for success right from the very beginning. So, whether it be your Year 11s or your Year 12s, what do you actually do at the moment to set your students up for success right from day dot? And if you've completed exploring 11 CAFS with me you would know exactly what that looks like. But I'd really love for you to share what you're hoping to do next year to set your students up for success or what you've done in the past that's actually work. So please post your answers on your favourite social media platform or in our exclusive learning and work collaborative Facebook group, tag me at the low net or use the hashtag the low net to connect with me.
A huge thank you again to Katrina Barnes for sharing this amazing discussion about how she sets her students up for success.
Thanks for joining the Learning Network. I'd love to hear what connected with you most about today's episode, take a screenshot and tag me on instagram and facebook at the low net. If you'd like to know more about my courses, master classes coaching and mentoring and membership.
You can DM me or run Facebook or Instagram or head to thelearnnet.com. Don't forget to stay connected by subscribing to Apple podcasts or Spotify. And if you'd love today's episode, I would be so honoured if you could please leave me a review. See you again next week. Let's continue to connect, grow and learn together to make a huge impact on the students we teach.
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