Welcome to my Professional Learning blog.
My name is Matt Nicoll and I am a high school teacher in New Zealand, interested in improving the classroom experience for my students. I am open to trialing new approaches and hope to use this blog to reflect on my ideas and practices.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Blogging "Tag"

I got "tagged" (nominated) by @JackBillie35, then by @ReidHns1 in their respective blogs: http://newadventureslearning.blogspot.co.nz/ and http://teachingyoume.blogspot.co.nz/

The blogging task includes:

  • Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  • Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  • List 11 bloggers.
  • Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.

11 Random Facts

  1. I have lived in the UK twice, once in Cheshire and once in Northern Ireland. However, both times were for only three months each.
  2. I learned German at high school, although I understand French better than German now, despite never taking a French lesson in my life.
  3. I am extremely competitive, particularly when playing sport and games.
  4. I have a strong sense of fairness (a little ironic when you look at #3...).
  5. I referee and coach Futsal to a relatively high level, and have refereed Football to National League level.
  6. I hate talking on the phone, but love face-to-face and written/typed conversations...go figure!
  7. I tore my right Achilles tendon only two days before opening in Napier Operatic Society's Beauty and the Beast, taking me from being an onstage actor/dancer to a backstage singer.
  8. I have played the part of Edward Lyons in Blood Brothers.
  9. I have a husky-malamute cross called Rookie.
  10. My favourite band is Alice in Chains, but like many from my generation, I like most music from the "Seattle Scene" from the late 1980s to mid 1990s.
  11. My tertiary qualifications are primarily  in Biology but I have never taught that subject beyond Year 11.

Answers to @JackBillie35's Questions:

  1. What was your best teaching moment in 2013? There were two and I can't separate them, but they have the same theme. My Year 9 students teaching Science to two Year 3 classes. Then, in the first week of my summer holidays, I demonstrated some simple Science experiments with dry ice to some Year 2 students in Hawkes Bay.
  2. Where is your favourite place to go and why? Central Otago. I can't narrow it down to one place. Great wine, beautiful lakes, Rail Trail...
  3. What is one hobby that you have been doing for your whole life? Football.
  4. Who is the most influential person in your life? My father. He helped foster my love of Science, puns and "kept things real" for me.
  5. What is your favourite book and why? Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. It makes the history of Science accessible and humorous.
  6. If you could be a superhero which one would you be and why? Ironman. I love his gadgets and arrogance.
  7. Do you prefer electronic books or actual books? Why? Actual books. I like physical pages and physical bookmarks. I've never tried using electronic books though, yet...
  8. If you won LOTTO would you still keep teaching? No. Moot point as I never buy a ticket. But if I was to come into an obscene amount of money, I would tutor and put more time into Futsal and Football instead.
  9. What is the best way you switch off from school? Walk my dog or play Indoor Football.
  10. What are you a geek about? (Definition - become excited or slightly obsessive about!) I am a quintessential Science Geek.
  11. What would you like to change in 2014? Try fewer initiatives and use the ones I choose more effectively.

Answers to @ReidHns1's Questions:

  1. Who would you invite to your dream dinner party? (8 invites & they can already be deceased) Tough one!! This list might make for interesting discussions to listen in on: Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein, Nelson Mandela, Dara O'Briain, Richard Dawkins, Neil Armstrong, Tim Minchin, Brian Cox
  2. What is the first LP/Cassette/CD that you purchased? Def Leppard's Hysteria.
  3. What concert would you most love to go to? (Past or future) Queen at Wembley
  4. What is the one piece of equipment you can't go without in your classroom? (Computers or devices don't count!) Whiteboard markers!
  5. What is the one piece of advice you wish you had received in teacher training? Build relationships first. Once they know you care about them, the more likely they are to want to go on the journey you want to take them on.
  6. What was the most important thing you learned from your first principal? Teaching makes you a public figure, whether you like it or not.
  7. How long should teachers stay at each school? At least three years. The longest I have been at one school was nine years, and that felt like a good amount of time.
  8. Vegemite/Marmite/Neither? Marmite, but I'm not that keen on either.
  9. Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Trek but I like both for different reasons.
  10. What would be your super power? Invisibility. I'd love to see how my classroom operates without me there...
  11. Kid President tells us to be more awesome as teachers. What will you do this year to help your kids be more awesome? Try to pose problems and set tasks which allow them to "own" their own learning and to express themselves in their own way.

My 11 Questions:

  1. What inspired you to become a teacher?
  2. What is/are the biggest change/s you made to your teaching in 2013?
  3. What is the best thing about being a teacher?
  4. Which country do you most want to visit/revisit next? Why?
  5. What does Christmas mean to you?
  6. What are your favourite films? I'm not specifying a number, but don't go overboard...
  7. What type of music do you listen to?
  8. Film or theatre? Why?
  9. What pet/s do you have?
  10. What are you looking forward to most in 2014?
  11. If you had a million dollars but had to give it all away, what would you do with the money?


Sorry to break the rules and only nominate six, but others I might have nominated have already done this on their blogs.
  • @mcclure_heather
  • @AndreaHenson_nz
  • @phpnz
  • @dukelyer
  • @MissDSciTeacher
  • @GeoMouldey

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