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.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Things May Never Be the Same…

This week, I was one of approximately 20 staff who started their journey at Rolleston College/Horoeka Haemata. It has been great to be surrounded by similarly-minded people, and getting to know these impressive individuals. It has also made me reflect on the changes that lie ahead for my own pedagogy and practice in general.

Over the past few years, I feel that there has been one particular strength in my practice. I am uncertain whether this strength will be a big part of my modus operandi here. If it is, there will need to be tweaks and adjustments…and that is exciting!


One thing that I spent a lot of time implementing into my practice was to record the teaching moments of lessons, and make this available in a blog for my students. Complementing this with notes and images of the whiteboard work etc. meant there was a record of the key content and tasks available at any time for students. They could use this for revision, catching up on missed work, and/or revisiting something that didn’t “click” at the time of “delivery”.

I suspect that this “routine” for my lessons will be much less relevant at Rolleston College/Horoeka Haemata. That could be a scary prospect. Instead, I see that as an exciting change. I envisage that I may collaborate with akonga and other kaiako to make instructional records like these. They are likely to be more polished and impressive than anything that I have done in the past, too (I hope)!!


While I was reflecting upon this potential change, the idea that “things may never be the same” brought an old favourite song to mind. The lyrics of the chorus are quite poignant for how I have reflected upon the changes ahead –  I may never meet my old practices and pedagogy again. I feel exposed, both my flaws and short-comings alongside my strengths and skills. That is more than okay; it helps me feel even more like part of a great team.

Additionally, the support around me – fellow “new” kaiako to Rolleston College/Horoeka Haemata, and the leadership team who have been guiding us for the past couple of days – has thrown its arms around me. I am excited about the unknown ahead, and feel secure to push my own boundaries. After all, it is to help be part of providing great learning opportunities for akonga.

“And we may never meet again
So shed your skin and let's get started
And you will throw your arms around me
Yeah, you will throw your arms around me”


  1. Nice post Matt. I think you are right - big changes ahead for everyone I think. Exciting times.

  2. Kia ora Matt,

    Great to read your first post at your new school - we miss you already.

    I love the fact that you continue to want to challenge yourself, both personally and professionally. It sounds like the first few days have been really good with lots of support and a determination to come together quickly and create an incredible learning environment.

    I look forward to hearing more of the journey you are embarking on! Here is a whakataukī for you:

    Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei

    (Seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain). Aim high Matt, seek what is valuable and be persistent!

  3. Great to read your first post. Miss you at StAC and I've been wondering how you are going.
    Can't wait to here more.