PBL: Shark Conservation

So, this is something I’m learning about myself. My enthusiasm can occasionally over ride all common sense and take me down weird and wonderful paths… it can also triple my workload in a blink. I’m recognising this. I can reel it back. I can. What I didn’t expect, was for my classes enthusasm to trump my own. In a world of occasionally too cool, disgruntled and nonchalant students I will not whinge about this. Let us celebrate it!

Let me introduce the parade worthy kids – Year 7.

shark 2


Shark 3





This term they ambushed me part way through our schools Environment Day. They’d just seen ‘Shark Girl‘ and they wanted to change the world. Ok. Let’s do it. I gave them a non committal face and told them to talk to me after the long weekend (saving the world can wait, right?). Three days later they were still bubbling over with enthusiasm.

Picture this: I’m faced with 28 bright faces who have clearly articulated their own passion project; it’s significant, authentic (ish) and packed full of voice and choice. But, we’re in the middle of poetry and a new topic is looming in just a week… What to do? We negotiated that poetry would need to have an integral role, and we’d just need to work extra hard to cover the next unit in a slightly reduced time frame. 28 earnest nods and the project is on.


shark 1This  is were I essentially stepped aside and tried not to look too nervous. Have I mentioned I’m a control freak? This is the power of year 7, they come to us with the skills to work independently and perhaps we don’t always utilise this to it’s full capacity. Each morning they were eager to report their progress and inquire about the possibility of getting some group time. In the space of a week they became experts in their choosen area, had organised their presentation and invited an audience. Phew. Their ability to facilitate this kind of work within their teams, communicate and run a presentation is something I can not praise highly enough. It also made me realise that this group is a class that will need to be presenting all year. Stay tuned, they’ll be big.


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