A long year + some ideas for the future

It’s been a long year.

While it has not been an easy one, there have been some fantastic things in 2021 that I am grateful for. I have met some wonderful new friends, colleagues, and students, and have enjoyed many laughs with them all.

I am especially thankful for my students. They showed great patience with me and expressed great energy and determination even in the short time we were in the classroom. These students are truly kids of the Covid-era, having now been through successive lockdowns and their associated uncertainties for the last two years. And while it has been a great challenge for them, they have also achieved some tremendous things.

There are many names I wish to celebrate, particularly those who did not receive traditional academic awards at school but have held a quiet strength and achieved many milestones behind the scenes. I will not publish them out of respect for privacy and my professional responsibility, but I am so proud of them. It makes me understand why some teachers stay in the profession for decades - this part of the job is so incredibly rewarding and fun.

I feel for students less fortunate, particularly those in lower decile schools and areas who have been hit particularly hard this year. There is a lot of work being done by fantastic people behind the scenes here, but they have been stretched so thin from this. I want to create and share more resources for other teachers and students in the coming year, something people can grab and use for their contexts.

I am currently working on a tool that will (hopefully) help with online teaching and be designed to last decades. Similar tools and platforms developed by tech companies or government agencies in Aotearoa have mostly come and gone - I want to make something teachers and students can own and use, freely (both in the financial and usability sense), and never be taken offline. I am learning about different technologies/protocols to achieve this, namely IPFS, Urbit, Webtorrent, and Hypercore. If you have any ideas or thoughts about this, please let me know (my contact information can be found on the About page of this site).

Let’s pull back the veil,

T.