Weekly Reflection: Flashmob!

New Zealand Graduating Teacher Standard 1.c

Graduating teachers have knowledge of the relevant curriculum documents of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Yup you read right, this week involved a flashmob. And not just any flashmob, a bollywood inspired flashmob.

Somehow ended up with an A for English and a B Maths. Scratching my head wondering how did that happen? English was the subject I loathed in school and was most apprehensive about taking for the course. Maths was the subject that I had little trouble with at school and the assignment that I felt was my best work.  The good stuff was that I had excellent justifications and an excellent next teaching step selected. However I had messed up one of my assessments of student work and didn’t reference enough sources which the assessment criteria demanded was necessary to receive an A grade (pro tip: if your lecturer assigns you a book for your course, find a way to reference the thing during your assignments).

Models and Strategies turned into a disaster because I didn’t read the assessment criteria properly and failed a  large section of the assignment (I answered the question but I didn’t use the right piece of evidence to support my arguments). Fortunately the rest of my work was an A so I passed my essay but I was gutted to have let myself down in such a way. To any students reading let this let this be a lesson to you, before you start writing READ YOUR ASSESSMENT CRITERIA CAREFULLY. Twice. Maybe even three times. Read the criteria while you are writing and then re-check your essay against the criteria before you submit your assignment.

Teaching wise things have been going well, I’ve been taking greater responsibility for some things in class and the group I am taking for maths seems to be chugging along quite nicely. But yes the students in my class organized a flashmob which may or may not have come about from my teaching.

During form time, which is a time where a lot of discussion promoting meta-cognitive awareness happens at the school, a I showed the students this video:

We then had a class discussion about what makes a good leader and follower, initially the students thought believed following was merely blindly following the leader. But as this video pointed out, one of the most important things a follower can is recruit other followers. Then later on in the week for our version of show and tell taught one of the students taught the class some bollywood moves (Basic CD player) and then they decided to do a flashmob during morning interval.

I willingly admit that the students are awesome so I take credit only for seeding an idea, if I can take credit for anything at all. I also give the kids mad props for putting the thing together. Doing someone different especially in front of their peers which involves risking ridicule which takes a lot of courage. It is also important to give props to the student’s the real teachers who said ‘awesome how can I help’ to the idea of a flashmob rather than dismissing it as some crazy idea.

But what is the educational value of doing such a thing as a flashmob?

The kids need to use thinking to identify what makes a good leader and follower. How to engineer crowd and even what kind of music to play.
They’ve had to use oral language to dissect the dynamics of making a movement. They also taught each other the moves.
They’ve needed to manage themselves to get the thing off the ground and they’ve related to others to get other kids to join in.
Obviously they’re participating and contributing to the life of the school by actually doing the flashmob rather than just discussing it in class.

These would be the five competencies of the New Zealand Curriculum.

The flashmob went well, they had some students join in and plenty of bystanders. There’s even an idea to do it again with another class, so it will be interesting to see what happens this week. The mob was put together during form time so the students didn’t miss out on any ‘real’ learning but I hope they will remember the lesson from this week in the future.

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