Gilberthorpe school

Gilberthorpe school

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Miss Corry presents to the Nation

Wow what an experience!

 In the second week of the last school holidays I had the opportunity to attend the national educators conference “uLearn” in Hamilton and present the project that I am working on with other teachers from our community.
 I was overwhelmed with the number of people who were there. I didn’t quite know what exactly I was going to. There were over 1500 educators, 250 presenters and over 300 breakouts to choose from It made it real seeing my name listed in the book .

I was lucky to be presenting on the first day of the conference. Thank goodness for that too! The morning of the presentation I was so nervous! I couldn’t eat lunch as I was going to be presenting straight after. When we arrived at the room that our presentation was going to be in…It felt so real seeing the sign with our names on it.

We had a good number of people choose our breakout session and we delivered our presentation over the next hour and half. Boy time flies! It was crazy that I was so nervous to start off with as once I began speaking it was so hard to stop...I guess when you know what you're saying and when you are really passionate it is very easy to keep talking.  The people who attended were intrigued and really interested in what we were sharing. It was good to get great feedback afterwards.

Thanks to Kelsey Morgan for the support at the session..she was great when the IT started playing up half way through. It was such a good feeling being able to share what I have been learning and I am really proud of myself for stepping up and going outside of my comfort zone.


Presenting on the first day allowed myself to relax for the rest of the conference and really enjoy myself and be able to attend other sessions and give all my attention to them.

This is the slides that we used for our presentations. We used them to inform people what our research project is on, the background of project, the screening tool, initial data summary and the teacher inquiries and where we are heading next.

We had key note speakers that everybody could attend and then we were able to choose other sessions that were of interest to us.  There is so much I could share!
The main message from all of the speakers was about relationships and how important relationships are and how they are the key. This related and really stuck with me as one of the main things learnt from our inquiry so far is that “It’s not okay to not have a relationship”

I attended a breakout session run by Sally Peters on Compassion, care and curiosity - Powerful drivers of teacher research. I was really engaged through her entire presentation, as I am currently undertaking teacher research and I could directly relate to everything she said. Sally Peters is one of the key gurus in New Zealand for transitions to school from ECE also. Her work and research is well worth the read!

Here are the links to the main key note speakers: Each speaker spoke for an hour.

Eric Mazur was the first key note speaker
“Innovating education to educate innovators”

Brad Waid was the second key note speaker
“Engaging the globally connected student of today: A look at emerging technology, gaming and digital citizenship”

His presentation had me hooked for the entire much to think about.
He had so many quotes throughout this one in the photo has stood out.

The last key note speaker on the final morning was Dr Ann Milne. Her presentation got the crowd really thinking and she had a standing ovation at the end.
“Colouring in the white spaces: Cultural identity and community in whitestream schools”

I came back home buzzing after attending this conference...

I thank the CaWS project for making this happen and also Andrew and the Gilberthorpe School Board for allowing me this amazing opportunity to attend this national conference. I hope to be able to attend this again in 2018 and present our findings.


  1. Kia ora Sam
    Wow! This looks like a great and inspiring learning opportunity. I love how conferences give so much motivation. It looks like a successful and valuable experience both as a presenter and a participant. Thanks for sharing.

    1. really was!! I was buzzing when I left Hamilton...have waited for the videos to be edited so I could share with everyone. It was a great experience and having people so interested in what we were presenting made it very successful..we have had some teachers emailing us for more information. I think you would really enjoy the key note speakers especially Ann Milne one.

  2. Well done Sam. You have certainly stepped out of your comfort zone. It certainly seems that this was a great experience for you. Thank you for the information you have shared on your presentation and of the Key Note Speakers.

    1. I really did step out of my comfort zone Rebecca! But I felt great afterwards. I think it helped not knowing the people either. I was buzzing and I did come back that weekend and start writing the post it took so long to get up as the videos of the main key notes had to be edited and everything so I was waiting for them. I wanted others to be able to see and hear the messages of the key note speakers for themselves. I thought a few people may not know what I was sharing so wanted to put the presentation up for people to see. It was a great experience.

  3. Sam you did an amazing job at your presentation. I was very pleased to be able to be there and hear about all of the fantastic things you have been doing. I agree it was a fantastic experience and I would love to watch you present again next year!

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  5. What an amazing experience, Sam. You were super brave to take on something so challenging yet also so rewarding. We have all learned so much through your passionate interest in your inquiry and are really proud of you representing us all on the wider stage. Go you!!

  6. Hey Sam!
    2017 has been a huge breakout year for you and this experience is a big part of that. You have been a key member of the TLIF and are getting some amazing results. The progress of one of our students has been amazing :-) . I know this required you to step outside of your comfort zone, it would be for any of us! Well done and keep up the great work!