Welcome to Unleash Education.
I’m Al Ingham. I’ve been teaching since 2009. I graduated from Victoria University, Wellington, with a BA/BTeach degree in 2008. I have relieved in a variety of different state schools in Lower Hutt, and am now working at a small school in a neat community in Wainuiomata.
What is Unleash Education?
In January 2015, I got sick of my personal twitter feed getting crowded with teaching and teachers. While I am completely passionate about teachers and teaching and using twitter to gather ideas and concepts, I don’t need it every hour of every day, which is what was beginning to happen by including teachers on my personal twitter account. So I decided to split my personal online presence with my professional one. Obviously parts of it will cross over, but for the most part, I will be keeping them separate where possible.
Part of this was setting up Unleash Education; a blog where I could write about my teaching experiences, educational ideals, and commentary on the latest policies. I chose unleash as it sums up my thoughts around teaching – especially teaching through ICT.
A little history
In 2011 I was elected onto the Board of Trustees for the school as the Staff Representative. I have been head of ICT since 2010. Since this time I have been involved in a range of different initiatives in bringing the school into the 21st Century. This have included Interactive Projectors for each classroom, iPad’s for classroom use, with an additional three in the Library. In 2014, we purchased a pod of 10 Chromebooks and began to see some amazing benefits of this in the senior school. In 2015, the Board of Trustees decided to take this to the next level, where my class would go “1-to-1” with Chromebooks in the class. Throughout this year I will be taking notes, recording results, and seeing how viable such a programme is to roll out across the school. Integrating technology for learning throughout the day keeps students inspired, engaged, and allows them to unleash their ideas and experiences to the world around them.
At the end of 2012, I felt like my world was crumbling around me. Lots of circumstances lead me to a pretty dark place, to the point where sitting in the staffroom I suddenly experienced tunnel vision, blurred voices, and struggling to make sense of my life.
Clinical depression is never easy. There are many triggers, and my hope above all hopes was that my job, my workplace, or my profession weren’t related to the incredible feeling of emptiness that I was going through. With a little help, and a bit of therapy, I have been working full time, with some ‘mental health’ days being legitimately taken, and getting better. While I am not out of the woods yet, and don’t expect to be any time soon, I am well aware that I am recovering, and recovering well in the classroom. Teaching remains at the forefront of my passions.
I am passionate about the education system in New Zealand, but more importantly, the students that navigate their way through it each day. I particularly look to shape and guide boys by providing a solid role-model for them.
I have a knack for sports, and use this as much as possible in class. I enjoy drawing and art, and presentation has been a key part of what I do in the classroom.
My mantra in teaching is Engage, Inspire, and Unleash. This helps me to remain focussed on the students, and preparing them for life outside the four walls of the classroom.
My views are my own; influenced by, but not representative of, the school, principal, or Board of Trustees which I work for.