Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Joe Bennett on measuring teachers.

I liked this had to copy it and blog it. Good teaching, then, is easy to recognise. But it is hard to measure. Exam results are important, but they are not the whole of education. And if you judged a teacher solely by exam results, then they would teach solely to the exams. Which would squeeze out the good stuff, the real stuff, the stuff that just happens. And that's often the stuff that sings home like a well-fired arrow. What will happen, I suspect, is that the mandarins of education will try to do to teaching what they have already done to learning. With the NCEA, they reduced a subject like English to thousands of discrete bits of knowledge, or skills, that they could then assess one by one. But that's not how English works. The NCEA brings down the net but misses the butterfly. And it will be the same with teaching. They will spend vast sums of money coming up with boxes to be ticked, boxes called Key Performance Indicators or some similar consultant jargon, in a bid to define good teaching. And although any kid in the school will tell you instantly who the good teachers are, the Ministry of Education won't manage it. The simple butterfly of human truth will elude them.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Giving for the sake of Giving!

We live in a world where giving has become a bit of a dying art. We seem to be breeding a group that is focused on only giving when I get something out of this. Why? The art of giving has become confused wrapped up in strange new traditions. For example when I go to a birthday party at my age I don't expect to go home with a goody bag of treats I will enjoy. We have families now who create goody bags for kids who attend their child's parties. Isn't the invite and the food and and the games and the fun enough. Does it have to become a competition of who supplies the greatest goody bag gifts? Recently I heard a group of parents discussing wether or not they would donate to a school fund raiser. Surely this is the ultimate place to give because in the long run your children win. It can be donations of money gifts or time. This way everybody wins. Unfortunately we have an element now where there is a need to be thanked publicly, i don't disagree but when heard to say we weren't thanked enough is this just grandstanding. There are families who give to this school everyday. The help goes unnoticed and unheralded because to them its the giving that counts, not the fact that there name, company was splashed across the headlines and roared forth from a public address system. Sad!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Inspired by Tarnz!

So sitting in my office Tanya asked how long had it been since I blogged a while I said, actually 26 April.I have taken to writing about children pushing themselves with recent cross country events. It has become apparent that we are very nice to our children. We have encouraged them to give things a go but when the pressure comes on or it starts to hurt give up. Yep, to me it seems that we have become so protective of our children that we get them to opt out when the going gets tough. Why do we do this? Success comes with struggle and often with pain and suffering so why don't we teach our kids this? Speaking of Pain and Suffering last year I completed the Lake Wanaka Half Iron race. I say say completed not competed because I was disappointed in my efforts.I didn't draw a lot of comfort from being "chicked" by my training buddy but more for me it was I believed I could have done better. I felt I could have done it better trained harder maybe smarter! So what do I do now, well i am going back and I need to be smarter so I have taken on board a mentor who has experienced the darkest recesses of pain when she ran 160 kilometres in 38 hours. It has to be a complete rethink, not only training but nutrition, recovery, core strength, mental strength and flexibility. Can I do it better? I think so so no excuses time to start!

About Me

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Rangiora, Canterbury, New Zealand
I have been Principal of Ashley School since 2002 and I am still learning my job.I am married with 3 children. I have a love of educating children to the best of their potential. I enjoy Rowan Atkinson, Ricky Gervais, cycling and all other sports.