Thursday, September 24, 2009

Rebels Mavericks and Tank Herring

So my mate Tank didnt beat his battle with cancer. Tank was a really good coach, a very sharp selector, he had great knowledge of scrummage, his attention to detail was excellent. He also built loyalty, encouraged players, and learnt from his mistakes. His gruff nature and piss taking was exactly what players loved, his generosity endless, and relentless pursuit of winning (shit he hated losing) was admired.
So Tank was never going to be selected as the Auckland Coach, or any other high profile coaches job. Tank was too rough round the edges, too frank, too grumpy, too innovative!
This resonates for me in leadership in education.
We have these mavericks in our schools, probably a lot like Tank, but they aren't celebrated.
When we look for people to motivate and lead our leaders we look elsewhere, in the universities, overseas.
We look for someone else, anyone else, we bring in australians, americans, poms, we get advice from those who speak eloquently, who wear nice suits, who have a slick presso and a nice sales pitch.
We actually need to hear from kiwis, people in the job, those who are making it happen, Bruce Hammonds wrote a good blog about Perry Rush, and Mike left a very true comment.
Rebels, mavericks, the GPC, they are out there, I'm gonna run a conference for all the nutters out there in 2010, and we will put all those principals in one room- imagine that.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Its Simple

Is it just me or are schools/NZers too serious. We have the responsibilities for the future of children, we have to mark all this stuff and collect everything, and collate everything, dont forget all that inquiry learning and copious amounts of meetings. Ok, all of that stuff occurs in nearly every school but I just cant stop thinking that people are over analysing everything, looking for work and angles to make life difficult. All of the best teachers are motivators and relationship builders, all of the best leaders are the same. Its that simple.
If you want to take things seriously as a teacher/leader then work on relationships with your peers, parents and kids, when you have those ducks in line the learning has a place to grow. It is the water and fertiliser. If you dont have relationships and motivation you just have a plant and your fingers crossed.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Newspapers from truth to crap in ten years!

For years when I was smaller, littler, and a much younger Podgorani I carried the news of the world to the doorstep and hospital bed of many. As a herald boy I had the delivery of truthful information in my reliable hands for many years. The herald was gold, the truth, the bible, what was written was indisputable. Back in those clean white days the only paper that dared to flirt with scandal was ironically "the truth" it was the tabloid of the day, with its page three girl and its scandalous headlines.
Oh how times have changed, check out this crap from the herald this morning. Residential school Westbridge had 24% of its students not achieve average progress in reading (did 76% therefore achieve average progress). The school is focussing too much on behavior and not enough on achievement and it needs to close. This is just absolute crap. Pick the worst behaved 25 boys from Taupo to Cape Reinga, place them in one secure (prison) environment and then judge the school on achievement! How about judging them on who can sit at the dinner table and have a conversation without a fight starting, or verbal abuse being thrown about. Give these teachers medals, give the principal a medal and shut up NZ Herald you are a pack of tossers. They lazily read an article leaked to them by some politician looking for political gain, and sensationalized it for a headline doing irreparable damage to an honourable Principal and dedicated staff. They could have found out the real truth, taken a day to look at life in a school behind bars and seen first hand how much, skill, passion and aroha is delivered by dedicated teachers who teach in the most thankless job in NZ, now there's a story.

A colleague wrote in a blogpost that the national standards are a joke and that why don't we just start fudging test results and send in fake scores. There were other sarcastic remarks and it was written totally tongue in cheek. The wonderful paper the Dominion Post found out about the post and then made a song and dance about about faking scores. Maybe they should have made the effort to contact the writer of the post and ask for a serious comment - no that requires work.

Look at Kelston Boys vs Auckland Grammar. It was a media circus, and apparently still is.

People when you get a call from the media, never ever ever trust them. They are lazy and unethical, they just want the easy story. They are the new scum of society, they are right up there in trust, with the petrol companies, and banks.
Graham Henry I thought you were going a bit nuts, but now I see with clarity the media are scum sucking mud rakers, and you actually haven't changed, apologies Ted. p.s don't consider steven donald he's crap.