Saturday, October 31, 2009

GPC 2009

So its the GPC time of the year. Clearly the best professional development any principal can have. We have a group of 12 principals who bring along their "one good idea" and expand it so we can see what it looks like, smells like, how it works with your BOT, what it did to teaching and learning and any other thing. In this winning concept it is all about the ideas that flow around the table, across the kitchen, over the bar, and while out in the vans on our way to a mystery destination. This year was no exception, Pricey really had us captivated with his presso on all things happening at SRP. Check out the SRP kidzone.
I know that as a principal it can be a very lonely job, as you struggle to confide with people outside of your school, yet our group has been able to seek new ideas, ask for a fresh set of ears, and get feedback on lots of things. Local clusters can be geographically good but like minds and sometimes a bit of distance can be an advantage.
I urge principals to keep networking, whenever visiting a school in another city invite the principal for dinner, talk to people at conferences from outside your cluster. Keep in touch with colleagues, visit principals blogs, leave comments, email, ichat. Good people are just around the corner.

Any one who knows wayne knows he couldn't hit a barn if he was inside it. well he has proven us all wrong, AJ - Little Luke this is not a trick movie.

Friday, October 23, 2009

What Do We Do It's Catch 22?

So the standards were launched from a school that is really worth holding up as a special place in Nationals "ideal school" list. Congrats to that school.
So while in sydney I had a few chats with Russ, Blueyonder, dorothy and MacAsh. we all differ in our angles and takes on this whole standard thing, but we all agree that rigour is a word missing in the discussions. there are so many arguments, but what is undeniable is that there are some crap schools who are butchering learning, crap leaders too.
So when good people (i know you are presuming thats you) tell you that "what happened to us as professionals, trust us" - that cant wash, so we must be accountable. It's a catch 22.
On the other hand testing, gathering, assessing, reporting, all that guff will also be butchered by those same lemons so what the hell are we doing.

So if you are in charge of all NZ and you want rigour then what is your solution. We do need a solution, there are some problems out there lets be honest.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

moderated or shut down which one?

As you know I started a thread on the MOE website about the national standards.
Today I left this post:

I have been contacted (by fellow principals) and asked to send the standards back to the MOE unopened. It appears that the NZEI and NZPF who I have spoken too are not sure if they are arthur or martha. Its a dilemma but something that needs to be discussed, i'm interested if there is a groundswell on "return to sender" or whether it is another poor idea in this whole ugly vote winning saga.

I thought I was asking for opinion and asking whether it was just me, should we do something or is that an over-reaction. I wanted to know what people thought.
It was posted for about 15 minutes and then I received an email that said it had been moderated and it did not fit with the forum guidelines for educational leaders. Im pissed but not surprised.
If we speak up we get shot down, we cant have an opinion opposite to the govt. Ever heard of that in other countries? I could name a few.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

return to sender

Stop running around worried about the new curriculum, league tables, and jobs and employment. National testing will effect kids the most.
Schools are going to butcher the national standards, they will teach to tests, parade their good results, tell parents how good they are. Classrooms will suffer, kids will suffer.

When Ka Hikitia was delivered to schools many schools sent the packages back unopened. They moaned and it was a monumental cock up. Yes they sent back an awesome document because it had some maori potential badges in it. It was a protest about nothing. BUT it was a protest.

There is a simple solution for national standards, send them back, unopened, return to sender. Anne Tolley will be massively pissed. There will be an uproar from media outlets. John Key might have to say something smarmy. John campbell will have a sickofantic approach to this one. sainsbury might be a little surprised. The thing is that the Nat Govt are winning this sales pitch and we have no spokesman, or in NZEI's case no spokesperson or significant politically correct minority spokesperson.

Just to ruin my argument the media will look for a spokesperson, and those plonkers at the union and federation will get up there and encourage colleagues to mumble mumble.

Still it was a good idea, thanks Invercargill, let me know if all your schools are going to send them back, I will look at getting a big envelope ready.