Wednesday, February 25, 2009

IseeRed eyeCred iSEAred

Thats it, i'm officially spewing at all those tossers who blacked out their facebook and twitter profiles. The Black out protest, well done, it worked.
Is it right that people are most upset about having their ISP take down their sites if they were illegally downloading full length feature movies.
No, I realise that it's not that simple, and that there were some other crazy "includes" in this proposed change that something had to be done.
BUT NO-ONE CARES NOW about the massacre that will happen when a kid unloads a truck load of bullets into kids and teachers. We can buy guns anywhere, street-kids, gangsters, intermediate school kids, people in low rider cars, wannabee killer bees, they all have guns. There will be a massacre at a school in NZ.
Forget about the pathetic black out and see RED, thats the colour of blood. That is worth making a stand over.
Now is the time to write to Simon Power Justice Minister
Tell him that it is inevitable and that he can do something about it before it happens.

Simon Power has replied to me saying - forwarding my message to police minister Judith Collins so EMAIL HER

After actually writing to the MP then you can change your profile to red. If you actually want to protest then changing your colour is one thing but addressing the issue with the people concerned is way better.

I have taken so much flak from twitter people who "@"ed and "d" me and also "removed" me because I dared to mock the black square. I was taking the piss, but I've thought about it and I reckon our growing gun problem is way worse than a bad law trying to catch copyright infringers. Yes you guys complained because they should be making laws about way more serious things, "thats why I protested" I can see your lips drooling over the thought of pressing "remove". Well you won.... yay for justice... now lets think about someone else, some poor unfortunate school, out there now, unaware that some drongo with a grievance sits and waits.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Coaching - Coaches and "The Door"

I've heard the saying that every coach employed is : on their way out the door it's just a matter of time. This comment is usually made after someone is just selected for a new coaches job, its a joke, smirk, or predicted reality. I have struggled with this for some time as its probably right, but I don't want to admit that me, as the coach is bad enough to be thrown out. When asked recently about staff I made a throw away comment, that they are waiting to go out the door. To that comment I quickly had to retreat and clarify. What I meant was that as you enter a job you come through and everything is rosy, but you will sit somewhere on a scale 1,3 or possibly a 10. While working you slide up and down the scale based on mood, staff around you, leadership, the weather or whatever. The door beckons though. It sits in the distance open, waiting, waiting for you to wake up and smell the roses. The thing is that some may start with you and be heading for the door at a rate on knots and others can be with you ten years and the door is so far in the distance that it's barely visible. With many staff you actually want the door closed and miles away so they cant see what's on the other side.
The real truth lies in ensuring that you reach the door with good timing, if you get there too soon you may not reach the potential offered, and too late and the door may be shut and you miss the chance to grasp new opportunities.
Alex Ferguson and Wayne Bennett are perfect examples of brilliant success, coaching and leadership. They undoubtably have amazingly successful records as coaches but for me there real qualities came with knowing how to manage a superstar and knowing how to show them the door with brilliant timing. Perhaps the champions themselves knew the time was right, but Wayne Bennett had to let Wally Lewis, Alfie Langer, and Gordon Tallis go, some went on to other clubs but he had to make the hard calls. Ferguson let Beckham go and has let many many greats go, yet he continues to win.
Wayne Bennett also knew it was time to go himself, to freshen, to rejuvenate, and to seek new challenges, this for me was a touch of class, he knew his time was up.
What's the point of this blog?
Probably : Be aware
Timing is everything
Opportunities exist everywhere, on both sides of the door.
If the boss is a lunatic light up the door with strobe lights he might blindly walk towards it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Where are the good people.. and the blokes??

This old chestnut.
The pay sucks and there is too much risk of being accused of inappropriate behaviour with kids.
True and True. So that rules out all men.
The pay will also effect the ladies but the knowledge that teaching is a vocation, seems to sit better with the caring side of women. We are still attracting some great women to teaching but the blokes are thinning out. And it does matter.

Male Teachers at risk:
As a male teacher in a secondary school the prospect of being followed or stalked by girls, and or face accusations are possible and real. This happened to me when I was stalked by a special needs girl. You deal with it maturely and move on. BUT the risk is there.
As a male teacher in an intermediate school the hormonal imagination of impressionable girls (it only takes one) in your class/school can be daunting and difficult to deal with. This again is a very real issue. 
As a male teacher in a primary school you must ask what touching of children is appropriate. For me a hug is OK but it depends on the circumstances. Where is the line? You deal with it maturely and move on. BUT the risk is there.
As an early childhood male teacher how comfortable do you feel about toileting issues with little girls and boys. You deal with it maturely and move on. BUT the risk is there.

NOW add in bebo, facebook, my space, text messaging, twitter, blogger, doodle, schmoodle and poodle and you've got a bunch of other avenues where the line can be crossed.

The Pay
70k is it if you don't want to be a DP or Principal, seems like plenty of cash but not when you consider that its the top pay you will ever get. I haven't met many "rich as" teachers, rich on the inside maybe. For todays achievers then possibly that is aiming a little low.

How do we address the problems?
Teachers say the profession needs respect and needs to be held in higher esteem in the community like in Scandanavia and Canada. The same eggs walk around all day bitching about school, moaning about marking, tiredness and complaining about kids and staff, and talking about how bad this school and that school is, and this teacher and that teacher.
The thing is that we wont get any respect from the public when we don't respect each other. I also have strong opinions of some teachers and schools and I know I need to pull my head in at times. The thing is that 90%of the gossip doesn't go beyond the school gates, but in reality it needs to not go beyond the lips. Not to ignore but left to be dealt with by the person in charge.
If we want respect we need to respect each other, across multiple schools, across the country and learn to judge less. We all walk in the door every day to do our best, and most days thats good enough. So lets do that.

Teachers need to be paid to attend Training Colleges to allow them to train and live at the same time. How can a dad or mum attend college and pay a mortgage?
The 67 NZ teacher training providers needs to reduced to 7. The fees need to be free and there needs to be a "cap" per annum on the number of trainees, to ensure the 7 providers don't have $$$$ in their minds but quality.

The training colleges need to sack the ridiculous "academic" "research" "no practice" "theory" "eggs" that are lecturing our prospective teachers and actually teach teachers. Apologies to Brian Storey if he thought he was one of them, your not Bri, your a legend.

The pay needs addressing we need a bit more.

Lastly  we as teachers need to sharpen up our act, convey our compassion, build relationships, care, share, and do a great job, and our actions will be rewarded in raising the profile and esteem of teachers in NZ.
Its about doing.
(apologies to all shit hot teachers, I didn't mean to offend, to the lemons get out now-it will be a win for you and teaching-oh and kids too)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Boy Racers are not the issue

John Key has a think tank on how to jump start the economy and wants to find jobs. The boy racers are driving fast and risking their lives. The dudes who beat and killed Nia Glassie got 18 years and barked like a dog when sentenced.
So we will have tougher sentences, crush their cars and employ people to look after them. 
Schools get blamed for everything these days, obesity, dental hygiene, societies failures, fair play, sunburn, all blacks losing... you name it..
Here is a chance while the ecomony is failing, to spend money on our future. In south akld the police have given every two high schools a community constable (with pleasing results). Try truancy officers for schools, social workers for schools, sports coordinators for schools, even paid sports coaches for schools. Surely we would be looking at the ambulance at the top of the cliff.
I'm not invited to John Keys think tank, but more of the same will only produce more of the same. No more barking or screeching of tyres please.

What is for certain is that we will have a massacre or big time shooting at a school in NZ, its a matter of when rather than if. I ask Mr Key and Anne Tolley what they are doing about this issue NOW and not after it happens, by the way a quick look on trade me says 505 guns available for bidding right now! Perhaps its a bit more urgent than the boy racers, poor christchurch, the wheels are making too much noise, I thought you all supported the crusaders and went to bed after "Fair Go".