Thursday, December 2, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
The Bro, my fellow Podgorani, visited over the last couple of weeks. He has been in Nigeria for the better part of two years. He is right out in the jungle and the local "city" has about 12,000 people so there is some infrastructure there. So immediately I asked about school and classrooms. He decided this time to bring some pictures of the school and gave me a couple of videos. I was gobsmacked by what I saw. I wanted to know what I could do to help. The Older Podgorani's suggestions were not to bring the western world to them, yes medicine, yes education (but not as we know it).
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Teachers hardly ever know what’s going on with their students.
How little the teacher impacts on the average student even though the teacher thinks he or she is doing a very good job.
In fact, we find out that a substantial amount of what teachers teach, or attempt to teach, is already known by a significant number of kids in the class. Up to 50%.
Hill: So when you talk to children or even adults ... People often say I had a fantastic teacher. Does that mean that teacher is fantastic? Is that the best kind of reference a teacher can get? Is that meaningful?
Nuttall: I think it’s meaningful within our cultural expectations of what good teachers are about; the teacher had a sense of humour, explained things clearly to us, he really cared about me, and a whole lot of things like that which motivates kids and makes them feel good. And those are the kinds of teachers which they will remember. The older generation will remember teachers who were pretty tough on them but made them work hard. But things like working hard and explaining things clearly and so on are all surface features. You could have in fact learned very little from these wonderful teachers.
I have put the whole interview here it may take 30 minutes to read but worth the effort.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Tony gave a great keynote on “zest practice” which was his play on “best practice”. Tony had many observations on motivation in the classroom and the power of proactive dialogue (always talking from a positive mindset). Always praise effort.
He had a few messages that resonated with me.
1. If you have a child at school ask yourself this. How good is the feeling you have when you know your son/daughter has a passionate teacher who does a great job. Now turn that on yourself as a principal and teacher - Do your parents sit at home and feel great about you as a teacher/principal.
2. Luck isn't always a factor, it happens to those who make it happen. We get lots of visitors and I will often say, "we are lucky, our kids are great". Often the reply is "yeah you guys are so lucky". The reality though is kids are great everywhere and it comes down to hard work and a few laughs, luck isn't a factor.
3. Video your practice. It can be personal and private. While on sabbatical 2 years ago I went for a golf lesson. We walked outside with clubs ready to go. The guy gave me no tips, he just said play a few shots, he videoed from behind, the side, and did a close-up of the grip. We walked inside, he put it on the TV. My first reaction was "Oh My God" I need to do this and that and this. You are an expert teacher, listen to yourself, watch yourself, watch your movements, listen to the class. This is a no brainer, do it for a short time frame, 30 minutes or so therefore you don't bore yourself to death.
4. Zest practice. Every moment you model an inspired teacher you are modeling an inspired school. The sky is your limit.
5. What Tony did real well was give teachers thinking tools to use with kids, fast simple and full of common sense. All sorts of discussion tools, inquiry tools and more, You should have attended. Brilliant.
A list of books, videos and things to google from NZC and my notes;
Bounce, Matthew Syed - great book even I have read this, the penny will drop - easy to read and makes absolute sense.
Models of the worlds we live in - John Holt
Julia Atkin EPS educational positioning system
TED - Elizabeth Gilbert
TED - Daniel Pink autonomy mastery purpose.
Fierce Conversations - Susan Scott
How to talk to so kids can learn - Adelle Faber
Learning Talk - Hyerle
The ripple effect - Tony Ryan
follow him on twitter @aussietony
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
2 Leaders need to create a vision,write it down,and start implementing it. It is important not to put your vision in drawer and forget about it and hope for the best. Every decision must be aligned against the vision and beliefs that underpin it. The whole school community is watching when you make a decision so consistency, by referencing decisions against the vision, is important.
3 It's the people stupid. The secret of managing is to keep the people who hate you away from those who are undecided. Hire people who support your vision, who are prepared to learn and who like kids.
4 Keep the paddles in the water. When navigating dangerous rapids in raft the only way to succeed is for everyone in the boat to sit on the edge and paddle really hard even though everyone would rather sit in the centre where it is safer. In times of school crisis everybody must be involved.
5 Find time to think and worry during the day. You are never always going to have a good days so it is OK to stare at the wall, reflect on the vision, and think about how to make necessary changes. Value input from other but ask those who provide it to provide possible solutions as well.
6 Take responsibility for the good and bad. The solutions to problems are almost always right in front of you; the genius of the school lies within the school. Imposed solutions have their consequences. Don't give away your responsibility.
7 You have ultimate responsibility. Have very clear expectations derived from the school vision and beliefs and then make sure people have the knowledge, resources, and time to accomplish expectations. Autonomy is the goal but actions need to be within the bounds of the vision.
8 Have bias for yes. The only progress you ever make in life involves risk.Ideas that teachers and others may suggest may seem a little crazy but try to makes such requests into a yes. Use the vision as a self reference and encourage others to do so.
9 Consensus is over rated. Twenty percent of the people will be against anything. When you realize this you avoid compromising what really should be done because you stop watering things down.If you always reach consensus you are being led by the 20%
10 Large changes need to be done quickly. If you wait too long to make changes to a school culture you have already sanctioned mediocre behaviour because you are allowing it.That is when change is hard. Define with the staff the behaviours required by the vision and belief and hold people accountable to them.
Seems like good advice if principals want to be real leaders!
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
"He's young ... and he's got his whole life ahead of him. And we hope he will use it to do good things, and to be good with people. And maybe eventually to be a good father.
"We know that at some stage with the grieving process, there will be anger. But at this stage, we're not angry. It's just a tragic accident."
"He was just a kid coming home from work and the road was slippery.
Monday, May 24, 2010
I need to know what is going on at half back in NZ rugby. We are trying to win a world cup here, this isn’t tiddlywinks. It’s time for the harsh realities. When Will Genia is developing into a top test player you have to ask what happened to the development of our halfbacks. Our guys are just doing the same as they always did. All of you people who think steady is good are not facing the crisis that is impending if we vote for the incumbents. Its like continuing to pick Rokocoko again, we know that just isn’t acceptable.
Is the guy you are picking going to be a match winning halfback for us in the rugby world cup? When I say match winning I mean the game breaker, the guy who makes the difference, the guy with the edge, the guy who is hungry and adds actions to that hunger.
So lets have a look who is around.
A: Quentin James Cowan
B: Andrew Ellis
C: Piri Weepu
D: Khan Fotualii
E: Alby Matthewson
F: Brendan Leonard
1: does my halfback piss around at the ruck waiting endlessly to pass to a runner who is being marked. Cowan: can piss around a bit 5. Ellis: endless pissing around 4. Weepu: shocking at snails pace from rucks (fitness related though) 2. Fotualii: the most decisive, arrives quickly and sends it (easily the fittest halfback) 8. Matthewson: big failing just endless waiting for him (his worst fault) 4. Leonard: should know better 5.
2: does my half back defend like a forward, are they an aggressive or passive tackler. Cowan: great defender more behind the ruck though 8. Ellis: poorest defender (head and concussion issues) 4. Weepu: lazy defender, but smart, can step up but often doesnt 6. Futualii: wins here too, best defender by miles, aggressive tackler can use no arms occasionally but importantly can turn ball over with his hits, appears to love defending 9. Matthewson: gritty and determined but small and very obviously is knackered by the 60 minute mark when his size has taken its toll, often replaced late in games when he is buggered 6. Leonard: makes good tackles but often in the box/cover defence roll not in an attacking tackle 7.
3: is my halfback a player who always needs defending, are they a decisive runner who could be dangerous at any time. Cowan: yip you gotta defend him, he can and will snipe, not sensationally dangerous but must be watched 7. Ellis: dont bother defending him just run to carter and smash him 2. Weepu: only very close to the line is he worth defending, again he is smart/cunning but not a particularly dangerous halfback 6. Fotualii: can run and likes to have a go, has speed and can beat a man, not afraid to run, can improve but is as good as the rest 7. Matthewson: good sniper and can burst is easily put away though due to size, still this is his best asset 7. Leonard offers what Ellis offers steady predictable and at an average pace 3.
4: is my halfback always improving judge them from 06 -07 -08 and in 2009 are they going to be a better player, in 2010 will they be even better. Cowan: hasnt improved his aggression or arrogance cause he has them in spades, technically no improvement in pass or attack 6. Ellis: no improvement in any areas apart from minor experience cause he keeps getting picked 4. Weepu: has gone backwards is unfit and falling of the pace in attitude, aggression and interest 2. Fotualii: was lucky to be a crusader 3 years ago, his rise has been more growth, he is 28, he played 1st5 for Tasman last year, they won everything until he got hurt. Blackadder stuck by Fotualii when under pressure to take local Cantab Tyson Keats, great call Todd. He is the massive improver 10. Matthewson: big improver by being given a chance elsewhere, there is no question he will continue to improve, the question here does he have the attributes to match the improvement of Foutalii 9. Leonard: going backwards 2.
5: does my players hunger reflect in their actions on the field. Cowan always shows the hunger 9. Ellis hungry but the actions don’t talk 6. Weepu: his brain is always sharp and actions fluctuate, but not often enough 6. Foutalii hungrier than an alligator with actions that reflect that, equal to Cowan 9. Matthewson: hungry too up there with the other two 9. Leonard hungry but the actions don’t match the heart 6.
6: speed of pass. Cowan 7. Ellis 6. Weepu 6. Fotualii 7 Matthewson 7. Leonard 6.
Here are my totals out of 60
Cowan 42 Ellis 26 Weepu 28 Fotualii 50 Matthewson 42 Leonard 29
Summary: we might have to bite the bullet and let the halfbacks get experience (Fotualii and maybe Matthewson) and use Cowan when we need to. Otherwise more of the same will result in more of the same.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
2. If you believe this, how in principle do you respond? How, in principle, do you work towards this belief?
3. Give three examples of different practices which are congruent with this principle and its underlying belief.
4. Identify barriers (or potential barriers) to this belief being lived out in practice.
5. Identify a practice which is not congruent with your belief.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
What are people thinking making an election slogan their professional development emphasis??
Schools need to look at their values and make sure their priorities aren't compromised by competition and perceived success.
People need to get their priorities straight and a good start would be real Professional Development, not some made up rubbish from the peddlers who have sold their soul to the Ministers wallet.
Tony Ryan: 'Zest practice' in the key competencies
The key competencies are not merely a slight reworking of curriculum documentation. They are a framework and an inquiry-based exploration for a life fully lived. This keynote will clarify the innovative nature of 'Zest Practice' for the key competencies in everyday classrooms.
Tony will also deliver the conference closing: "Now What?"
Julia Atkin: Picking up the gauntlet - doing justice to the spirit of the NZC
The NZ Curriculum has been warmly welcomed by NZ educators, but the apparent freedom if offers comes with significant responsibilities. What are these responsibilities and what are the key elements of the development and review process that will ensure your school does justice to the spirit of the NZ Curriculum?
Graham Watts: The class of 2023
In 2023 the children starting school this year will leave school. What is the future of teaching? How are we going about preparing our youngsters for unknown jobs and a future that is ever-changing? We need to develop the skilful thinkers with transferable learning skills.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Ando truly nailed the 1 in 5 nonsense being brandished about by the minister, but what is the reality of a bell curve, what does it actually mean.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
10% of the 21st century is over, stop talking about 21st century learners and become a 21st century teacher before you get passed by. There are a few items on the list which are arguable but you cant deny its got to the stage that we need to shift NOW. Time for action not talk. Thanks manaiakalani for some help with the list.
create online materials using digital audio
find and evaluate authentic web based content
create and edit digital audio for the classroom
exploit digital images for the creation of web based learning materials / classroom use
create / collaborate on online media sharing channel (on YouTube / Teacher Tube etc)
create screen capture videos for students training
understand issues related to copyright and fair use of online materials
use browser plugins to enhance student learning
aid students in the use of a range of digital tools to help them goal set, plan and organise their learning
exploit webcams for teaching and learning / for student projects e
exploit social media for your own professional development
use a range of digital tools for time management planning and administrative purposes
use asynchronous collaborative tools for text constructions and editing
identify online resources that may pose a threat to our students e-security
exploit digital narrative for learning purposes
support students in the development of an e-portfolio
exploit blogging to achieve pedagogical aims
create digital narrative
utilize social bookmarking to share resources with and between learners
exploit 3D and 2D interactive computer games for learning purposes
exploit web based content for classroom learning
create a blog or website
check an email account regularly and manage it efficiently
use a computer / laptop and trouble shoot basic functions : on/off, connect to printer / internet
participate in online environments eg blogs or forums or Nings or Trademe or Facebook etc
independently operate, still and video cameras
administer a student blog : upload content, manage commenting, manage student use edit online pages e.g blog or Google sites use Google Apps - personally and with students a graphics programme for your level of students (e.g Kidpix, Hyperstudio, Pixelmator, Photoshop)
create a basic presentation eg Keynote or Google or Prezi or Powerpoint saving files in a variety of file formats (e.g .mov,.dv, .jpg, .aiff, .doc etc)
operate effectively you school student management system
create / interact with a wiki for collaborative learning with students
create and edit digital images / digital video
exploit web based content for autonomous student learning