Behaviour Agreements

I’ve contended for some time that most of the Individual Behaviour Plans (IBPs) I see in our schools are a waste of time, paper and the server space they’re saved on. It’s not because you’re bad people.  It’s just because we let our impatience and our frustration write these plans on our behalf. As a…

Netflix and kindness

I did some researching (ok, Googling!) for some information this week on how the people in schools can best cope, or even thrive, through the current lockdowns that so many Australian Teachers and School Leaders are enduring. I think I was looking for something profound and disruptive. But, when I came across this Routledge study…

Values, marketing and lies

Would you like to work for an organisation that espouses ‘Communication, Respect, Integrity and Excellence’ as its core values? Sounds pretty good right?  Well, be careful what you wish for.  These were the values of Enron in their Annual Report of 2000, the very company notorious for the worst fraud and corruption scandal in modern history. The…

Student Voice

Jeepers, there’s a lot of schools out there trying to do something about Student Voice as a key objective in their strategic plans. Which kind of tells me that there might be something wrong with the way we collect data on this topic – but that’s probably a topic for another Home Truth. Rather than…

Interested believers

Today, I’m heading out for lunch with my great mate Martin “Bucko” Buchanan.  We’re celebrating that he’s turning 50 … and that I’m not … yet. Bucko is one of those presences in my life that has slowly become an unquestioned constant.  I guess that can happen when you’ve been friends for 37 years. Over…

Caging Farts

Cages have two key components – bars and the gaps between the bars. And when we try to improve student behaviour in schools with systems of control – such as programs, rules, matrices and policies – we build an impressive cage of sturdy bars. The problem we have is that student behaviour cares not for…

Poor sleep destroying student behaviour ambitions

 The phone on my Principal’s desk rang and I didn’t even get the opportunity to say “Hello”. “Get down here now!” shrieked my panicked Year 5 teacher, an educator usually calm and highly competent. In the background I could hear the enraged screaming of a 10-year-old boy’s voice. I knew that voice. On my hasty arrival at…

Remembered Fondly

I remember my Prep teacher, Mrs Wardle. I know that not everyone can remember their Prep teacher, but I can. I can’t remember anything about what she taught me, but I remember feeling cared for, safe and comfortable in her presence. She was such a kind woman. I also remember my Year 11 Maths teacher,…

Before its too late

Due to some genuinely misspent time viewing late night crime dramas on TV, I have come to a conclusion that post-mortems are bad. Let’s be honest, it’s an already dead person – often brutally murdered – being unceremoniously picked over by a scientist. There seems to be some assumption that finding the one stab wound that finally…

Vaccinating Teachers is only fair … and firm

If you hark back to your own days at school and to your favourite teachers, it’s likely that those inspiring and influential educators you reimagined had two common qualities about them – they were firm, but fair. The very best teachers make an art of this simple understanding. From a firm point of view, that teacher…