Cliques and Gangs

They say that misery needs company.  And while I’m not suggesting that any teachers or students come to schools with miserable intentions, watching those who are struggling congregate in groups is something we’ve all witnessed. When staff are struggling and congregating to blame students, parents or leaders for their woes, we often refer to them…

Caging Ants

The tools and resources that work best are fit for purpose. Cages, for instance, are useful for caging things that can’t slip between the bars of the actual structure.  That’s why they work well for tigers, but not for ants. In the end, you can build your cage with gold bars, you can plaster your…

Three Minutes

It’s one of the least enjoyed parts of being a Teacher or School Leader … the call to let a parent know that their child has screwed up. I dreaded it.  At first, it was because I knew that the response from the parent was likely to be negative and defensive.  And, in my early…

Spiraling

There’s an ancient adage around teaching that “the kids who least deserve your love and kindness are those that need it the most”. Mostly, it’s a reminder to bring the best practice in our hearts to each and every one of our students. But it’s also because it works.  In the equally ancient ABC model…

The Virtuoso

What do we do about the workload challenges facing Australian educators? Firstly, let me say that Real Schools stands with the public and independent education unions who have recently instigated industrial action to demand better pay and working conditions for Teachers and School Leaders.  That action matters and policy change at the top is pivotal…

The Sweet Spot

Across Australia, kids are a bit different at the moment.  They’ve been changed by the pandemic and many teachers are reporting that they lack resilience, stamina and cooperative skill.  It was probably to be expected, if we’re honest. It’s like they’ve drifted out of the ‘sweet spot’ in schools where things just hum along, not…

Struggle Town

I’ve spoken to a lot of schools lately who are in Struggle Town.  So firstly, if your school has taken up digs in Struggle Town too – thank you for your struggle.  I really appreciate your resilience and will to continue on behalf of your students. Struggle Town’s population has rather ballooned lately.  You’re not…

Nourishment

I get it. I get that the wellbeing of our staffs at the moment is both a priority and a concern.  I also get the natural inclination for the leaders of these staffs to temper expectations where possible and respect the current capacity limits. But a word of respectful warning, if I may.  Don’t grind…

Conflicted

A significant number of teachers have reported to me lately that they’ve noticed a major spike in conflict between students, in terms of both frequently and severity.  This observation runs parallel to a deterioration in overall cohesion and conduct. It’s concerning. But it also leaves we educators at a critical fork in the road. If…

Before We Had Values

Did schools espouse and promote their values 30 years ago?  I don’t think many did. And so, does this mean they weren’t places where important character traits such as respect, honesty, responsibility and kindness were fostered?  Well, I actually think many of us thoroughly developed habits of living such as these at school. So, what…