Favouritism

Favouritism is something that every teacher actively strains to combat.  We’re not supposed to have favourite students or classes … but we totally do. I think my favourite class of all time was a group of Year 5 & 6 students that I taught at Skye Primary School around 2002-ish.  I had most of these…

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Holding or Taking?

Words can be confusing.  Sometimes they bring a beautiful expression to our beliefs, but sometimes they downright impede sensible action in critical areas. When we get our words wrong, particularly when explaining our beliefs, we often choose ensuing actions that cause harm and damage. Take responsibility for example.  Which of the following statements, which both…

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You’re a loser

For some of us, September signifies the footy finals of various codes.  And I get it … for many it’s a case of “Who cares?!”.  Stick with me. These days, we often get an insight into the behind-the-scenes action at many clubs and, after their loss and elimination from the AFL finals, Essendon gave us…

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Play nice, ok

Wasn’t it interesting to see our schools hit the front page of the newspapers again this week … as each sought to pit their state’s NAPLAN results against another’s? It was fascinating to see that Victoria, despite the longest lockdown interruptions, recording such positive test results. It got me thinking: Are Victoria’s teachers doing something…

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Luck, uncertainty, teaching and NAPLAN

Teaching is pretty much an act of building a plan for success in the most uncertain of environments – roughly twenty-five young people with unfinished brains – and hoping for the best. I know this because I’ve run lessons where I’ve been good.  Really good.  I’m talking educational Michael Jordan good here.  My assessment, reflection, curriculum, learning activities…

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A Collective Noun

In my research on School Culture, I’ve seen an extraordinary number of attempts to define School Culture. Most fail because nailing the definition of something so complex and nebulous is akin to nailing jelly to a fence. This cultural thing just keeps moving and oozing on us. Because cultures are so hard to make singular…

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Recovery and Twisties

If your school is in the minority of those who have not been recently impacted by Covid lockdowns … good for you. It’s a slice of fortune you deserve and long may it last. But if you’re currently teaching or leading in a school trapped in a lockdown, I wanted to spend this message encouraging…

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The thing about advice

As a Principal, I often found myself frustrated that my Teachers wouldn’t take my advice.  After all, in my humble opinion anyway, it was pretty special wisdom that I was handing them. And then I realised. Teachers find it challenging to take advice about changing their practice because our practice is so much more than…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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Eliminating Excuses

I watched Linda Cliatt-Wayman’s famed TED Talk How To Fix A Broken School, for the first time several years ago now.  But something she said during it stuck with me. “Eliminating excuses at every turn became my primary responsibility.” Primary responsibility. Cliatt-Wayman’s philosophy is simple.  Students who start behind the 8-ball needn’t spend their years…

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The Big Bad World

One justification I often hear for punitive or zero tolerance responses to behavioural challenges in schools is that it prepares students for the realities of “the big bad world”. I can understand the sentiment.  There certainly are punishments for adults who break rules and laws.  So, the notion seems sound that, if kids get away…

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Teacher Fitness

The hardest workout has gotta be the first one. I’m not a particularly fit guy, but I’m currently in a pretty healthy habit around daily exercise.  I attend a local backyard gym run by young, local footballers.  I’m the oldest and fattest person there – but they’re really helpful and kind. Through their support, understanding…

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Choosing Forks

I once read a great proverb that went along the lines of “When you get to a fork in the road, choose the fork”. I reckon it applies to the programs and approaches that support the improvement of student conduct in schools.  You can have both. Specifically, this applies to questions I’m frequently asked about…

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The dark shadow we know as NAPLAN

Ever been to a pantomime where the crowd shouts “He’s behind you?!” to the innocent starlet as the bad guy’s dark shadow creeps into the audience’s view? Well, this is roughly how Victorian teachers feel this week as the dark shadow of NAPLAN engulfs their existence. When you’re constantly looking over your shoulder at shadows…

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Walk or Nap

Some days feel like Christmas Day. And not in a jolly way. Christmas Day can be a bit much for me to be honest. A gargantuan carb-laden lunch leaves me at a critically exhausted tipping point where there are really only two choices when it comes to energy replenishment: Go for a walk. Take a…

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Exceptional

We’re stuck with a fair bit of complexity in schools.  Coping with it requires a sophisticated approach to leadership and to teaching. That means that we’ll have principles that drive the way we make decisions and strategies that reflect those principles.  But a nimble and respectful school, chock full of variables and complexities, also recognises…

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Wanna bet?

I’ve been reading a fascinating book by former poker champion Annie Duke called “Thinking In Bets” where Duke challenges us about the things we think we’re certain about. Duke questions just how certain we’d be about the things we say or believe should somebody confidently look us dead in the eye and ask “Wanna bet?”  …

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They already know about consent

So, we find ourselves at a big, fat, media-fuelled fork in the road when it comes to this issue of teaching our students consent as a means for addressing the societal challenges around sexual abuse and misogyny. On one side of the fork, we have our tried and trusty method of plugging some behaviour change…

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Umm … just “No!”

If you jumped into an Uber and found a child driving, would you stay in that vehicle? If you lay on an operating table and found a child hovering over you, readying to perform your important abdominal surgery – would you just lay back and let the anesthetic kick in? Of course, you wouldn’t. The…

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In defence of Principals who make mistakes

Jane Boyle, the Principal of Brauer College, made a mistake when she asked her boys to stand and apologise to the girls of the school, on behalf of their gender, for the misogyny they experience growing up. But the response to it across our country has been embarrassing and far more damaging than Boyle’s error.…

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Why I’m giving my book away to every teacher

It feels weird and counterintuitive to just give stuff away when you’re trying to run a business. At Real Schools, we chose to do just that rather fiercely in 2020. Around the time that various states, especially Victoria, went into extensive lockdowns and remote learning periods, we had a team conversation about what we needed…

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I recently taught 6B and lived to tell the tale

Every school has a 6B. Yours might not be called 6B. They could be called 2A or 9J but they invoke the same type of reaction from those who come into frequent contact with them – a slight gasp and a visible shudder. I’m lucky. Having been around the block a few times, I’ve encountered my…

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Home Truths: Nah, I don’t think so Mr.Tudge

This week, I was interviewed in several media outlets regarding comments made by our Federal Education Minister, Alan Tudge. Essentially, I was responding to the usual ‘doom and gloom’ rhetoric about how we need to focus on our glaring teacher quality problem, have them learning how to teach reading/spelling/grammar at university (as though we don’t)…

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Sack your Playground Designer

  Walking through a primary school playground with a fantastic Assistant Principal last week proved to be more instructional than I could have imagined. I’d been asked to observe the way the kids moved and interacted with a view to diagnosing just why so many student behaviour problems happen in the yard. Yep – it’s…

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I want that Eskimo Pie

  I grew up in a working class family of four kids without a lot of excess. Sometimes that meant sharing and sometimes that meant fighting for competitive advantage. On the rare occasion of there being a leftover Eskimo Pie dessert, my sister Donna and I would immediately default into argument about who the spoils…

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Public humiliation

  Welcome to the first of a new weekly approach I’m taking to provide you with some thought, some provocation and some support when it comes to leading School Culture. I have to admit, when “Home Truths” was suggested to me as a title for these messages, a grin crept across my face. I think I’ve come…

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Your School Is A Pinball Machine

I’ve been thinking a fair bit over the break about how we can all contribute to the recovery of our school system in 2021. In the end, my key reflections are a small number of things that we need to stop doing and then some stuff to start doing. Stop: Obsessing over perfection and comparing…

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When somebody else believes for you.

This Wednesday morning just gone I stepped into my typical role as the oldest and least fit person in the absurdly early 5.15am class at Gym One22. They’ve commenced a specific fitness challenge where you attempt to complete 1km in under four minutes on four different exercise machines. The first week, I succeeded on only…

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We Write The Grant Application For You

The Victorian Government has released a wonderful grant opportunity for schools.  We reckon this is a fantastic initiative that responds to a current and genuine need. And who knows … perhaps there are similar opportunities emerging in other states too. Quite a few schools are already working with us around an application that would incorporate high…

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Choosing to laugh at Term 4

This week, I’ve been to the dentist … too often. I’ve discovered that there’s a word for the phobia associated with dentists and it’s odontophobia.  I identify as somebody with mild odontophobia. It stemmed from an accident when I was eleven years old.  Running around the backyard with a golf club in hand, I slipped on…

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Well, why didn’t you just tell us that in the first place?

Alannah was always so supportive – a School Council Member, an enthusiastic volunteer and an advocate in the community. And yet, here she was banging my desk and almost frothing at the mouth whilst  shouting at me about the “treatment” her son had received after involving himself in a playground stoush. I remember it well…

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Knowing where the line is.

Tonight, the AFL Finals Series begins – but before we descend into the grip on ‘finals fever’ I’d like to take a quick look at the last match of the home and away season between Port Adelaide and Collingwood for an important lesson about schooling. As a fervent Richmond supporter, I’m genetically predisposed to disliking…

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Gratitude, creativity, courage and kindness.

I’ve created a rather cruel personal quandary for myself this year. I want to be simultaneously kind to myself, brave with my choices, creative and grateful. Sometimes, those ambitions contradict.  This is one of those sometimes, but I’m doing it anyway. The above is a poem I’ve written for parents about our teachers’ collective experience…

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It really needn’t take this long.

Here’s what I know about most of the student conflicts that I’ve injected myself into: They took way too long.  Students are great at telling stories (their own painted versions, of course) and anchoring conversations in the past.  I’ve even listened to sordid tales of generational conflict … because there was a spat at recess…

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The single most important thing I did as a School Leader.

School Leaders are busy.  We do a lot of … well … stuff. But this I know to be true.  Of all the stuff that I did, one single act was more important than the mountain of others.  It was making the decision that mine would become a restorative school. And the proof for the return on that decision…

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Planning for a better 2021? We can get this done.

Hasn’t 2020 proven to be a rather big year? But it will end and the next one will commence.  That’s just how things go.  And, as daunting as the thought of 2021 might be, you can do this.  Yes, you can. I came across this 2016 clip from the UK that served as a reminder that…

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Busting the great RP myths.

The announcement by NSW DoE of their new Student Behaviour Strategy has caused some ripples of anxiety amongst the teaching fraternity. That’s fair enough too. With 2209 NSW Government schools to be impacted by the changes that are now on the cards, specifically when it comes to the clear intention to reduce student suspensions, that adds up…

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Taking on “cancelled” culture

Yep, aren’t we sick to death of seeing the word “Cancelled” next to everything we wanted to do this year? I was going to see my favourite band from my nightclub days of the early 1990s “Boom Crash Opera”.  They rocked!  But alas …. Coronavirus. I’ve also watched event after event for Principals, APs and…

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Teacher confidence as a function of my knowledge.

When I reflect on my years as a School Principal, I try to do it without any bent for judgement or shame. The truth is, I was pretty much always doing the best I could with what I had at the time.  There are many things I’ve discovered in the eight years since I founded…

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Do you know what to do?

So, here’s the quandary around School Culture: Everyone who leads in a school thinks it’s important. Very few School Leaders have any authentic idea of what School Culture is, beyond a feel or a vibe? The absence of an agreed definition makes working on School Culture impossible. Many School Leaders don’t even know what their…

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When is enough …. enough?

This is Sarah.  She makes my coffee every morning and is one of those cool baristas that don’t ask for your order when you walk in … she just knows. Through our masks, we discuss all manner of things while she whips up my strong skinny flat white and Anthea’s latte.  Lately, and for obvious…

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This one changes the game.

If I were to ask you why teachers continue to stand in authoritarian positions at the front of classrooms using the power of their title to force students into learning, would you have a good answer Or could it be that the answer would be something along the lines of “Well, that’s just what teachers…

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Carrying a fragment of the system with them.

I’m going to be a little deep with you today.  I hope that’s ok.  After all, I’m a Victorian and the gloomy pallor of coronavirus descending on us has driven quite a few of us toward some deep contemplation recently. For me, I’ve also been driven toward some reading with more home time and less…

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Introducing “Restoring Teaching”

I’d like to introduce you to the newest addition to the Real Schools family.  It’s called “Restoring Teaching” and I’m doing the whole proud parent thing about it.  We’ll do the whole naming day thing in an upcoming online book launch and details will be coming your way about that too. How to describe this little…

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The truth about RP.

Here’s the truth about Restorative Practices and schools – it hasn’t always been rolled out so well.  Sometimes that’s been because you’ve been trained by people who just don’t get schools – the time constraints, the purpose, the pressure from parents who just don’t get it or the rusted-on staff member who says “but there…

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FREE e-book – “The Culturally Capable School Leader”

So, I recently published a new e-book titled “The Culturally Capable School Leader – How to Define and Strategise for a School Culture that Underpins Success”. I’m happy for you to have it for FREE, so just reply to this email and we’ll flick it your way pronto. The e-book does a few simple things as…

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Master yourself before you try to master this semester.

Zoë Routh is all of clever, relevant and a friend. When “this whole Covid-19 thingy” arrived, I was having a moment of anxiety and confided this in Zoë.  I didn’t exactly enjoy admitting the place I was in.  My preference is to be in control, to strategise, to fix things and to act.  Suddenly, I found…

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The best you can do with the choices you have.

So, I had a tooth ripped out on Monday morning, although the dentist insists she doesn’t “rip out” anything but rather “extracts”. I’m running with “ripped out” for dramatic effect which fits in with the odd story about how it happened that I had a dodgy tooth in the first place – as a twelve-year-old…

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The great language imperative

The second half of 2020 presents as an undeniable opportunity to focus on the kind of culture you want for your school and to strategise for it’s creation.  That’s something we should talk about. And when I get into conversations with Teachers and School Leaders about that exciting challenge, I’m often asked what matters when…

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These holidays are about you.

Holidays are finally here, and whilst we can’t leave the country and for some of us our state or territory, we can use this time to our advantage. It’s been one hell of a year, teacher. You have made it through what is undoubtedly the most unpredictable start to any year ever. You did your…

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Connected, galvanised and forgetful.

I was chatting with a Principal last week who asked me when Real Schools will be starting to sell Partnerships again. I was a little taken aback.  Did we somehow give the impression we’d stopped? It reminded me that there are parts of our jobs that we do naturally, parts that we’re not so great at…

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Intentionality about connection

I stalked the lounge room on Thursday evening like a frustrated animal in a cage, pausing only to roar (either hopefully or angrily) at the players in the deserted MCG who was never going to hear me. This was my primal response to being able to watch my team, Richmond, return to football.  The match…

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Now that they’ve had a peek.

I was chatting with Gen Casonato, the wonderful Principal of Parktone Primary School, last week.  As I’d done in almost every conversation with countless Teachers and School Leaders last week I asked how everybody was at the school.  Were things starting to feel ‘normal’ again? I laughed when Gen told me that ‘normal’ arrived with…

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I wish you a 2019 of falling … and getting up.

I second guess myself quite a bit.  I find myself fretting over what I’m thinking about doing and whether it will work.  And what it doesn’t?  What will happen then? Since commencing Real Schools, I’ve come to learn that this thinking was actually engrained within me across my time as a Teacher and Principal.  Doesn’t…

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Startle me.

I’m captivated by this picture from 1963 of Parisian children watching a puppet show.  I think it’s mainly because the level of interest in their eyes is so intense.  They just can’t pull themselves away from whatever is happening on stage.  The kids clearly weren’t ready for that little development in the plot! We talk…

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Musings about Gender in Education

I went to my own kids’ annual school presentation ceremony last night.  I love both of them dearly and I also value the wonderful contribution that their school makes to their growth.  But here’s the truth – it isn’t exactly a riveting evening. And so, I kept myself occupied scoring the gender split when it…

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What’s possible if you accept a challenge to change?

I had the privilege of being in the audience for some staff presentations at Albanvale PS last week.  These four PLCs have made commitments to challenge their practice through the work of our Real Schools Partnership in a variety of different ways in the first year of our collaboration. The Prep PLC looked at the…

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Little by little

One of Aesop’s fabled … umm … fables was The Crow and The Pitcher. Summarised, a crow dying from thirst finds a pitcher with just a little water in it.  But sadly, the crow can’t get his head far enough into the pitcher to get to the water. If managing, training or coaching the crow, the likely response of…

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Buying stuff versus learning how to use the old stuff properly.

I bought a new iPhone X not so long ago.  The marketing worked. With every Apple billboard I drove past I became more convinced that my photos weren’t quite good enough. Those majestic landscapes and funky city streetscapes sure are compelling. I also gradually convinced myself it was a “work expense” and that having the latest gadgets…

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You can’t get arrested for jaywalking in Boston

The city of Boston has no law for jaywalking. You can just cross the road wherever you like and the expectation is that you’ll just have a good look around first and try not to cause a bingle (I’m quite sure use of the word ‘bingle’ in the US is somewhat limited though). You’d be…

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Don’t make me wait.

I’m one of those people who need to be seriously unwell before I’ll visit a doctor.  It’s not exactly best policy for man hurtling towards his 50s … but there it is. My rationale for enduring the symptoms of all matter of afflictions is pretty flimsy.  I just hate the waiting room. I know full…

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How can Teachers address teen depression and suicide?

Almost every educator that I speak to agrees that we have a national problem with teen depression and suicide.  They’d also fervently like to contribute to solving that problem. I know also that teen suicide is a complex and distressing social phenomena with multiple contributing factors and it’s easy to get lost in case study…

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Making it easy

Konstantin Stansilavski is not a name you hear too often when it comes to learning, development, talent or professional training – but it should be! Stanislavski was an acclaimed character actor from Russia who went on to build a career as one of the world’s eminent theatre directors before his death in 1938.  But Stanislavski is remembered…

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They Aren’t All The Same

I’m not a fan of reality TV – although I get the allure.  Seeing good-looking yet otherwise ordinary folk in desperate competition for the affections of a stranger, to be trapped in starvation or to be reduced to tears by a personal trainer has just enough interest in it to have us abandon our principles.…

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Trial and Error on Trial

There’s some nonsense in the learning and development space about learning styles with as many as seven of them up for grabs. Apparently it’s useful to determine whether you’re  visual (spatial) , aural (auditory-musical), verbal (linguistic), physical (kinesthetic), logical (mathematical), social (interpersonal) or solitary (intrapersonal) learner.  Let me tell you right now, it’s not useful! Pigeon holing yourself as a…

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Making The Most of Your Time

I have two competing views about educational research:  that we spend far too much time and money researching aspects of the educative pursuit that have little or no impact or meaning.  No more studies about homework please – the truth is already known.  that when we find relevant and confronting truths within our research, that…

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The plane just won’t crash

Last week, I had the chance to share the stage with the incredible Dan Gregory (of “The Gruen Transfer” fame) at the Future Of Leadership Conferences in Brisbane and Sydney. Dan is one of those almost intimidatingly clever people who says it like it is (or even more bluntly than it really is!) and he told two…

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Education as a trajectory changer.

Never … like, ever … fall for the trap of thinking that education is something that you deliver.  Learning isn’t a pizza, an app, on online purchase, a new washing machine or a used car. Learning isn’t a product at all.  Done right, it’s a transformational process. Through this metamorphic experience, we don’t merely acquire tools and…

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Authoritarian versus Authoritative

Every part of my moral code tells me I shouldn’t laugh at the rude and so politically incorrect plotlines in the cartoon South Park.  But I do!  My favourite character is the incorrigible Eric Cartman.  Click below for a little sample! Eric is enamoured with authority.  The problem of course, is that his lust for…

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The critical importance of affect

Mindful as I am of the miniscule amount of content that any human is willing or capable of absorbing, then storing in long-term memory and then committing to a practice change from any PL day, I strive to maximise my limited opportunity. The temptation is to cover more content, to design better PowerPoint slides and to…

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Distance covered and distance to go.

I’m a keen observer of people and their foibles.  Even the word “foible” is kind of hard not to spend a little time observing.  But what I notice even more than individual foibles is when these habits and rituals become the traits of whole staffs, and even of industries. One such foible that educators have…

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Prying for something really juicy.

I read a fabulous and somewhat confronting quote this week by Zora Neale Hurston who said that “Research is formalised curiosity.  It is poking and prying with a purpose.” This got me to thinking a little about some of the verbs we use in the learning and development space and whether they have allowed us…

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It’s time to measure what matters.

In his best-seller “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” Stephen Covey wrote a story to illustrate his 7th habit – sharpening the saw.   He spoke to two woodcutters.  One would rise early and get to work sawing down trees in the forest.  He could rack up a large number of trees sawn down, but his dull…

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The serious role of laughter in learning.

“Of all the things which nourish the imagination, humour is one of the most needful, and it is dangerous to limit or destroy it.” – John Millington Synge. Public conversation around what we need more or less of in schools is so predictable.  Whether we’re on the sides of coding, decoding and teaching emotional intelligence…

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Personalised learning trajectories over edu-tainment.

I was thinking recently about some of the traditional ways in which we’ve learned and the extent to which technology has transformed the ways in which we do it.  The inclination, of course, is to marvel at the toys, devices and gadgets that we’ve developed in the name of work efficiency and conclude that the…

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Delaying gratification.

Last week, I was having a chat with a Wellbeing Coordinator at a large secondary school that we Partner with. Her school is implementing Restorative Practices as a foundation of their whole school culture and it’s been a challenging and rewarding ride for them … and that’s just so far! We’re often impatient when it…

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The danger in what you already know.

Renowned historian Daniel J. Boorstin was onto something when he mused that “The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge”. Boorstin’s words are a not-so-subtle reminder to continually question what we know … or that which we think we know.  In fact, now presents as a worthy time…

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Hacking Education

It’s true that Australian Teachers are pressed for time. The impact of workload on those who sustain the system again hit the media last week in examining why so many Teachers are leaving the profession in the first 3-5 years of what should be a rewarding career. While we bemoan a lack of understanding and…

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You’d better get cracking.

A couple of weeks ago we launched our “Restorative Classrooms, Strong Classrooms” workshop to be held in Melbourne.  Then we got excited and a week later launched it at the other end of the country in Darwin too.  The response has been just a bit awesome. Our analysis of this powerful statistical display (ok –…

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The madness of the crowd

I’ve been speaking to people lately about the way we, as leaders of learning, fail to take full effect of the ominpotent control we have over the learning context.  In other, more simple words, we clump people together and hope that we can spray our wisdom across them with such brilliance that they are forever…

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Imitation is NOT the highest form of flattery

I love to play cricket.  I’m not particularly good, mind you, but I love it anyway.  Being a park amateur at best means that my game has always needed work and the pull shot is something I always struggled with.  So a coach told me to watch Ricky Ponting play the pull shot. Ricky Ponting…

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It’s not so hard to change.

I went to the footy at the MCG on Saturday.  And while I enjoyed my Tigers getting a win over their arch rival, the Blues, I found myself enchanted by the tactics of the opposition’s diminutive coach, Brendon Bolton. Bolton is know for being a “teaching coach” with a knack for great communication and being…

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A purpose for your hard work.

This is one of my favourite photos ever, taken the day in 2016 that my family and I visited Baan Tharn Namchai at Khao Lak in Thailand.  It was a day we won’t forget in a hurry. A home for more than 100 orphaned Thai children, we spent the day playing with kids who should…

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Take me to your leaders.

A quick message to our School Leaders as we emerge from the proven toughest part of the school year.  Our challenge is to emerge with the right habits intact and with the less productive ones challenged.  Are you ready to do what it takes to ensure strong staff morale through the remainder of 2017?  Or…

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Seizing the moments to build curious dispositions.

The great Professor Sugata Mitra was again in Australia recently posing some big and provocative questions at the conferences where he was a featured speaker.  Mitra is famous for his “Hole In The Wall” experiment in the slums of India where he proved that children can learn … even in a foreign language … even…

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