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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…