Posts Tagged ‘New Years’

Education New Year’s Resolutions 2014

January 1, 2014


With resolutions abounding as the new year arrives, I think it’s apt for our education system to undertake some resolutions of its own:

  1. Work Harder to Manage Cyberbullying Issues – Schools seem more interested in covering themselves legally than actually fixing a problem. Because cyberbullying usually happens off premises, the argument has been that it is a parental issue rather than a school issue. This is an insensitive approach. Schools, administrators and teachers must see themselves as crucial stakeholders in dealing with this problem. The welfare of their students rely on a multi-faceted approach.
  2. Stop Changing the Curriculum – In a bid to be seen to be doing something effective to improve student results, politicians continually change the curriculum so that they can boast about how they overhauled an ineffective syllabus.  In the last ten years I have seen 4 changes of curriculum, each of them decidedly more complicated and inferior to the one being replaced. This makes us teachers dizzy, costs the tax payers a fortune and achieves nothing for the student. We must resolve to put a moratorium on any changes to the curriculum. I don’t want even a comma or full stop tampered with for at least a decade.
  3. Respect Teachers’ Time – Even before the school year starts I have to submit Yearly Planners for literacy and numeracy, term planners for literacy numeracy and science, integrated planners covering my overriding topic of inquiry and weekly planners for maths and literacy covering my lesson for the first week. Then I need to continue the weekly planners and term planners throughout the year. These planners are incredibly detailed and onerous. They simply take a disproportionate amount of time. To deliver fun, engaging lessons, I need to spend less time on the paperwork. It is becoming fashionable for teachers to copy/paste their planners from specially made internet subscriptions sites that contain lessons covering the curriculum. Whilst this saves time, the lessons on these sites are often excruciatingly boring for the students. The best way to get teachers to teach in a fresh manner is to keep them fresh by reducing the paperwork.
  4. Make Politicians Accountable by Not Accepting Their Spin – Lazy politicians like to brag about how much money they are pumping into the system or how they have changed the curriculum, when neither is a major determinant in student performance. Politicians should start to focus on the major areas requiring change such as improving teacher training quality, support for new teachers, reducing teacher stress and helping schools achieve better welfare outcomes for their students.  In fairness to the current Federal minister, he has spoken about some of these matters. Let’s hope he is is able to deliver.

Click on the link to read Eight Fundamentals that Every Student Deserves

Click on the link to read 21 Reasons to Become a Teacher

Click on the link to read  25 Amusing Signs You Might Be a 21st Century Teacher

Click on the link to read  20 Questions Teachers Should Be Asking Themselves

Click on the link to read School Official Allegedly told a Teacher to Train her Breasts to not Make Milk at Work


Education New Years Resolutions

January 2, 2011

These are some New Years resolutions I suggest the Education sector should take on for 2011:

1. Stop Putting Unnecessary Pressure on Teachers – Sure it is important to scrutinise teachers and ensure that poor teachers don’t preside over a classroom.  But if you base whether a teacher is good or otherwise on a test you run the risk of the following consequences:

  • Teachers teach to a test rather than typical authentic teaching
  • Inexperienced teachers will be frightened off from continuing in the profession due to the pressure to perform
  • Teachers will be labelled in a manner we have never seen before
  • Some good teachers will be mistakenly called poor based on circumstances partly beyond their control.

2. Continue Fighting Bullying – 2011 has to be dedicated to making students feel better about school, by striving to create an environment that is tolerant and bully-free.  School cultures must change where necessary.  Exterior programs are fine, but they are often at the mercy of endemic school culture deficiencies.

3. Stop Playing Public and Private Schools Against Each Other – The media has been chipping away at this one.  Comparing public and private schools for funding and achievement can be counter-productive.  Instead of pitting them against each other, Governments should be trying to improve the quality of all sectors for all people.  Let both Public and Private schools flourish.

4. Pressure the Education Union – The Education Union needs to step up and show us they are relevant.  Of late they have come across as pussy cats, giving in to big issues without even a fight.  The rule that all teachers in a school must be Union members before they even consult with the staff about conditions and wages, puts teachers under pressure from colleagues to sign up whether they want to or can afford to.  This is not acceptable.

5. Lessons Must Come Alive – The trend towards direct instruction teaching means lessons are becoming more turgid and less engaging.  Similarly, there needs to be a greater emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking.

6. Forget about the National Curriculum – The draft was a huge disappointment.  New curriculums don’t change outcomes.  Improved conditions and support does.

7. Look After New Teachers – This includes improving the quality of teacher training, which at the moment is not up to scratch.  New teachers require more support.  The idea of filling holes by putting new teachers in remote schools is just the tonic for scaring away potentially phenomenal teachers.  Don’t let them sink or swim, but rather, put structures in place that allows them to be nurtured and supported in the crucial early years.

Please feel free to add some of your own suggestions.

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