Friday, June 7, 2013


Sometimes teaching is about surviving.  Most teachers have war stories about years when it was difficult.  At the moment is one of those times for me.

There are many reasons for finding a cohort difficult.  Sometimes it's a class that doesn't settle.  Other times it's a student that has behavioural difficulties.  It may be the challenge of finding engaging relevant material.  It could be students that are not performing under test conditions... or the transition to a new curriculum, adjustment to the changing requirements of a new leader.. skilling up to the demands of a new role.  Then you get the flu and it all gets a bit much.

Sometimes it's all of these things. They're the things that get in the way of focussing on the majority of students that just want to do well.   When it gets to that point, my solution has always been to sit and reflect.  500 bits of reflection later, we are here.

The things that get you through are your family, your colleagues and the kids that respect what you do. When these fail, then you know you are in trouble.  Reflection probably is not enough.

I'm hoping this week has been a blip and not an insight into the time leading to reporting.  I love my job, but sometimes think I may have been promoted beyond my ability... I'm a good classroom teacher but an ordinary disciplinarian - I counsel students to death rather than berate them effectively.  

My thought has always been if I can get them to care about themselves, then I have hope.  The problem that I face at the moment, is that many pointy end kids are not reachable and live purely in the moment - with no real idea or fear of consequence. I envy them that a little, as we all know the time where this can be only exists as a child - even my four year old is passing through this stage.  How did it happen that some students are 13 and still struggling with the idea, challenging a system designed purely to help them transition to adulthood?

 Schools are not a quasi correctional facility and are poorly equipped for dealing with students that cannot be managed effectively.   Students now have the ability and authority to disrupt the learning of others - when students reach the don't care/defiance point, there is little left to defend education with.  I think it is an area that requires attention in the public system at least.