Showing posts with label education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label education. Show all posts

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Idiot Minister strikes again

Under the logic of "everyone is using it therefore it is good" our "Idiot of the year 2009" Julia Gillard has vowed to expand the myschool website - despite a raft of public opinion and advice from education circles to the contrary.

Given this logic I suggest the following (with a tongue firmly in cheek):

Everyone likes potato chips, therefore all schools should feed children potato chips.
A large part of the population find mathematics difficult, we should discontinue teaching mathematics.
Kids don't read anymore, we should stop enforcing reading programmes.
Everyone watches television, therefore television is good.
Everyone likes chocolate, therefore chocolate is good.
Everyone wants to be thin, we should all become anorexic.
Everyone prefers holidays to working, we should not work.

Furthermore her assertion that government couldn't have provided assistance to schools without myschool is blatantly false. The government has always had access to this information. It chose not to use it, until political gains could be made from publicising the assistance. This is very dirty politics as it uses children and their futures as pawns in political posturing. It is the publishing of this information, formalising and recognising educational elitism that is the issue.

Popularity, nor usage is a measure of the success of a project. Transparency of this sort has negative and positive effects. The negative effects in this case are not being adequately recognised. The failure of the myschool project will be measured by the negative impact on schools and students. This impact will not be seen in the short term.

Julia wake up!

Link to SMH article here.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Dr Constable and the national curriculum

Dr Constable, our state education minister has been conspicuously absent from public education debates with the exception of this week when I read her reply regarding national curriculum impact on WA in The West newspaper.

It was a measured response that outlined the three years of implementation time being allowed, the need for an extended implementation (an extra year) in WA due to the variation between NSW, Vic syllabus and the current WA OBE based curriculum. She also raised issues with year 7 primary vs yr 7 high school, student entry ages in preschool/kindergarten, the lack of specialist teachers in primary and the need for training above normal 'PD' allocations requiring the sourcing of an additional budget for WA.

WA, with a smaller population and different educational requirements, will always have varied results and requirements to the eastern states. Competing with the Eastern seaboard is not statistically possible under the current measuring system.

It was encouraging to see an education minister that at least understood some of the issues faced by national curriculum and someone willing to make an attempt to avoid a head long rush into it. The challenge will be to address some of these issues and prevent these issues being swept under the table along with the children of Western Australia.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Outcomes Based Education devaluing progress

One key issue with OBE was the devaluation of progress in outcomes not being immediately assessed. Combine this with marking that isn't normalised and it can demoralise a student.

For instance, a student starts totally disengaged and gradually becomes more involved with the classroom. The outcome for lessons are not achieved. The child does not achieve NAPLAN results. The child again gets an E for the term despite making large amounts of progress socially.

The main feedback for the student is that effort has no reward and he again becomes disengaged. The feedback for the teacher is that putting effort into a student like this is not worthwhile, more tangible/measurable results can be found with students that are already on learning paths. It is not fair, equitable or motivating for either party.

It is this sort of logic that we as a profession are facing at the moment and this is something that we need to consider if we still want an inclusive education system. We are heading towards a system where students that do not fit into mainstream profiles are being farmed into alternate programmes as they fall farther and farther behind, with little incentive for schools to investigate issues and try to re-integrate students.

I'm sure that this is not the right thing to do.

Sometimes as teachers we need to look at the whole picture and realise that we are achieving great things even when the measured results do not show them (especially when standardised reports don't measure what we are teaching!) - the seeds we plant in students may not germinate for many years yet are still worthwhile - a message may take many iterations to become active, developmentally change often requires multiple iterations by multiple people to become successful.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ghetto subculture

The "ghetto" allowance as it is affectionately known is an amount of money given to teachers in hard to staff schools. It is compensation for the loss of skill, access to promotion and the general reduction in standards of acceptable behaviour by students.

Yet, we are not in a ghetto and it riles me to think that teachers think it acceptable to promote a ghetto subculture within the school. I really despise the ideals that this espouses.

For instance, a ghetto subculture accepts that subjugation of women as acceptable, violence is a solution, prostitution/pimping as admirable and a drug culture is a way out of the ghetto. Fame through dance and rap, quick money through theft, extortion and drugs become the only perceived way out of poverty. Authority is the enemy.

It's not true in the US and it's not true here.

We should be educating kids that these values are not only undesirable that they are also misleading. Women in Australia do not have to be property of men. All other solutions should be investigated before violence is pursued. Drugs are never, ever an option. Crime all too often leads to a life of recidivism and a loss of education limits future options. Hard work, respect for authority, conservative spending and generational change is more likely to lead families out of the poverty trap rather than quick fix ghetto solutions. A mob or gang mentality is one lead by ignorance rather than common sense.

Showing movies to kids (entertaining or not) that promote ghetto values on the days before school ends is a form of child abuse. Step Up 2 was the movie I sat through today and it was as predictable as the cover indicated. Our kids should not be drawing parallels between American ghetto kids of little future prospects and the Australian reality where mateship, individuality, working hard and a little opportunity allows anyone with a good attitude to be successful.

Let's be very clear, this movie had a student bashed and kicked by a gang of men with no consequence occurring because he wished to dance against them. The 'heroes' as a prank broke into another persons home, vandalised it and videoed it on the internet in order to gain 'respect'. The head of the dance studio was vilified for removing a disruptive element from the school. Students grouped together and hid the truth from authority rather than facing the issue when the studio was vandalised preventing resolution of criminal behaviour. The background of the movie was attendance at a secret venue and having dance offs (sound anything like the rave culture of our time - do we remember what else occurred at these 'dance' events???). The parent was portrayed negatively when showing restraint and positively when poor parenting allowed the student to attend the 'dance off''. The movie focused on a bunch of misfits that were encouraged to defy authority and seek fringe activities. And this is what we want our students to relate to???

To stop these movies being shown on final days requires all teachers to maintain their programmes to the wire, valuing each day of learning. NCOS has not helped matters, now making term 4 a hodge podge of early exams, TEE preparation and mixed 11/12 classes. It is a common time for long service leave and relief classes of busy work. Yet we should make an effort.

If we as teachers do not value every teaching day available - nor will our students.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Do students need to enjoy school to do well?

This was the chicken and egg question of yesterday. Does a student need to enjoy school to do well?

My initial thought was no. I hated school but still did well.

... but then, I was hardly the average kid.

So I looked at the top ten kids in each year group and asked myself did they enjoy school. For the majority it was yes. Which doesn't really answer the question, as 'do they enjoy school because they are doing well?', or 'do they do well because they enjoy school?'

So I took the assumption that students enjoy school because they are doing well and sought to quantify it.

The next question was, "Does progress equate to doing well or does competitive achievement equate to doing well?" On face value progress probably isn't enough, as students in lower classes generally enjoy school less than in upper classes (or similarly in unstreamed groups, students at the bottom of a class are generally less likely to enjoy school if they aren't competitive with other students), yet in many cases students in lower classes are making faster progress. The exception is in VET courses where success is defined as either leaving school and entering the workforce or alternate education such as technical colleges.

Following this insight you could make the tentative conclusion that artificial success or enjoyable activities will not make a student enjoy school as only competitive success will give them satisfaction! Students need to do well to enjoy school.

This would explain why students seek social success or spectacular social failure (negative behaviours) as this is something they can be competitively successful at. It would also explain mastery based class success and why dumbed down classes tend to be happier (give a class a copying activity and watch them go!)

Find a longer bow than that! I dare you!


Friday, September 11, 2009

Class sizes

There was a passing comment on the end of the Channel 2 news stating that the only net effect of smaller class sizes was more teachers. This is a bit of a bizarre statement.

There is no problem with bigger classes as long as you accept the following:
  • Classes must be fairly homogeneous - the is no way an average teacher can run 5 IEPs and manage students running a differentiated programme with 5+ levels of students effectively in a class of 30+ (and this is a likely requirement in a state high school with large class sizes)
  • Discipline must be more rigid - expect more suspensions, timeouts and exclusions
  • Intervention time per student is reduced - 30 students in a class + 15 mins instruction time per hour leaves a maximum of 2 minutes per student intervention/interaction time
  • Marking time is increased or assessment frequency is reduced
  • Decreased knowledge of individual students
  • Increased chance that at risk/abused/neglected students will not be identified
  • Additional needs students will need to be segregated out of the mainstream
  • More teacher assistants will be required to manage the learning programme
  • Reporting becomes more onerous
  • Higher rate of disengaged students - dropout rates will be higher / graduation rates lower
The net result is that more students will fall through the cracks in the system. If you check the high performing schools in WA, class sizes are smaller and for good reason. It works.

To say that class sizes need to increase is ignoring the specific needs of low SEI schools that require individual intervention plans to redirect students back into the mainstream, or for plans for students that need higher levels of intervention (students with parents on working visas, refugees, indigenous students, additional needs, ESL, limited schooling, truants, drug and alcohol dependents, abused, single parents).

To accept blanket statements 'bigger class sizes is better' is like saying education was better in the 60's. It is possible to have bigger class sizes if you accept that the compromises above are acceptable. Australia is a tolerant and respected nation where people from all backgrounds can succeed in life - the basis of this premise is fair education. To offer low SEI parents a sub-standard education compared to high performing schools is breaking a promise with the nation.

It's not a fair go.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Idiot Generation

I wonder now that developmental curriculum has again given way to syllabus driven curriculum if we will look back at the current generation as the illiterate or idiot generation. A bunch of kids that have 'challenged' spelling, writing, reading, grammar and arithmetic. A generation where challenging oneself was only the domain of those driven from outside the education system or those lucky few with teachers with the ability to entertain or drive students through sheer will.

This being the case, will children that have been betrayed by a poorly implemented experimental education system be able to seek redress from the government in years to come?

We risk a lot when we keep children in the system until year 12 regardless of their want for education. These children typically do not succeed and do not want to be in the education system. Are they the stolen generation of the future, "abused" by being kept in a system neither of their want or perceived need (by either their parents and themselves) a system not really geared to their needs, in many cases the children themselves are resented by those within the education system as time wasters and do nothings?

Will we be accused of preventing children reaching their potential by not providing adequate measures to curtail disruption in the classroom? Should we be doing more to create optimal environments for learning? Is preventing disruptive kids from these "optimal learning environments" abuse by neglect?

As society becomes a more litigious environment and legislators are less able to create common sense legislation, schools could become a battleground for lawyers on behalf of parents and children, based on the expectations gained through unscientific reports given by schools in early years and via standardised testing and IQ analysis.

Are students that only respond to physical violence at home (and/or experience few real boundaries) able to respond to verbal chastisement at school? Is a teacher that hits a student on the arm with a ruler worthy of an assault charge? Can we better protect the 100's of teachers that are assaulted every year?

I would hate to think that negative questions become the focus questions facing our next decade. I personally would much prefer to be concentrating on creating a stronger education system, well funded, well managed and with willing participants.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Work Ethic

I had a discussion today as to whether work ethic could be taught.

My reply was no.. it couldn't be taught but it could be instilled. By this I meant that work ethic is not something that could be learned from a lesson, it was something that grew in a person over time.

As a school, fostering work ethic is something that needs to be done from an early age. Assuming that kids will instantly start doing 3 hours of assessment and study in year 12 is a recipe for disaster if they have only been doing the bare minimum until year 11.

So.. how do we instill a good work ethic? This is what I have considered thus far...

1. Model it at all times. If students see that you work hard they are more likely to think that adult behaviour requires work.
2. Build it up slowly. Start with little things like developing an assignment in class over a number of days, analysing a task, breaking it down into multiple steps and creating a timeline for completing the task. Homework is another good way to do this. Start with 15 mins in one learning area, develop the use of a diary and start giving homework in multiple learning areas.
3. Recognise achievement. Praise students that show signs of developing a work ethic. If a student does well, explicitly draw attention to what has contributed to the result.
4. Tie effort to reward. Without the effort being commensurate with the reward students cannot learn to value their effort. If a students does the work and fails, ensure that the failure is identified as a path to success.
5. Group students with a similar work ethic. This will create demand for students to work with like minded students and create an environment of success for these students.
6. Teach self correction and independent learning. A key component of work ethic is when a student feels empowered to teach themselves. A student with a good work ethic will not give up purely because the answer is not under their nose! In maths this could mean asking a friend, reading a worked example or checking answers in the back of the book and then correcting mistakes.
7. Being punctual and ready to start (not five minutes after the activity begins).
8. Being prepared and having all required materials.
9. Showing respect for those around them by being focussed on the task at hand and not distracting others needlessly.

I'm sure there's more - as I think of them I'll add them on.

Point 5. is a bit contentious, but I am a little sick of teachers sacrificing good students to assist with behaviour management or to "model" the behaviour to others. I think if we actually analyse the usual approach of mixed groups - the good kid is the one who usually suffers.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Inspirational educational stories

Here's to making a difference in your own life. Sent to me from one of my educational heroes. Ta Keith!,3,3233106.story

It reminded me of an 'A' student that I met that had cystic fibrosis that knew she would pass away before she was 17 yet still searched for excellence.

Inspiration in education is one thing we are never short of.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Report time again

Here's the time of year when the most important communication will be made between the teacher and parent. A paragraph of words can lift the confidence, invigorate flagging academic performance or deflate a student to the point of giving up.

Identical paragraphs given to two students may have completely opposite effects.

Teachers for the most part create these paragraphs straight after marking exams and under some fairly tight deadlines. It's usually at the end of a term and we're far from fresh and chirpy. After the exams are marked, reports are finished, students are at their ratty worst at the end of term then we get to talk to parents.

It's week 8.. that time when we think, OMG I'm a little tired.

So, do you play safe and write bland comments and save the deep and meaningful for parent discussion. From a strictly legalistic point of view, it is the safest option. We are often urged to write detailed reports by admin but as a lawyer once told me.. don't commit anything to writing that you wouldn't want to see in a court of law, and it's far safer to not commit anything to writing.

Are we opening ourselves up to legal issues by writing encouraging words to students and enticing them to try harder in order to reach the potential we see in them? If they don't reach the potential are we opening ourselves to liability issues?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A different model for success for state schools

Permanency has always been a key goal in state schools with teachers falling into permanent positions and then staying in the same school for 7-10 years, perhaps reaching long service leave and seeking a new school.

Stability, one would think, would be a key advantage over the private sector. I would suggest that it is the exact opposite. What tends to happen is that schools in adjacent suburbs function like teachers in classrooms. Many not knowing what is going on in the school/classroom next door.

Another key advantage would be the non competitive nature of schools is of a reasonable distribution of students, with students being part of catchments removing competition between state schools. In the private sector it is counterproductive to assist neighbour schools find talented students as they are potential customers. Yet in state schools we find it is common practice to poach students (and thus lower a school's potential results) either through systemic planning (eg. G&T schools) or through informal discussions with year 7 groups across catchments.

I think that increasing the rotation of teachers in schools within a district would solve this problem. Teachers would be attached to districts rather than schools and key teachers (level 3 CT's perhaps) used as troubleshooters for schools that cannot reach benchmarks. Benchmarks would be created for districts rather than schools. Funding would be linked to performance of the district with underperforming schools being given proven troubleshooters to improve performance (Think similar to the AFL draft!).

This would promote common frameworks to assist teachers with transitions between schools (the new system couldn't work without them). It would also lessen the poaching aspect as we could distribute students freely between schools in the same district knowing common teaching methods were being used and that school based performance was irrelevant.

By being district teachers rather than school staff, needs based movement could be made based on cohort size and specific needs of schools. I imagine this was the original idea of central staffing. To maintain consistency of approach, pastoral, teaching assistants and administration staff would remain school based but would need to agree on baseline standards. Consideration could be made on how HoD's and level 2's are distributed and moved and on what basis. Movement of HoDs and level 2's would give graduate teachers a wider exposure to teaching methods and promote exchange of ideas and resources between our expert teachers. Similar to the movement of principals in the metropolitan area.

It would require a change in mindset from 'development of a school' to 'development of students for a district' - seeking the betterment of the system rather than the betterment of a school. It's a philosophical change of mindset.

I like this idea. I doubt many others would.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Nature vs Nurture

Interesting article here outlining the limited effect of nature and how schools (and parents) can make a difference.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Education matters

Best of luck to the new education forum in Perth created by regular posters from the Plato forum.

The link is here.

Big shoes to fill!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Teaching moments

Occasionally in teaching you have a moment that stays with you. On this particular day I was chatting with a student that was having a hard time relating to teachers. I said to her, "nice people associate with nice people." Her response was, "but how do you meet nice people?"

That has stuck with me as it says a lot in a few words. It said how she wished to be a nice person - although she had been referred to as a little shrew. She didn't think she knew very nice people and didn't really think she had much in common with nice people. She was about to graduate year 12.

It was a profound moment as by intuition I realised that many of these kids had no idea of what nice was to judge themselves by. Where in our curriculum do we examine truth, justice, honesty, doing good to others, teamwork, selflessness? Our curriculum is embedded with feminism, eco-friendliness, multiculturalism and many other analytical topics (areas where we analyse how things come about in small contexts). The loss of a true History and Geography course, English literature at many schools, discussion and debate of critical formative topics is a real loss to our society.

When students tell me what they get up to on the weekend (knowing that I will stick my hands in my ears and go lalalala when getting to the relationship stuff), I tell them that I only envisage them going home and playing with trucks and dolls. To me the males are gentlemen and the girls are ladies. That is always my image of them. I always maintain that they are, in fact, nice and that someone values them doing/being good. I remind them that their parents are their greatest allies and that they may have to depend on them (and statistics say live with them) well into their late twenties. To them this is another lifetime!

What do we give students that make them feel good about themselves? Do we show them value of the family unit, of co-dependence, of selfless giving? Do we show them the negative aspects of capitalistic dogma and expose the generation Y fallacy that life is about fame and fortune? What do we give them that helps them see that they are in fact nice.

Something to think about.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Happy and sad event

The guys on the Plato website today have announced that they will be winding it down stating that Platowa had achieved its objectives. I think all of us in the teaching profession in WA have a big thank you to say to these guys and what they have achieved over the last four years (especially in making the union a relevant body again). If Marko was president of the SSTUWA even a hardened anti-unionist like myself would join.

It has been amazing to watch technology used in a way that achieves an outcome, and equally amazing to see people put their jobs on the line over an ideal and principle. Agree with them or not you have to appreciate their efforts. It will be interesting to see if a lobby group like this will ever again be as powerful within the teaching fraternity (are you watching this space MAWA?).

If and when Plato is retired, I will miss reading the forum about WA education from the minds of teachers, parents and interested parties. Without it, we would not have seen into the politics of teaching. I am glad that they feel they have achieved what they set out to do. It is rare in life that we have time to reflect upon actually reaching our goals.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Middle school & end of year reflection

After a year of trying to establish rapport with middle school I think the obvious is as follows:
Without teaching upper school classes and being involved with NCOS, middle school teachers have disconnected from upper school requirements through no fault of their own.

Added to the traditional "it's an issue at primary level - but we have five years to rectify it" we also now have "it's an issue with middle school, how can we possibly fix it in two years".

Students wrapped in cotton wool, unable to connect success with working hard find senior school difficult.

Assessment changes and alteration to pedagogical methodology in middle school has reduced the rigor required for TEE subjects especially in those with little discipline at home.

Without a detailed syllabus, critical topics can be deferred to later years causing irreparable damage.

Responsibility for subject performance should be left in the hands of those that understand the subject area.

Graduation should not be automatic. Pastoral needs of the individual should not be placed above the academic needs of the student and group as a whole.

Students can be entertained and placed with friends to stay in school but when once the demands of TEE level education arrives, it gives students too little time to adjust to the requirements of real study. The adjustment needs to occur in year nine - especially for the gifted kids.

General observations from 2008:
Streaming in mathematics is required where more than four levels exist across a cohort.

Intervention time is limited to less than 1 minute per student in homogeneous classes greater than thirty and puts teachers at risk with the current defer intervention actions BMIS discipline policy. Intervention time is greatly increased in a streamed class as peer assistance, direct instruction and modelled lessons become more effective.

Collaborative lessons can work when consequences for non-performance are correctly administered (peer pressure is a fantastic tool in this case).

The most reward comes from success with students with the least demonstrated ability.

Any student (without a learning difficulty) can learn any topic given an adequate amount of time (Kevin Casey).

Male students are not getting the results in mathematics in line with their ability levels.

It is possible to make a difference. Bring on 2009.

Intuitive Teachers

I wonder if there is a connection between those that deal with a lot of people and their ability to be intuitive towards their needs. As teachers we need to be able to "read" students as many times their articulated response may not reflect their needs.

I've found that since teaching it is easier to read what people mean compared to what they say. Is this a common finding? Do occupations that deal with a lot of people on an ongoing basis develop the same ability? Does frequency of interaction hone the ability further? Is this a trait we should be looking for in new teachers in the same way we look for bedside manner in doctors?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Making schools a part of the social system

Many attribute social behaviours to treatment within schools.

Children under the age of 18 are arbitrarily required to attend school or seek gainful employment. Yet many of the children in our justice system are no longer attending school or seeking gainful employment.

Similarly, many children in schools are not students, but young adults actively being impediments to the learning of other students. They have little or no interest in schooling and have no interest in seeking gainful employment.

If students have no interest in schooling or are not in gainful employment I suggest that we strip them of their rights as children and call them adults... any illegal activities get tried as adults, protections given to children are removed and sentences roll into the adult system as they turn age. After all not in school, not acting like a child, demanding adult responsibility and treatment - grant their wish.

Similarly if a child is not contributing in school, not valuing their education, being an impediment to the learning of others (with no feasible solution available to get the child performing as a student) .. whoosh - out they go either into an alternate programme off campus or into the real world as an adult and lose their privileges as a child.

With one proviso - any government payments for children are instantly stripped if they stop attending school and adult payments for these children are not available until they turn 21 if school is not finished (a very simple process that could be completely handled electronically). Exceptions would be handled on a case by case basis with very strict criteria after testing for learning disabilities and available environmental supports.

Whoa! I hear you say.. that's a bit radical... but nobody values what is given on a plate - only when there is a risk of loss is it valued. For schools to be a part of the social system, it needs to be recognised that schools cannot be held account for all social ills, they can though be a filter for recognising them and helping the borderline cases back into the mainstream. Stuffing extreme cases into an already taxed system and hoping all will be ok runs the risk of dragging many more real students down with it. Schools should be centres of learning filled with students and families that value education... not a young adult minding service.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Lost hope

Two years ago I spoke to one of my colleagues whilst I was teaching at another school. He spoke of the amazing progress his students were making. It was a deciding factor in moving to his school later that year.

Moving to a government school was something that I had contemplated but after a woeful experience trying to enter the system, I had not anticipated trying again until I had more experience to offer. Once I was given an opportunity and a taste of it, I didn't look back.

The feeling that I have received from others in the government system though (whilst on PD or in the community) is that of lost hope. If I hear one more teacher saying "we haven't the clientele to do it" or "we are going to do the course through SIDE (via remote access) because we lack numbers" I'll jam a pick axe under their fingernails.

Can I make something very clear - in some schools, teachers have had to work very hard to get students to a high standard. Students in low socio-economic areas typically have the ability but lack environmental support. Students are nurtured into performing well above their weight level. I suppose, coming through a low socio-economic system I remember what teachers did for me, without some of them taking a personal interest I would have slipped through the cracks.

In high performing schools (the "leafy greens"), teachers have to work very hard to get students to perform to a high level - public or private. If they don't succeed, parents complain and they get turfed out or nerfed to a lesser course. If we get complacent in challenging students within public schools and let excuses get in the way of trying and not do at least as much as private schools... then these kids have little hope. That means the before/after school classes, the extension work, the calls home, extra homework, the lecture for poor performance, doing corrections, study skills, ensuring test preparation is done and fostering of an academic environment is not optional in our schools. Who pays for the extra work is a different issue. I leave that to academics, advocates and DET.

Parity between public and private needs to be found or public schooling will become more of a sub-par alternative. I don't know many teachers that would send their child to a government school (behaviour not academic standards is the most common reason given) and that is a sad inditement on the system. We need to recognise this as an indicator and institute change.

I hope we have achieved something special this year in our academic programme and in 2009 we hope to be able to demonstrate our model as an example of what can be done. Something needed to be done to rescue our TEE programme (DET teachers are getting worn down by the fight). We could have become another school without a TEE programme.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Class load next year

I don't know if I like or dislike my proposed timetable for 2009.

It looks like I will have 3 dot periods in a row next year (on a Thursday) which will make life a little difficult. The saving grace is that most of my class sizes are around 15 with taking the level three year 11 classes, modelling in year 12 and some of the alternate eduation kids. Only my year 10 class bodes to be larger than 17.

This time only 3 of my five classes are first timers rather than all five (I've taught year 10's and modelling before). The level 3 classes and the alternate education kids have the potential to draw a lot of time.

So far I'm one period down, which will make me a lightening rod for reliefs too. At least I'm not teaching out of area!