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Tuesday, 7 June 2011

No Kids Today

It's Teacher Only Day at Nuova Lazio High.  It seems strange to be at a school without the sounds (shouts, screams, curses, singing, blows of meaty fists against concussed skulls) of our little kiddie-winks enjoying themselves (except the poor little sods who are on the receiving end of said meaty fists)

We are all coming in today to discuss professional teacher stuff.  What exactly we're going to be discussing is not entirely clear.  I reckon it'll go something like this:

08:30 -09:30  Professional discussion in groups.
This really means getting together with your friends and relating the events of the holiday weekend.  Barbeques attended, brews drunk, sport watched etc.

  09:30 - 10:30  Pedagogical debate on new teaching philosophies.
This really means an hour long whingeing and whining session, when all the older, experienced (and dare I say it, more cynical) teachers tell the younger ones that their new ideas either.
  • Will never work.
  • Been done before and it didn't work then, and it won't work now.
  • Congratulate them on their superb professional research, and suggest that their ideas be immediately adopted as it means you'll lose your nasty year 9 class, and at least three duties over 2 weeks.

  • 10:30 - 11:00 Tea.
    This is really an extension of the first session, accompanied by groans and comments about the lack of decent (free) tucker.  What happened to the days of trays of sausage rolls, savouries and potato-topped pies?

    11:00 - 12:30 Wellbeing.
    This is the ominous one.  We're going to get lectured (by Ringo I think) on how we can keep our little kiddie-winks from killing each other and/or us, or any other innocent bystander.  It will probably contain an anti-smoking and/or an anti-drinking message, so that's me out of it straight away.  I'll make some sort of excuse and gently drift away to my little office.  I've been trying to complete my wax doll (technically called a poppet) of Ringo, but I'm finding it difficult to get the features to express the usual disdain that emanated from the original.  I can also work on the miniature guillotine.

    12:30 - 13:00 Strategic Plan for next 5 years
    We're supposed to "help" create a viable plan, to help the school create a splendid educational pathway into the future.  Like most staff, I don't really care about this sort of thing. The previous Principal used to do it himself and lay it out for "final consultation" with the staff. It just meant we saw it, we nodded, it was accepted. I much preferred this method.  Why bother?  I know some of the things that must be in it already. 
  • Reach or beat the National norms for NCEA 1, 2 and 3.
  • Improve Maori Boy achievement
  • Save money by spending less on curriculum development
  • Develop new curricula in line with Ministry expectations
  • Incorporate KCs (Key Competences.  A new buzz word in the National Curriculum) in all levels of teaching
  • Develop an internal testing standard for our Year 9s and 10s
  • Reduce stand-downs and exclusions
  • Increase levels of discipline throughout the school.

  • My idea on improving discipine

    13:00- 14:00 Lunch 
    We used to get a free lunch, but now we have to bring in our own.  It was suggested that we make this a "shared lunch" a New Zealand phenomenon, where everyone brings in a bit extra to share with other staff.  The last time I did this, I spent ages making scones and cakes and special sandwiches filled with delicate hams and cheeses, just to see them being absorbed by S***** in about 10 seconds flat, and all I got was a couple of (stale) shop-bought biscuits. I'll take off to my office and eat an apple.

    14:00 - 15:30 Faculty Discussion and Planning
    The only really useful part of the day, when we get to sit down with our colleagues and in an hour long whingeing and whining session, the older, experienced (and dare I say it, more cynical) teachers tell the younger ones what they're doing wrong.  We might also get some marking done.  Nobody stays until 15:30.

    Then we can go home.


    1. Sounds like fun......and it's only the start of the week.

      Hope there's a whisky bottle at home after that load of B@%%&*ks.

      Still - surely the week can only get better after that. {Except for those who get pounded by meaty fists}

    2. Alistair: There's always a whisky bottle at home. Though after this weekend, it's looking little empty. I hope it does get better, but I wouldn't bet on it. Sometimes having a bleak and Presbyterian outlook on life really sucks. Aye, weel.

    3. Such a waste of a day. Except it's nice to have a break from the kids.
      The last State government wouldn't give us our payrise until we agreed to have our 3 days of PD all together at the beginning of the year. (They were catering to working parents who whinged.) It was HORRIBLE.

      Luckily this new mob have abolished that.

    4. Frogdancer: You said it. Do you mean your lovely state government actually abolished all the PD? What a nice bunch. Actually the afternoon faculty sessions were reasonably productive, but the rest *shudders violently and spills drink*

    5. *shudders violently and spills drink*

      I assume that the drink in question was whisky.
      I further assume that for a Scotsman to spill his whisky the shudders must have been violent and uncontrollable.

    6. You really should stop using the word "cynical". My preferred word is "realistic".


    7. TC: Violent, uncontrollable, inconsolable, incomprehensible, incontrovertible, insensible and idiot.

      Clive: I tell them and tell them but do they believe me? No. They just call me a cynical old bastard. I don't mind the cynical and the bastard, it's the old that really upsets me.
      I'm not old, just extremely well preserved.
      My picture in the attic is however, postively f*cking ancient.


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