On Wednesday mornings, between the far-too-early times of 08:15 and 09:25, we, the Saintéd staff of Nuova Lazio High School (NLHS) are treated to a pedagogically uplifting presentation/diatribe/lecture/interactive bloody session, or what other type of communication is deemed suitable for our edification.
Mostly we get lectured at by eye-wateringly enthusiastic educationalists, who tell us that the failings of the NZ education system is all our (the teachers' fault) and that by applying these new and fascinating techniques, we can progress into the sublimeness of 100% literacy, 100% numeracy and every pupil reaching NCEA 3.
It's all complete bollocks of course. Even the best teacher in the world can't create diamonds out of straw, and we have an awful large amount of straw at NLHS. We try, sometimes succeeding, mostly failing, but we keep on trying.
Today's presentation was organised by Ringo, and it followed the usual and well-worn pathway. We had to bring our Māori boys achievement up to acceptable levels, this time by showing the little angels that we believe in them.
At least he didn't actually say it was all our fault, or it was the Pakeha (European) teachers' fault, but it was implied in his presentation.
Oh, there's a surprise. Now I can go out into the classroom, freshly invigorated by the fires of student belief.
Funnily enough, that's what I and most of our colleagues have been doing for many, many years.
The presenter, a Māori bloke in his 30s, had been a teacher, but has now seen the light (and I would expect the extra money) as a contractor specialising in running courses in building relations with Māori boys (and who had an absolutely gorgeous, and very curvy assistant, who seemed absolutely vital to the presentation, as she did the difficult task of plugging in a USB Flash drive into a laptop.
|She can plug in my USB anytime|
I had the passing thought that she represented a magician's assistant, but could be much better attired in a bikini, maybe even a spanglex bikini, but I digress)
There was nothing really wrong with the presentation except that it went on for far too long.
We normally stop these sessions about 5 - 10 minutes before we have to go to our classes, to allow for last minute preparation, or in my case, to give me time to brief the relieving teachers.
The presenter asked Ringo how much more time he had left, and Ringo told him 40 minutes, which would have taken us right up to bell time.
I reckon the presenter went about 40% slower after that, trying I think to align his timing with Ringo's.
|Audience participation "Ringo style"|
God it was boring, with long gaps for "audience participation".
I saw Richard [of RBB] participating my nodding off. I was up in the bad boys' corner, and I must admit, it was difficult to stop myself nodding off.
I tuned out the drone of the presenter and just stared (surreptitiously of course, I'm not a complete cad) at the very pretty assistant. Various fantasies circulated through my now fevered imagination. Many topics were covered. Butter and Maple Syrup were included. So was condensed milk.
At last he was finished, with only about 7 minutes to the bell, just enough time to get the relieving teachers briefed and helped gently on their way.
Then some stupid prat decided to ask a question.
Look, we've just been lectured at for 55 minutes at a rate deemed slow by a geriatric slug, and now they want to ask questions.
Send him a f*cking email if you want to ask him a question, but let the rest of us out of here.
It was not to be. The session carried right on to the bell for the first class, and I had to sprint (not something I like to do, really) to get to my office to hand out the plans, timetables,materials and resources to the waiting relievers.
Then I had to hurry off to my own waiting class.
Bloody Ringo. All he had to do was tell the bloke "30 minutes" and all would have been well.
So I went into my class and told them I believed in them.
See, instantly applying a new pedagogical principle.
I told them I believed.
I told them I believed that if they didn't get their fingers out and really start working they would not pass their assessment.
I told them I believed that if they kept on going onto the Internet when they were supposed to be practicing spread sheets, they would lose all Internet access for the rest of the term.
I told them that I believed they would succeed, but that they'd have to really work to get it.
They believed me.
The rest of the day was much the same as normal. The relievers were doing OK, although they looked a little harassed, as they hadn't had time to prepare that morning, thanks to Ringo and his execrable timing.
We'd been told first thing in the morning that all of the Senior Managers, except Ringo, would be going on some course (listening skills) all afternoon. This would leave him the sole person of authority in the school.
Just at the start of the afternoon session, Ringo left.
I don't know where he went, nobody does.
He just left the school.
He didn't appoint a senior teacher to take over, he just buggered off.
I've since heard his daughter had a wee accident, but that is not a reason to do what he did and the way he did it.
If I'd got a message from my Beloved saying she'd had an accident, I'd have wanted to go as well, but I'd have made sure that all of my responsibilities were covered, and that someone would have known where and why I'd left.
If I didn't, I'd get a written warning for seriously failing in my professional duties.
I wonder what will happen to him.
Probably sweet FA
Hmm... I wonder what that young, delicious assistant would be like in chocolate sauce.