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Monday, 11 June 2012

Hanging on the Edge of the Abyss.

In 9 years of teaching at Nuova Lazio High School, I've never felt the system so near the edge of collapse as now.

For once, it's not the kids (although their behaviour doesn't really help), it's the bloody staff.

I won't go into the details to a great extent except to say that we have 4 Deputy Principals.

I know there's only 3, one's hiding.  She's camera shy.

Two of them are directly concerned with the reporting system and the content of the reports.


It reached a peak at the end of last week, when one locked his door, so the other one couldn't talk to him.

It makes the English Farces seem logical.

First we're told not to put in any results which have not been marked.  This may seem logical, but it also means the parents of our wee angels are not informed of what they have coming up at the end of this term and the next.

Then we're told to put them back in.

Then we're told to get them back out, but to replace the results (or potential results) with Milestones achieved. 
(e.g. Mary managed to write her own name today.  We're so glad.  Seeing as she's leaving school tomorrow)
Which we're supposed to make up on the f*cking spot, with no reference to curriculum levels or anything else to do with what we're supposed to be teaching.

Oh yes, did I mention that we're due for a visit from ERO in about 6 weeks? (This is like HM Inspectorate, they check that the schools are doing what our political masters are telling us to do)

So half the staff are so f*cking enraged that they're ignoring the instructions of one, but not the other.  And the other half are so cowed that they're obeying the instruction of the other, but not the first.

Mr Dancing Bear is staying out of it so far...until he sees the final version of the reports that he is responsible for.

I predict (pray on bended knee actually) that some heads will roll.

It would be easier to lock Pompous and Ringo in a darkened room and tell them that only one can get out.  Then we dump in 5 rabid rats and D*****n, the psychopathic wand wielder from our "special" unit.

Then we shoot the winner as he emerges.

The whole bloody place would run much smoother with just Runner and Temp.

The real Gods of Aotearoa

I am not a Godbotherer in any shape or form, but I feel an overwhelming urge to prostrate myself to the Rugby-playing Gods of Aotearoa (and didn't we smash the poor Bog Trotters 42-10; go the ABs) in grateful and everlasting thanks that this year I have absolutely f*ck all to do with the reports setup, or any minuscule part of the entire, completely fucked-up process.

Then we have the parents' nights to look forward to.

This is when we tell the parents of little arsehole Johnny that he's really been misunderstood all of his life, and that he's not an arsehole, but just a terminal rectum.

This is an arsehole.  (Sorry, a little Kiwi joke)


  1. Hehe. I am sorry. I'm a sick, sick child. I get total joy, complete and utter enthusiasm and enlightenment from this post! I love it when everything goes wrong with reports!!!! Oh how fun. I know how pompous can be - I've been in that firing line more times than I can count. So all I can do is wish you all luck. Luck.

    1. I'm so glad you're enjoying our pain...t just makes you normal in the ever-so-slightly f*cked up world of education.

      I recognise the post-pompous signs.

      I just do as I'm bloody told and keep my head down...but...I'm tempted.
      I'm so very tempted.

      You see, I wrote all the scripts (programs) that work behind the scenes to select the correct layout template for each individual report. it took me about 2 weeks to fine tune it to perfection.

      I still have access (and a backdoor, just in case) All it would take would be adding or removing a comma, a semicolon or changing one number, and everything would be Übergefukt.

      And that section isn't logged.

  2. As I see it they cover up the child's deficiencies and play like everything's rosy then send them out into the world thinking they're ready for it.
    I'm at the other end of four businesses over 25 years I've seen them come in and apply for work, I'm the poor sod that got lumbered with quite a few newbies over the years and rarely did I see even a glimmer of talent or desire to learn. Where I am now we never employ kids straight out of school, we wait for real life to kick the bullshit out of them and employ them at around 21+ and desperate for paid work. They knuckle down much better and we don't have to babysit the sad little wankers until they grow up. The system has failed!

    1. I'm sorry Tempo, our hands are tied.
      A complete generational series of educationalists and self-seeking politicians ( a bit of a pleonasm I know)have dumbed-down the whole system of education.
      We want to teach the 3 R's and some research skills, and we all want (apart from Ringo) to kick out the little buggers that don't want to learn.
      Why not?
      Every society needs ditch diggers and "traffic control operatives" around road works.

    2. I agree completely, there were always kids that would not/ could not learn, it was customary for them to joint the Army or as you suggest become diggers or gas station attendants. Trying to encompass everyone just lowers the standard to the lowest denominator. (I know I'm preaching to the must be so frustrating for real teachers like yourself)

    3. Yep. *grinds teeth in frustration*

  3. There are times when I realise that it isn't just where I work that have no clue what the hell is going on either and that people blindly stumble about crashing into everything...

    I remember a great guy I worked with was with me on a "career advancement" course (something like that) he was a good 10 years older than I and I was probably 10 - 15 years older than the rest of the department... career advancement my arse...

    Anyway - very enthusiastic overly madeup blonde woman assigned to run said course is looking for someone to encapsulate a good reason for what we do at work everyday... She turns to my friend and says "So what do you hope to achieve when you arrive here everyday?" "Frankly" he slowly said in his deep Potteries accent "I generally intend to not make it any worse"

    Genius pure genius! Poor young lady was somewhat lost at this honest statement of intent.

    1. At least in teaching we don't have to attend "teambuilding" initiatives, or advanced management techniques seminars. But we do get subjected to professional learning every bloody wednesday morning.

      Your mate's response was excellent. The only one to match it was given by an ex-welder from Glasgow who was asked for his philosophy at work.
      "Keep your heid doon, your arse up and keep thinking of payday"

    2. Now there is a philosophy to live by :-)

  4. sounds like something is rotten in your to speak!!

    1. Thanks YaH, it is rotten. Something definitely smells and everyone is suffering.

  5. At least you are feeling optimistic.

    1. Ha bloody Ha.

      Just as well that I always look at life in a postive and joyful manner.

  6. Loads of cooks and kitchen and not enough food or something. You could pretend you forgot the seasons were reversed from Scotland and just take off for the "summer"

    1. Good point. Our dear old NLHS has more DPs than any other school I've ever heard of. Actually we've just been hit be a cold snap in theis South Pacific Paradise and all of Aotearoa feels like it's been stuck in a freezer. It's about 3ºC outside at the moment, and I'm actually pining for Scotland. Not the actual place or climate you understand, but the simple things I miss.
      Like double glazing
      Efficient central heating

      You know, the things that didn't reach NZ until the 21st century.

  7. LMAO! Thanks, TSB! Nice to know things are just as fucked halfway round the world as they are here.

    1. I think that is one of the secrets of life. Realizing that everything is fucked up and doing the best we can.

  8. Are you ever worried that your blog will somehow be leaked to your school? That could be bad, right?

    1. Possibly, but I think that Ringo already knows. Every time I mention him he won't talk to me for a week.

  9. I'm confused, is Pompous also known as braces? Really looking forward to hearing how the management get the spin in place for ero!

  10. Yes, Pompous is Braces. Richard [of RBB] and I sometimes have a difference in nomenclature.
    I don't think Pompous is that bad; he doesn't have a seperate agenda, just taken on too much work amd won't admit it.

    Mind you I', not a great judge of character.

    The previous bloke I employed was a complete drongo.

  11. Oh Pompous does have an agenda, his passive aggressive attempts to undermine the whole report process just to fuck over Ringo may see him get stabbed tomorrow. Surely printing the bloody things isn't beyond his abilities (though a lot of other stuff is).
    I would love to see you sabotage the whole bloody lot except I think you'd just see a lot of buck passing at the Pompous & Ringo show and more work for everyone else.
    Damn anyone who puts me in camp Ringo.

    1. Nice to see you gain baytree, voice any better?

      I just think the whole f*cking thing is sad past any redemption. The real suffering is by the school as a whole.
      I feel th...Oh, I really don't give a sh*t anymore.
      Send them all to Hell and Perdition. I've lost feelings for "collegiality and mutual support" Between them they're destroying the only thing that kept me in the valley.

      I'm off hunting the Ed Gazette tomorrow. I wonder what it would be like working in the Kapiti?

  12. I was standing around the main office with other form teachers last night wondering when Pompous would show up to check off our reports. The office lady rang him, but he told her he was in a meeting and hung up.
    Are he and Ringo really not speaking? Holy hell!

    1. I've been told that he's a bit eratic in his schedule of printing the damned things. If everyone else is told "this is an absolute deadline" how can he be late for his first step, whcih throws everyone else off.

      I was told by another DP that he locked Ringo out. I have sen them exchange words, but I don't think either is really listening.
      You mark my words, it's all turning to crap.

  13. Just as I predicted late last year when you informed us you would be "hands off' the reporting management in future for 2012.
    And the resulting stoires are jsut as good as I would have expected from the resulting chaos.

    Congrats TSB. I wonder it they have realised the error of their decision by now? Maybe if they bothered to reflect (cough) on the situation. Could it be pistols at dawn for Ringo and Pompous?? YOu don't need 4 DP's anyway. Far too many for a wee school like yours! We have 4 but our roll is 1200. We are not Top Heavy, but a lean, mean machine.

    1. There's a strong rumour that one of the DP positions may be deleted. Probably due to cost cutting. I'd just love to see all 4 applying for their jobs, and then see who is left.

  14. Too many chiefs... but not even decent chiefs.

    At my girls' school the poor teachers show you these huge files of cross referenced figures, superscript numbers, letters and codes which they are required to maintain.

    At the last parent's evening (as a parent) I warmed to the Geography teacher who started with "I'll go through all the marks if you like but I can tell you myself how they're doing."

    He obviously found all this blizzard of monitoring a PITA. He also had a proper Lancashire accent and the figure of a man who would sink a few pints at lunchtime if it were still allowed.


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