1. The conveyance of feeling and delivery of message is enhance by the FACIAL EXPRESSIONS of teachers. A ‘living face’ is vital and engaging, drawing students toward teachers. The face is a key aid.
2. All the very best to Pre-service Teachers about to embark on PRACTICE TEACHING in schools. Don’t be overawed and don’t feel undervalued by this opportunity. Learn, but also share your knowledge.
3. Aim to avoid MISSED DAYS during practice rounds. However, if unwell don’t soldier on. Get a medical certificate and arrange catch up days with your host school. Give practice your very best effort.
4. I hope teachers in training are preparing for a profession to which they intend to commit a serious, substantial period of their lives. When challenged, talk about issues with a critical colleague.
5. As you start on a teaching career path, determine to that RESPECT is a key value you will demonstrate in all relationships with people. You in turn will be paid respect and be appreciated.
6. It seems to me that school leaders, teachers, support staff and students are the ACTORS. The school and classrooms are stages. ‘Education’ is the plot and the future in life’s world the conclusion.
7. Do you like me believe SLEEP is important? All of us, principals and teachers alike (not to mention students) do our jobs ever so much better if we enter each day relaxed, refreshed and ready.
8. I believe schools are best served if within staff there is a mix of age and experience along with youthful exuberance and new ideas. Pairing teachers with this mix in mind can help both team members.
9. In REPORTING on student progress, are principals and teachers frightened to tell it the way it is because of parent response and the fear of litigation? Does that lead to ‘gobbledegook’ reporting?
10. Many teachers and staff members are ‘age wearied and worn’ long before their time. Retirement is looked to with longing. May this blight never affect our upcoming generation of new teachers.
11. REWARDS THAT MEAN THE MOST
We all deserve salary and adequate recompense for the contribution we make to preparing the next generation for life’s world. Yet ‘thank you’ from students and parents is a transcending reward
12. TESTING AND ASSESSMENT – PLEASE CONSIDER
When testing and assessment become the most prominent and dominating feature of education, we are in deep trouble. Beware systems, reacting to government pressure that put stress on teaching, assessment and DATA, where data becomes the number one priority. Then students are no longer students but ‘objects’ to be cauterised and tested every which way. They are no longer the end in outcome and importance terms (schools are for children:Eedle 1978) but a means to an end. They are reduced becoming educational artefacts and objects.
13. PRIME FOCUS
Our prime focus should be on the holistic development of students. Social, emotional and moral/spiritual elements should be considered along with academics. Sadly, the modern focus discounts elements of character development, concentrating almost solely on academic factors. We regard children and students less as people and more as objects to be incessantly rested, measured, assessed and evaluated. We elevate the brain and discount the soul.
It is of concern that quite often the opinions and beliefs of educational practitioners are discounted because they are not ‘guru theoreticians’ engaged in research and located within universities. I have great respect for academic doctors and professors, but rue the fact that those who can contribute but without the ultimate academic accolade are regarded as having opinion of less worth than those held by high level academics. Ofter practitioners, being those as the chalk face have contemporary experiece. Those within academic halls have often been removed from classroom reality for a long time. Both academics and practitioners should be equally heard.
15. SHARING THE JOY
I don’t believe we should be shy about sharing classroom and school celebrations with the wider community. Too often schools and teachers are canned and criticised when students do not meet expectations. Brickbats are common, bouquets rare. When good things happen we should share the joy.