1. E-MAILS once sent are indelible and everlasting. Consider the wisdom of dealing with issues by face-to-face or telephone contact. Written messages so often come back to haunt their senders.
2. We have many great teachers and principals. They care! It is awful that there are some who use schools as trampolines: Launching pads to greater, higher, system glory. That is a sad detractor.
3. I believe the most significant value that should underpin our schools and embrace educators, leaders, teachers, support staff, students and community is RESPECT. Without respect we flounder and sink.
4. 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.
5. It seems that the opinions and beliefs of both school leaders and teachers are at times discounted because they are not the holders of high level tertiary qualifications. From practice grows wisdom.
6. I believe the best possible staff mix is one where experienced and neophyte teachers associate together. Youthful enthusiasm and new ideas need to infuse schools. Beginning staff need to link with their older peers who have much to offer in support.
7. Educators often urge children to eat well and healthily and get a good night’s sleep. They come to school more refreshed and inclined to learning. Is that not advice we need to also heed?
8. 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.
9. Does education reach a point where principals and teachers are ‘too old’ to bounce back in resilient terms from daily challenges? I feel educators can succumb to draining and emotional exhaustion
10. 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.
11. 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?
12. It seems to me that many principals, teachers and staff members are ‘age wearied and worn’ long before their time. Retirement is looked to with longing. Can this terrible phenomena be treated?
13. 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.
14. TESTING AND ASSESSMENT
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.
15. 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.
16. OPINION VALIDITY
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.
17. 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.