ABSENT STUDENTS CREATE CLASS PROBLEMS
Absence from school creates many learning difficulties. One is personal learning loss for the absentee. Another is time lost for regular students who have to mark time while the absentee is caught up.
MARK STUDENTS WORK WITH CARE
When marking assignments, take care to moderate for the sake of consistency. Mark a few papers at a time and take regular, head-clearing breaks. Come back refreshed to each marking stint.
THE JOY OF MARKING WORK UNDERPINNED BY PRIDE IN PRESENTATION
When marking, it is an absolute joy to encounter rhe work of students who take time and care with meeting presentation requirements. Carefully referenced work is also a pleasure to read and assess.
LET THE CHILDREN PLAY
Children are often forced to grow up too quickly. Education plays some part in this demand by demands placed on them by schools and systems. Children need the chance to enjoy their few years of play.
CHILDREN DESERVE HAPPINESS
We need to be conscious of the need to keep children bouyed and optimistic in a world where distress is often highlighted.
DI … THE BEST EDUCATION
Direct Instruction and face-to-face teaching and learning between teacher(s) and student(s) is the very best possible of educational and teaching methodologies. Direct education is caring education.
I was challenged to develop a statement of mission or purpose in 1983. Statements asked of us by Deakin University’s (Geelong Australia) Dr Colin Moyle asked that we develop a statement of 25 words of less which would be our precept and guide going forward. I spent a great deal of time in developing the following focus:
” To fulfil and be fulfilled in organisational mode: Famiily, work, recreation;
To acquit my responsibilities with integrity;
To work with a smile in my heart.”
This guide is one I reflect upon regularly and have on the reverse side of my business card. It has been of great focussing value to me over the years. Do others have statements or mottos that reflect the principles shaping their actions? Would you be prepared to share?
KNOWING WHAT’S GOING ON
We should take a few minutes each day to make ourselves aware of initiatives being contemplated and changes being mooted on the educational front. Awareness prevents us being wrong footed on change.
ALWAYS A LEARNER
No matter how ‘new’ we are or how long we have been in the field of education, there is never an end to learning. Are you like me, a person learning something new every day? We should always learn.
MOTIVATION SHOULD BE A MEANS NOT AN END
Be careful with rewards. Don’t offer them so regularly for work outcomes that chiildren and students are motivated ONLY by this pavlovian notion. Inner, intrinsic satisfaction should be a key driver.
AVOID PLAGIARISM LIKE A PLAGUE
It seems that plagiarism is becoming a lucrative industry. Buying assignments results and presenting them as one’s own is becoming normative among students. We MUST teach students to shun this ‘lie’.
DON’T BOW DOWN AND HAIL REPORTS
Reports on educational trends, directions, the way it should be are almost never ending. We would be foolish to ‘jump’ at every trend. We need education that is steady, predictable and reassuring.
THINK OF STUDENT WHEN ASSESSING
When assessing student work, I try and think of mself as might the student. How would/will I ‘feel’ when checking the assigned grade? Will I be elated, happy, relieved, disbelieving or despairing?
PRINCIPALS NEED TEAMS
Principals are key educational leaders and the people most strongly identified with their schools. However, they are limited in their capacities to lead and progress their schools without a good team.
May children and the fact that ‘education is for children’ always be front and centre in our thinking. We can get too involved with structure and scaffolding, which takes our focus away from students.
TERTIARY STUDENTS HAVE OBLIGATIONS
Much is said and written about the obligation of universities toward students. Often students feel empowered to complain about lecturers anmd organisation if things do not go their way. But there is a counterviewpoint and that is the responsibility that students should have toward their studies and commitment to university education. If students absent themselves from lectures, tutorials, discussion boards and from online sessions, then they can hardly turn around and criticise universities for their failure. Commitment is a two way process. To gain the most from their education, students have to approach their tertiary studies and training with due diligence. University is not a cake-walk.