MANAGING THE SECOND ICEBERG

The one tenth (or percentage) of positively focused work and learning oriented, focused and motivated students who are visible as the pride of schools, do a great deal as ambassadors to support and indeed to lift the profile of those schools. These are the students who encourage enrolments from parents looking for the best educational opportunities for their children.

A rather sad juxtaposition however is that students whose negative profiles are hidden from view seem to be ignored, with their poor behavioural and social practices being swept under the carpet. Too often it seems those responsible for school administration and leadership do not want to take the issues created by negative behaviours “by the horns” seeking a resolution. Thus the poor behaviour and the negative influence of the students lives on and becomes ingrained is a part of the school culture. While the negatives are somewhat trousered from public view, they significantly impact on other students and teachers. There are a plethora of studies and reams of Facebook statements that attest to this reality.

Historically speaking matters of student discipline may have been too harshly managed. However, aberrant behaviours and their dysfunctional outcomes were not ignored. It is unfortunate that so often those in charge of schools do not want to know about behavioural challenges and negative

manifestations that are part of student profiles.

Anecdotal stories in their thousands abound of teachers who have to manage students, keeping an awareness of disciplinary need away from the leadership teams of the schools. If teachers cannot cope they are deemed to be poor, inept and often a nuisance to their superordinates.

this whole situation is threatening to rebound very very negatively upon schools all over Australia. Everywhere, if posts are to be believed and studies to be accepted, there are teachers looking for “out” when it comes to teaching.The exodus is already impacting upon our schools and it is going to become a departure of massive proportion in the near future.

There is a problem to be fixed and the onus for that fixing rests on individual school administrators and leaders. To leave it go will add to the growing problems that I have outlined.

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