VIOLENT REACTIONS NEED TO BE A ‘NO, GO’.

Teachers and school leaders can sometimes wear abuse from parents and caregivers when it comes to students and things not going well. The reaction of venting when it comes to unhappiness is a not on response that is acceptable.

The unleashing of verbal or physical abuse against principals and teachers cannot be accepted or tolerated.

The issue of violent threats in their various forms is one I believe needing careful address. It’s the matter of “issue” rather than “individual incident” that needs careful consideration. The matter is not new – but rather has been ongoing over time.

From time to time systems and various support professional organisations look at the matter and consider process that might be taken into account when reacting to matters of threat. That to me is part of the problem; our systems are reactive” rather than taking a proactive role in engaging the matter.

Threat in its various forms is not new. However, responding to the matter seems to be one that causes embarrassment. Often Principals and staff members feel that to air issues occurring within the school organisations is tantamount to a profession of weakness. There seems to be a preference to manage within, making sure that word about problems does not get out. Over time there have been assaults levied against Principals and staff members where it seems that departmental management is to mute the issue almost in some sort of “we are guilty because it happened” fashion.

I think that issues of this nature have to be put right out into the public domain and addressed with responsible but justified professional aggression. “How dare they” ought to apply. The response being developed needs to have full system support and it ought not to be that recommendations on process point and direct the whole matter back to schools at the individual level to manage.

WHAT ABOUT HOMEWORK?

Homework is an issue that continues to do the educational rounds. Some educators believe in homework while others would like to discount it altogether. Similarly, some parents appreciate homework while others would like it to be abolished. Those in favour of homework believe it reinforces and consolidates learning through extra practice at home. Opposition to homework comes from those who think ‘enough is enough’; that beyond the school day, children should be freed from learning tasks.

Some parents and commentators suggest that homework is the teacher’s way of handing their responsibilities to parents. Homework should never be offered as a substitute for teaching. Lessons taught at school can however, be consolidated and reinforced through follow-up tasks completed at home. Homework can be a link between home and school, in helping to keep parents informed of what their children are learning and how they are progressing.

It is important that parents know assignments are set for children, rather than believing tasks are set for them to complete on behalf of children.

HOMEWORK – A VEXATIOUS ISSUE

The issue of homework is eons old. This papers considers pro’s and cons along with the purpose and function of homework. While set in terms of the Northern Territory environment, there would be parallels to and in other locations.

PROS AND CONS OF HOMEWORK

Homework is an issue that continues to do the educational rounds. Some educators believe in homework while others would like to discount it altogether. Similarly, some parents appreciate homework while others would like it to be abolished. Those in favour of homework believe it reinforces and consolidates learning through extra practice at home. Opposition to homework comes from those who think ‘enough is enough’; that beyond the school day, children should be freed from learning tasks.

Some parents and commentators suggest that homework is the teacher’s way of handing their responsibilities to parents. Homework should never be offered as a substitute for teaching. Lessons taught at school can however, be consolidated and reinforced through follow-up tasks completed at home. Homework can be a link between home and school, in helping to keep parents informed of what their children are learning and how they are progressing.

It is important that parents know assignments are set for children, rather than believing tasks are set for them to complete on behalf of children.

Primary students

For primary aged children reading, spelling list words and practicing their tables at home, reinforces basic learning needs. Rote methodology is a part of learning and homework set around basics, helps ingrain key understandings.

A comments sheet which can be signed off and commented upon by both parent and teacher, may be attached to these tasks. This simple communication helps keep parents aware of children’s academic development. Progress charts kept by some teachers remind students of their accomplishments. Homework should have relevance and meaning to children and parents. It must be more than busy work set by teachers.

Homework might ask for the completion of a research project or construction task. Requirements ought not be so complex or time consuming that parental intervention is needed to complete the exercise. Homework is for children, not an assignment for parents. Homework tasks set for students should be acknowledged, marked and outcomes recorded. If that doesn’t happen, children lose interest.

In some primary schools, outside school hours care programs offer homework support for attending children. This may include supervised after hours access to the school library. The City of Darwin Council also makes its library facilities available to children for homework support purposes.

The establishment of homework habits for younger students stands them in good stead for their later years of secondary and tertiary education. It builds within them confidence and independence, together with the knowledge that study at home is part of their educational contract. It can also be one way of parents keeping in touch with the learning and progress of their children.