Monday, September 24, 2018

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony (Mahatma Gandhi)

Photo by John Weinhardt on Unsplash
Decluttering: the process of removing unnecessary items from an untidy or overcrowded place.

In this case, it's the staff areas at my campus.

Staff are resistant. I can sense it. They think I'm mad, I suspect. If not mad, then unhinged to a certain degree. Or suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Whatever. I'm staying the course, pinning my ears back and getting on with it.

Yesterday, I wondered aloud at our Lean Meeting about two huge piles of old and out dated text books in the staff work area that comes up to my chest. I'm not joking.

There was kind of an uneasy silence before someone said, "They've been there for ages. No one wants them. We just couldn't bear to throw them away".

Definition of decluttering right there, yeah!

"Okay", I said. "They're going in the skip. Today!"

There will be tears before bedtime, I suspect, before I'm done.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

'Cause when you worry your face will frown and that will bring everybody down (Bobby McFerrin)

Okay, so we're three weeks in to the new term/new year and the honeymoon period is, unofficially, over.

And I mean the two to three week period that kicks of a new academic year, as well as the period teachers have when they join a new school (as I have).

Funnily enough, I was in the staff room, reading a TES article about how to sustain the two week honeymoon when the door opened and a staff member alerted me to a situation that I needed to handle. 


The message in the article chimed nicely with my optimistic personality. It advised keeping the positivity and rewards coming in the face of chalk-face reality.

Seems to me the only way. Choosing the negative and the punishment route is not an option that sustains happiness for anyone. 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Mr Blue Sky, please tell us why (ELO)

Rocking the lanyard at Focus School (Kenley)

Lanyard land! 

In the nineties, while I was the Senior Housemaster at School House (Mt Albert Grammar), the trendy item for us blokes was a bum bag. Do you remember them?

Side bar: the current trend is for them to be worn diagonally over one shoulder but they still like geeky.

I digress. Lanyards are everywhere! All the staff have to wear one. But it's not restricted to our school, or even UK schools. They are everywhere! Everywhere I go - people are wearing lanyards. Literally.

Side bar #2 Not really, but then again - literally everyone says, 'literally' - and again, not really).

I'm struggling a little with the concept. It's not like anyone is looking at them (partly because they have the annoying habit of slipping over to a blank side - yes, I know, they should be two sided, but as I've mentioned - no one looks at them anyway).

What's the go? Are we all thinking we're medical practitioners or working in a nuclear facility with security needs paramount in our minds?

Clearly - I don't get it. 

Sunday, September 9, 2018

When you see the shadows falling, when you hear that cold wind calling - hold on tight to your dream (ELO)

Photo by John T on Unsplash
Within striving for a quality education system, there's a battle between learning/growing as a person and assessment ratings; it is clearly an ongoing struggle within the English system that involves GCSE and A Levels.

It's deeply entrenched and made tougher to approach with its concentration on examinations at the end of each year.

Among other things, politicians love to measure and quantify things.

Final exams make the failure so much bigger. Incremental failures along the way with internal assessments are valuable. They allow the failures (and successes) to accrue more organically.

My students have recently received their results. I implored them to remember the feeling they had when they got them, whether it was elation at one end of the continuum, or profound disappointment at the other.

Let that feeling drive you.

And above all else - hold on tight to your dreams.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Get into the groove (Madonna)

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash
Wahoo!! The holidays are over!! 

Thank goodness! School's back in session.

Am I some parent keen to see my kids back to the chalk-face?

Am I 'eck as like!!

I'm a Head Teacher and I'm so glad to get back into the groove again.

Life can return to normal. No more days of wine and roses, coffee and cakes.

Early morning rituals returned this week and weekends re-emerged out of the holiday soup.

All the buzz of a new school year is back once again - the anticipation, the promise, the trepidation, the possibility, the potential.

Purpose has returned!!

There's nothing like it, is there?