Term 3. Ugh.

14th July 2016
The Staff Room

Ugh – I can hear you groaning.  The thought of going back to school can give you a physical pain.

My advice is to be gentle with yourself.  Especially in the first few weeks.  Try to get home early, try to carve out a little more space for YOU.  Don’t let the beast grab you by the throat (until at least week 3).

And if you feel a little edgy about relaxing your way into the term, if you’re one of those people who feels like you should be doing something, well here’s something relaxing you can be doing.  If you didn’t catch the ABC’s four part series called Revolution School, you really must watch it.  It made me think about lots of things and I’ve got a heap of questions resulting from my viewing.

  1. If academics (Hattie, Snowball, Rogers) mentoring teachers could have such a great effect on a school why don’t we do more of this?
  2. When did Kambrya teachers do the work related to Teacher Standards and if standards are so important, why wasn’t this featured more in the series?
  3. Were there any renegade staff who weren’t on board with the changes implemented and opposed the trajectory the College was travelling along?
  4. What would this series look like if it was in a Primary School setting?
  5. What things did the school ‘ditch’ in order to adopt new programs such as the Positive Psychology Wellbeing Program?

I think that even just watching, thinking about and reflecting on programs like this adds something to ourselves as teachers.  We do so much of our work in isolation – despite the fact that we’re meant to be shifting to team teaching and collective learning experiences and all that good stuff.  I know I still feel very much alone in my work as a teacher.  Being able to look at others teaching and then potentially discuss it with others is a rich and productive experience for me.

I can also say the same for my beloved series Offspring.  I recommend this for the sheer ridiculous hilarity, great fashion and convoluted plot lines.  If you need your mind to be taken OFF teaching – then that’s the show for you.

Happy Term 3, soldiers.  See you on the front line.

3 responses to “Term 3. Ugh.”

  1. Caroline says:

    Dear Gabbie,
    I’ve just listened to the podcast on ‘Conversations’ RN. I cried for you and for all the teachers who are struggling to really teach. I’m 72 now and have had a wealth of teaching experience in a multitude of situations and can absolutely identify with your every word and every frustration. I, too, was born a teacher. And, as you say, once a teacher, always a teacher.
    I feel you’re right when you say, for the moment, you can give teachers a voice. They need one; an agency that’s both passionate and authentic. And, as you clean those rooms (and remember Elizabeth Jolley did a lot of her writing/thinking when cleaning), I’m sure you’ll get an eagle view of the system in a way you couldn’t if you stayed with in it.
    All strength to you.
    (Caroline) Anne 🙂

  2. Michelle says:

    I love what you are doing for us teachers Gabbie, THANK YOU!
    Your conversation with Richard Fidler a little while back was so reassuring and what I really needed to hear from a fellow teacher who understood my profession . I had just be diagnosed by my doctor with ‘burn out’. Something I didn’t realise existed and something I’m sure couldn’t happen to my capable self!!
    It is happening so much more than what the general public are aware of.
    You are doing a great job and I hope you can keep doing it x

  3. Clare King says:

    We have adopted John Hattie & SOLO in a Primary School setting in a Mt Waverley school in Melbourne. I find I am again doing more documentation. Lengthy, 5 page documents for SOLO Writing sequences, SOLO Maths sequences & the school is proposing we do it collaboratively in our Level teams for all learning areas. We make posters of the Learning Intention & Success Criteria for each lesson. I watch my Grade 2 students disengage from the outset. I have very little time to prepare my actual lessons or come up with fun & innovative ways to inspire students learning. Coming from a Melbourne University ARTS background, I find it difficult to digest all of what Hattie suggests. In fact, if you go on his WIKI page there is a link to an article from a notable educational journal deeply criticising his data analysis and that it is completely statistically flawed. His work wouldn’t of been published in the medical or scientific domains.
    I will be going back to Casual Relief Teaching next year and continue on with my 10 year Tutoring business. I got roped into teaching this gorgeous year 2 class for nearly 3 terms because the students and parents fell in love with my passion for teaching. But as the weeks ticked by my passion got less and less and I was buried under a pile of documents, data, collecting data, evaluating data, documenting everything that I did. I actually left the teaching profession in 2008 after 2 years full-time in the classroom. But it has got so much worse from when I left! Tutoring and CRT work enables me to do what I love…teach the kids without all the other stuff. It is my way of coping. I regularly write to politicians and education ministers but I always get them same generic type reply…we are doing everything we can. So frustrating. I hope you can change the system Gabby, that your voice is being heard. I will keep on persisting and making a noice too! You are so inspirational, Clare

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