Showing posts from March, 2011

Meeting like minded souls ...

There are many things I like about my job, apart from the geek, the toys and even more geek. I get the luxury of meeting like-minded souls across the world. Out there in the world of education are renegades everywhere, they don’t see the world in ordered terms, taking a sideways look at reality and seeing things for the way they really are.

What I find exciting is how many of these renegades are innovating, inspiring and pioneering in spite of the systems in place as well as those who surround them.

In the last week I had the privilege of reconnecting with one of these ‘heroes’ managing to push forward to cause in spite of the carnival of fools that surrounds them.

So, if you think you are a educational renegade, you believe that there are idiots around that should be better employed elsewhere (anywhere else), then I would consider it a privilege to become your friend.

A wordy moment ...

Don’t you love it when a new word appears unexpectedly in your vocabulary, if you don’t get the same thrill as I, when this prospect occurs, then best click now onto another website.

Words are powerful little worms that burrow themselves into your mind they express concepts, ideas, feelings and much more. One turn of one little word to a thought can charge the thoughts of many.

So powerful, yet sublime.

Every time I encounter a new word I will look it up, think about it and consider if it is something I can use anytime. Often when I look up the word, I learn more about the subject matter I am reading. Here, often unintentionally the original author (or orator) has embedded additional meaning into their communication.

Even more fascinating is when one learns the multitude of meanings a word hides as well as the original meaning often lost to current thought. Making the word itself a more fascinating tool often telling its own tale.

Once someone joked to an audience I was part of that t…

Thought for today ...

Would we be happy to intervene in the calming of an oppressive regime if it did not have so much oil?

Comments welcome.

Let the lesson plan be the lesson, is that the plan?

I have never been a fan of lesson plans, apart from the tedium of filling the damn things in, they never reflect the reality of a real lesson. Or at least they never reflect the reality of the lessons I teach.

So if this means that I am a sub-standard educator, I will not disagree.

Experience has presented me with the ability to gauge when a lesson is working, as well as when it is not, experience has also given me the resources to plan a lesson in a shorter more suitable format that:

Makes the lesson more entertaining Adapts to the learners during the session Ensures that they are getting an achievable experience, but not diluted by process and paperwork

When writing some books, the editors get excited by lesson plans (they cant understand why I don’t), they say that teachers want these and that they are a deal breaker (are they, really?). I think some educators are so overwhelmed by the lesson planning process, that they grapple for anything that may help.

Recently someone shared wit…

Dear Diary ...

I am so sorry that I abuse the entries in my calendar, it seems that I have a lifestyle where many are not so busy as to think I may be available in the next two weeks to meet with, chat with or socialise with them, then are dismayed that I am not.

That would be nice.

Entertainingly, its wonderful that when I let people know of the gaps in my diary, they take weeks to come back to me, gaps fill, that’s what happens, don’t be surprised.

Then when people ask for dates, when given enquire if others are available, I gave you what was free, if I have not given it, its not free, get it?

There are excellent inventions, such as phone, email, web conferencing, all avoiding the need to be in the same place for ‘trivial’ meetings. The face to face is important, but more can be done, in a shorter time using the other tools.

Get the hint.

Too close to home ...

As some who may follow this blog may be aware, in one of my alter-egos I visit different centres and audit (or inspect, as the mood takes you) the quality  of their vocational provision. A recent visit has made me stop and seriously think about the quality of what is happening out there, where centres are unwittingly damaging the educational experience of their students.

I have seen good, not pretend good, real, fair and honest good. I have seen average, seen poor quality and have seen those who are trying to improve for the betterment of the their learners.

This centre is on the edge, whilst they are playing the game, a collaboration with another centre adds chaos, uncertainty and lack of responsibility to the entire equation. This is further exacerbated by an environmental mentality that seems to prefer all programmes of learning to ‘do their own thing’ with no central leadership (or ownership) of quality.

The result is chaos, disorganization and a culture of shrugging, struggling, …

So, one has been thinking ...

For me it is a matter of trust and ‘good faith’ before anything else, sometimes there are those who seem to feel that they are above or beyond this.

I do like the line from Swordfish, “do not mistake kindness for weakness”.

Interesting times will lead to some interesting decisions being made, some have already been.