HTML misconceptions


A common misconception with Year 10 students writing HTML is usage of heading tags.  Many students incorrectly assume that <h1> is the first heading, <h2> the second and so on… Until they get to <h7> when they get an error. They have interpreted headings as a sequence… all with the same styling rather than hierarchical with <h1> a main heading with appropriate styling  and <h2> a sub heading <h3> a sub sub heading and so on.

Just like Mathematics misconceptions it is important to identify and rectify as early as possible – or give an exercise that makes the meaning of heading tags obvious. After all I don’t want to see this error at Year 11… so I had better improve my teaching practice.

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Age appropriate? Take the poll.

photo 1 (7)

We have started implementing a digital citizenship program in the junior school ie Years 9 and 10. This encompasses a gamification approach ie as students demonstrate skills and knowledge they acquire points and ultimately recognition. One of the resources relating to being “Kind Online” related to facebook stalking:

#280: “How do I get rid of my Facebook stalker without being mean about it?”

This link has been removed from the program due to “very bad language”. It certainly uses the f word frequently but is it anything students have not read/heard before? What do you think?



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Measles could be a bit of a challenge if an outbreak occurs

download (1)Recently received via email…
“Measles is a highly infectious and serious illness. If a student or staff member is diagnosed with measles in our school, other students and staff (teaching, administration, sports coaches and any other staff that have face to face contact with students) will be required to have written evidence that they have either had two doses of measles vaccine (MMR) after they were 12 months of age or doctor diagnosed measles. This information can be found in your Wellchild or Plunket book or from a print out from your doctor. People born before 1 January 1969 are assumed to have immunity to measles as it was circulating in the community at this time. 
Anyone who does not have evidence of measles immunity will be required to stay off school until 14 days after their contact with the person diagnosed with measles. “
Could be a challenge proving you have been immunized.
“Teaching staff may need to think how we can easily provide work electronically if there is a school closure or groups of students are aware for 14 days if not vaccinated
Technology to the rescue… but will still require both thought and re setting expectations of students that they would need to do school work at home. Streaming the lesson might be a feasible option.
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“F#$% you Mister”

First time ever that a student has said something reasonably offensive to me “F#$% you mister”. Surprised me and the rest of the class. More surprising given I was only relieving the class although I had taught the student in previous years without incident. The catalyst was around cell phone usage for no good reason, although I expect there are many other issues in play. The student stormed out and I filed appropriate incident report and rang her parents. Funny thing is that I like the student and still do. I suspect whatever is really bothering her will surface at some stage and I don’t plan to take any further action, although the school may require I do… (We practice restorative justice.)

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New Zealand Open Source Awards


It is good to see the New Zealand Open Source Awards taking place again this year. There is a specific category that includes education so hopefully those schools (or maybe even students) that are doing amazing things are nominated. You can nominate here.

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Maybe just pay market rates


It seems that a few schools may be having difficulty recruiting Physics teachers capable of teaching Year 13. Likewise  Calculus and TeReo. If you want to find a Computer Science teacher at senior levels you may also be out of luck. Hmmm I have an idea! Why not pay market rates to attract suitable candidates… lets start at $100,000 pa with administrative support.

The current regime of all teachers getting paid at the same level may not be sustainable?

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Practising Teacher Criteria

To be a registered (and re registered) teacher in New Zealand you have to collect evidence that you meet the 12 Practising Teacher Criteria (PTC). One of the more challenging criteria to meet without contrivance or tokenism is PTC3 below.

3. demonstrate commitment to bicultural partnership in Aotearoa New Zealand  i. demonstrate respect for the heritages, languages and cultures of both partners to the Treaty of Waitangi

It has been made clear this year that a more robust process is required by teachers to capture evidence in support of gaining or renewing their practicing certificates. More work I suspect and a plethora of ways of recording evidence have emerged… blogs, web sites, Google docs etc… How much evidence exactly? Unclear…

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