When the students call you Dad, Mum or Miss you know you are part of the school furniture. When Mums ask you to convince their children to come to school, you feel like a surrogate parent. I don’t recall covering these at Teachers Training College.

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DX Mail who?

I receiveddownload (12) a jury summons which I promptly responded to along the lines of “I am a teacher with NCEA students … please defer”. The Ministry of Justice(MoJ) kindly provide a prepaid envelop with a request that I lodge it with DX Mail BUT no instructions on where or how to lodge it. Following advice on the DX Mail web site I went looking for a “blue box”, and two phone calls later (the second one the person hung up on me) I gave up.

I went into the nearest NZ Post Branch and asked for a stamp… they told me not to bother just throw it in the NZ Post box and it will find it’s way to the destination. Seems to me that MoJ may have a cheaper service but we the “clients” pay the price. The word Bulls%^t springs to mind.

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18 hours to backup 4TB



I am teaching students about the challenges of making full backups (locally) when the volume of data is several TB’s. Over the Internet it is more like 11 days. Its quite useful that they can just pump the numbers into Google and get an answer. They then start to appreciate the advantages of snapshots and incremental backup technologies.

Footnote: Most students have 1 TB external drives (or better) and many do not take backups.

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How many hours and minutes in 512 minutes?


(download (11)

I asked students to write down the steps involved in working out the answer to the above question. This is a exercise in developing an algorithm for a computer program. They were required (under duress) to use the ancient tools of pen and paper.

About 25% of the class immediately protested that this was Maths and they could not do Maths. About 50% came up with 8.53 hours… they were advised I wanted hours and minutes as per above example image.

About 25% came up with the correct answer being 8 hours and 32 minutes.

Now I want a generalized solution…

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Girls too delicate for 90 minutes football?

Nothing has changed since my last post on short halves for college girls soccer teams. My Senior team plays 30 minutes each way. They want to play 45 but are not given the option. Why? The boys play 45 mins, hell even mixed teams play 45 mins (so I am told). I still play soccer with 45 min halves and the girls are way fitter than me. I contacted various Football associations last year to no avail. Is there a good reason, as I am sure the players are not too delicate.


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Laugh out Loud : The folly of standardized tests

Brilliant and hilarious as usual.




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The bane of many teachers’ lives is administration that adds no value. For example in many schools if you want to visit to a local organisation you have to complete forms, write to parents, get written approval from parents, complete RAMS (Risk analysis and mitigation strategies) etc… even if the trip is after hours, few students and purely voluntary. Fair enough for overseas, overnight or outdoor education trips but not for very low to NO risk ventures. Common sense and a cell phone should be enough risk management in many cases. And some people wonder why schools don’t do more education outside the classroom!

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