Student led initiatives in responce to tradegy…

A range of initiatives led by senior students has been instigated in response to 15/3/19 atrocities.  The image above depicts only a small number of the messages posted. A range of assemblies, support groups, and other activities have been arranged. Good to see senior students taking the initiative.


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Lockdown at schools… some questions?

Has the risk of a shooter at schools increased?

Do schools have lockdown plans that are well understood by all staff, students, and whanau?

Are lockdown processes and technology up to it?

How do you lock down open learning environments?

Sadly these questions may need to be answered with increased urgency…

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DIA – you can do better…

The DIA name change call lines have a standard message along the lines of “call volumes are high, delays etc…”.  And the irritating messages about using their web site.

I have a complex nonstandard question so I have no choice but to put the speakerphone on and wait.

A suggestion DIA Management: How about you implement a system that records my details and arranges for someone to ring me back”. Surely any customer-centric organization would do this. Any alternative when the norm is to leave people waiting is essentially saying “Fu$& You, your time is unimportant and you can just wait…”

I am sure that is not what DIA actually think but that is what I am made to feel.

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Pōwhiri – fantastic but would it be culturally insentive to have a translation?

Year 9 students and whanau were welcomed to WEGC with a powerful pōwhiri. Lots of genuine emotion with rousing speeches, singing, and hongi. It did occur to me that for the non-Maori speaking audience some type of translation in real time would be welcome – unless of course, this detracted from the pōwhiri.

Doing so would facilitate inclusion and understanding by all participants. I do not know if it is appropriate, however, I did note the Prime Minister received translations in real time via an interpreter at Waitangi…


Disclaimer: comments are my own…

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School Uniforms – the debate continues…

Interesting article. I am not a great fan of school uniforms, however, there are quite good arguments both for and against uniforms. Where most of the controversy lies is around the edges where a bit of discretion could accommodate students unique circumstances.  I did decide to ask my Year 10 and 11 students what they thought… Surprisingly 80%+ were in favor of school uniforms, and if parents really felt differently then school Boards of trustees would no doubt change uniform policies.

Disclaimer: Views are my own…

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IT competancy is useful for weddings and funerals…

I had the joy of walking my daughter down the aisle a few days ago, before switching to a funeral mode for my fantastic father-in-law who unfortunately dies a few days after my daughters’ wedding (age 91). Being able to:

  • liaise between designers and printers to produce printer wedding material was critical – a little technical and design knowledge very useful
  • producing a Powerpoint for the funeral after service showing a range of photos gleaned from many different sources – design and image manipulation skills essential…
  • being able to set up equipment with continuous loop/timings was also useful
  • emailing, texting, messaging, forwarding, QA etc are basic skills required by many people especially students
  • hot spot wireless access is assumed, using data/wireless services also assumed…

Doing this under pressure is also assumed… BUT I did notice that the subtle differences between Android, iPhones, apps etc did not make life easy when operating under time constraints. My biggest complaint – buying data from Vodafone and Spark at a time when it was really needed! It seems you have to jump through hoops… why do I have to register/download apps etc… surely I can just specify a number and pay by credit card, who cares what my identity is.

Having said that, many things would have been ten times harder without the technology – that is why students need to learn to use it properly.

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Should you restrain a student?

Under the current confusing laws – Never is the simple answer,

Hmmm could I be taken before the teachers Council for not restraining a student in certain circumstances?

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