Updated: Feb 24, 2022
I hope you’re having a good last week of school if you’re in the southern hemisphere 😃
I’m looking to continue the newsletter over the holiday period, but the focus will change a little bit. As always give me feedback on how the newsletter has been landing for you, and make any suggestions for me on what you would like included.
“Understanding – like civilization, happiness, music, science and a host of other great endeavours – is not a state of being, but a manner of travelling. And the main goal of helping children learn is to find ways to show them that great road which has no final destination, and that manner of travelling in which the journey itself is the reward.” —Alan Kay
Moama State School
One of the challenges of working in different systems is getting your head around the different initiatives and key documents that are referred to. Trying to keep up with what acronyms are used and what they stand for isn’t easy either.
What cuts through all of this is that good teaching is good teaching wherever you go.
Under the leadership of Scott McKenzie, Moama has developed a range of consistent whole school approaches, particularly with pedagogy. This has led the school to achieving some excellent results this year. Great for the students, but also nice reward for all of the staff who have worked really hard for this outcome.
Having consistency across the school puts us in a fantastic position to continue improving. We will keep monitoring the pedagogy, but the main focus now is on whether we are challenging individual students enough. Is the curriculum deep enough? Is there enough rigour in the tasks being set? What is each student doing well in a particular area, and what would be the number one thing they can work on to become even stronger?
Scott has always made me feel part of the community. At the end of my visit, he provided me with a school promotional pack.
I look forward to continuing this important work in 2022.
CSIRO Double Helix
Double Helix is a science magazine from CSIRO for kids and early teens. It's perfect for girls and boys aged 8 to 14 years.
Packed full of stories and things to make and do, Double Helix promotes critical thinking, strengthens literacy skills and fosters an interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths.
Double Helix comes out eight times per year (approximately every six weeks). You can check out subscription options here https://doublehelixshop.csiro.au/Subscribe
Here is this week’s maths problem for you from Double Helix.
The number 39 bus was packed as it pulled into the interchange. Then 37 people got off, and another 14 got on. As the bus left the interchange, there were 37 people on board. How many people were on the bus as it pulled into the interchange? Think you’ve cracked the brainteaser? Check your answer here!
Principal Health and Wellbeing
This is an area I’ve long been passionate about. I know from my own experience the stress that comes with being a principal, and the toll this can have on your health.
In 2011, an independent longitudinal study of health and wellbeing for all Australian school principal class officers (PCOs) began. The results were via a survey of PCOs conducted by researchers at the Australian Catholic University and Deakin University.
You can access the most recent report here: https://www.principalhealth.org/reports/2020_AU_Final_Report.pdf
The 2020 report has 16 recommendations to improve the wellbeing and health of PCOs across the categories of: government, employers, professional associations, community, schools, individual educators, and the research community.
I have included recommendation 13 under the category of what individual educators can do to improve their own health and wellbeing:
“Take responsibility for your personal work-life balance. Only you can know what is reasonable for your long-term health and wellbeing. It is therefore incumbent on the individual to find and maintain a healthy work-life balance. A work-life balance should not be imposed by others. The negative impact of poor work-life balance highlights that establishing one’s own balance is far too important to be left in someone else’s control. Educators must seek professional help where necessary, such as employer provided professional Employee Assistance Programs.”
This is excellent advice for PCOs, as well as all educators.
I hope you can all get a long, relaxing, and rewarding holiday break. Try and switch everything off that is school related and recharge your batteries.
Thanks for reading and see you next week,
P.S Feel free to provide me with any feedback regarding the newsletter, or anything for that matter via email. Also, let me know what topics you would be interested in reading more about.
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