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Teachers, stay, we need you!

15 January 2018

Only a couple of weeks until school resumes. Theoretically teachers are on leave, but no doubt many are deep in planning for the year but many who taught last year aren't returning. Why?

Teachers who feel supported and appreciated are more likely to stay in the profession. The rate of teachers leaving is concerning and damning of schools and training.

An average of 40% of teachers, in their first five years of teaching, leave.

How concerning is this when numbers of students are increasing while the majority of teachers are older? ( eg in SA, about half the teachers in government schools are over 50). We are already seeing shortages of secondary teachers, particularly in WA. 

The problems are obvious, as are solutions -  better salary, higher status, higher entry scores for teaching, mentoring of young teachers, time for flexibility and innovation, less administrative load, more autonomony... but perhaps a rethink of the entire purpose of education is due.

Interesting that Pasi Sahlberg (pictured above), former Director General of Finnish Education, one of the most praised systems in the world, says politicians have placed too much emphasis on competition between schools and students. In Finland, students start school at age seven, because there is a great belief in the importance of play in students' development. In Australia, our children start school earlier and spend longer in the classroom than most OECD countries. 

Mr Sahlberg is joining the Gonski Institute this year. Great appointment. We look forward to his contribution.

Meanwhile a big thank you to all you returning teachers for the great job you do. Often mentions of teachers in the media are negative, in contrast, when a recently retired teacher, Bruce Fairfax, was lost in Tasmanian bush, the outpouring of grief and appreciation for his contribution from so many people, reminds us that teachers have a huge impact.

Read more on Pasi Sahlberg's comments in The Guardian

Read more on Teachers Leaving and Teachers staying in The Conversation

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Don't teachers ever take a break?

10 January 2018

Every day since schools broke up, teachers have made booking enquiries with us for shows in 2018.

What an amazing group of dedicated people. 

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Ferking Forthward for 2018

9 January 2018

It's sad when expressions lose currency, so to speak. This great verb, to ferk, is Old English. It means direction, action and purpose. How much better is ferking forthward rather than moving forward? You can even say ferking up/out/off as well as forthward to mean the same thing.

Also why don't we bring back the lovely word, trumpery meaning empty, insincere talk, weeds or rubbish of any sort. How perfect for today!!

Read some more old expressions here

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Commiserations to those back at work today

8 January 2018

Our office is slowly being repeopled...

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Happy New Year to All!

1 January 2018

Now for the resolutions...

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Teachers still booking shows...

28 December 2017

Teachers are amazing. They don't stop thinking about their classes. We've been amazed at the number of teachers booking shows this week! Good on you all. But do have a rest, too.

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Head to The Empire Theatres in Toowoomba

18 December 2017

As usual, The Empire Theatres are offering a great range of events for those for little kids to great works for senior secondary students. Check them all out here.

Image: Cockfight, The Farm, at The Empire Theatre

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First holiday sleep in for much of Australia today!

18 December 2017

Tas and Vic still have a few days to go..... 

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Victorian Primary Schools - Make a Short Film for Diversity Week

13 December 2017

The Victorian Multicultural Commission is running a short film competition for Primary students for Diversity Week next year.

Films can be up to 5 minutes in total. The theme is  'This is what a Victorian looks like'

More details announced in January here. Start planning now!

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Teacher Passion and Student Learning in Indonesia

11 December 2017

Although some 89% of Indonesian primary school aged children attend school, they are not necessarily learning anything much. Indonesia is ranked in the lowest ten in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Research, such as that done by The World Bank, shows teachers make a huge difference. Teacher passion for their students learning seems to be a key, making some 30% difference in student outcomes. And good teachers need to be have a supportive structure around them. 

Inspiring teacher, inspired students. 

Read more about the Indonesian situation here

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Have a great Xmas break, Queensland!!!

8 December 2017

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SFS e news out tomorrow!

6 December 2017

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