Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Leaping in....

The new year has begun and I have been busy trying to get my head around a whole new school - its systems, its physical environs, its priorities and a very large staff. The impressions I have from changing systems are reassuring- schools are schools- they face the same dilemmas, the same physical issues and the same need to re-energise and redirect staff to bring their focus to the task of doing the absolute best they can for their students. I have been in two days of orientation for new staff and then in sessions with the main body of the staff and they have been extremely well organised and very detailed, such a contast to what my past has been.
The biggest difference that has struck me apart from the obvious ones of better physical resources like swimming pools and lovely concert halls is that with a student body of 2200 prep to yr12 they have a staff of 835 - 356 of whom are teachers - the rest are support staff. I don't have to do yard duty and my allotment means no extras.
What every teacher in the state system would say they would like to have happen to allow them to do a better job of what they took up the profession to do, would be get rid of yard duty and extras and have more help on the admin duties. Is there any possibility that a school system that really serves our students best is not an unattainable pie in the sky? Sure the private system has problems, but this school has shown that with sufficient funds and the will to focus on the teaching, things can be better for teachers and as a result the kids get a better experience for the short time that we have to show them the possibilities of the world.
My education continues.