Monday, 26 November 2007


An old head One of the most rewarding parts of my job is the discussions I have with some of our more experienced staff. Today whilst on walkabout I stopped in Art for a while to chat to Dave Ramsay. Dave is one of these people who always sees the best in others and simplifies potentially complex situations. Anyone who has attended a PTs' meeting and listened carefully to one of Dave's many contributions will know what I mean. Today's topic of conversation was classroom management and why it is that some staff can effortlessly manage discipline in their classes whilst others struggle a bit at times. Dave has been around long enough to acknowledge that none of us gets it right all of the time. Can classroom management be taught? Can classroom management be learned? By the end of our conversation we had concurred that the answers to these questions were 'No' and 'Yes' respectively. It is my personal view that, as with Leadership, classroom management can be learned but not taught. They may be two sides of the same coin.

Also in the Art department I had a brief chat with Mr Scott whose pupils were engrossed in creating pictures involving a collage of football strips. Why didn't my teachers use this approach to engage us all these years ago?

In French, I came across Mrs McKerrecher's 1DA who were actively involved in developing posters covering aspects of citizenship. I have rarely come across a class as enthusiastic and motivated. The pupils were so keen to show off their efforts.

Homeless in Computing In computing I came across Ms Didcock's (English Department) classes using the internet to research a project on homelessness. One student asked if I knew that there were 23,000 homeles people in Edinburgh. I admitted ignorance on the true number and suggested that I would return soon to confirm the actual number.

Cooking is great fun at Liberton High Next on my tour I popped into Home Economics where I came across a S5/6 class actively engaged in preparing cuisine from a variety of countries. I was hugely impressed by the classroom organisation and the rapport between staff and students. I have promised not to mention the name of which student was suggesting using a food processor to shred his chicken pieces!


Anonymous said...

Very interesting to read about some of the activities going in Liberton High School and I notice that your job is certainly not 9 - 5!

Dj Macdonald said...

I agree - the job often goes well beyond those hours.