Thursday, March 12, 2009

jobs for Thursday

I'm not going into work this morning, having decided that I'm owed some time at home after having spent most of Saturday in there. But am I lolling on the lounge, reading a novel and sipping coffee? Well, no actually. I know some people scoff at the phrase "working from home" but look at what's been accomplished by me in the last two hours!

What with sleeping in for half an hour, showering and breakfast, deciding what shirt to wear, washing up from breakfast, setting up iTunes for the morning, reading the news and other regular sites, checking lolcats, checking home and work emails, mucking about on Facebook and's just been go, go, go.

So as you can clearly see, I've had a very busy morning to this point. But seriously folks I am now about to start actual jobs. Firstly, read and review a paper... a job that has been consistently pushed to the bottom of the "to do" list for the last three weeks. This must be accomplished today. Then I have to finalise the Eisteddfod program. With the lower number of entries this year (annoying and disappointing!) we can make it a couple of sessions shorter, so this means some jigsaw puzzle operations on the draft we did up a month or so ago. Why lower number of entries i hear you ask? (well maybe I don't hear you but I'm going to tell you anyway). Two and half days of our competition is school based section - choirs, concert bands, string orchestras and small ensembles. Usually these sections are packed. For instance last year we had to split the Primary School Age Small ensemble (3-9 instruments) into three sections because with 36 entries we would have died of boredom listening to them all at once. This year there are 10. Apparently, it's largely to do with the standardised 3. 5. 7 literacy and numeracy testing that occurs in mid May. As a committee we had been made aware of this last year and moved our Eisteddfod dates so they didn't clash with the week of the testing. But, no, that wasn't enough to avoid fallout. Because the principals of schools in the area got together and decided that it was far more important for students to suffer through endless practice tests than it was for them to have a well rounded education involving not only, literacy and numeracy, but also music. So basically, they chose not to enter. I've been told that there are some schools that are doing nothing but English and Maths until those tests are over. Something is wrong with this methinks. Anyway I'm not the minister for education so I'll leave that where it lies.

I also have to check through the list of our usual Eisteddfod volunteers and mark them off for particular jobs. For every session of the Eisteddfod requires at least 5-6 volunteers to do things like announcing, scribing for adjudicators, selling tickets, writing certificates and recording marks etc. It gets more difficult every year to find people willing to give their time. And this year with running concurrent sessions it may prove slightly more challenging to fill all places.

So if I get those three things done I will be happy. It all has to happen before 11:30 as I have a hair cut (hurrah!...shaggy dog fringe becoming a little bit much) and then's off to actual work I go.


2paw said...

Glad you had a relatively nice Working at Home morning, hope the hair cut meets and exceeds your expectations.
I was still teaching when we had our first Literacy/Numeracy tests and the whole point is that it is a TEST. If they spend so much time teaching to the test then it is no longer a relevant tool. Don't they know about the 7, 8 or however many intelligences?? Different learning styles?? Di Bono?? Left and Right brain thinking??
Right, rant over!!

Wendy said...

yes the hair is good....gone back to colouring it after a year's break...the few little greys were starting to peep through just a little too much for me!

Exactly...a test!!! I couldn't agree more....i spend the first four weeks in the uni preparatory program i teach with looking at all the things you describe...for so many adult learners it's a revelation to them that they aren't as "dumb" as school led them to believe. we're doing de bono right now in these two weeks in simple and yet so effective for generating and organising ideas, that plus mind maps, clustering , learning styles, ....i'll stop ranting now also.

Andrew said...

We have been told by the dept that our school needs to get 99% of our students above 80% in marks. That is why our school is obsessed with Literacy and Numeracy.

Wendy said...

really??? well i don't know your school but it sounds like the dept is "dreaming the impossible dream"...or is that possible if the teachers are made to spend enough weeks teaching the children what's on the test?

Andrew said...

basically what's on the tests

Wendy said...