Thursday, September 27, 2007

Martin, Hank and Veronica

The general meeting of the West Sussex Teachers Association nominated Martin Powell-Davies and Hank Roberts for the Vice Presidential roles in the NUT.

Veronica Peppiatt was nominated as NUT Executive member for West Sussex and Surrey.

The young teachers' rep pointed out at the meeting that members have been waiting since conference for the union to call a strike over pay and they are beginning to wonder what is going on.

A member who had previously attended the assertiveness training course and came to the meeting very angry with the union about the condition of supply teaching in the county.

By the end of the meeting she was our delegate to the black teachers' conference and one of our delegation to annual conference.

She began on the outside looking in. She ended up on the inside looking out.

Our supply teachers are becoming radicalised by their treatment by West Sussex County Council.

Friday, September 21, 2007

WSTA on page three.

The latest edition of Learning Report was launched at the TUC. It is an annual publication about Learning Reps and has a feature on West Sussex Teachers' Association and our use of the internet and Moodle.

Click here for the whole report

Click here to jump straight to page three!

Friday, September 14, 2007

far flung request for the helpline

West Sussex helpline is for stressed teachers in West Sussex to contact the union and the teacher support network when they need help.

However we do get calls from other areas.

The furthest flung query to the WSTA helpline this week was from a teacher in Wales who had found our number on the internet. She wanted to know whether it was part of her job to chase up absences. It was rather flattering but perhaps more NUT branches should consider having a helpline of their own.

The reply to her query is here

In short of course schools follow up on pupils who are absent but the paperwork is not done by teachers so they can concentrate on teaching.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Randomly Shocking Monkeys

This is the second randomly shocking monkeys video and based on Bill Hicks' tirade against advertising. It is very good.

Sponsored by the Coca Cola Death Squads in Guatamala - where they used death squads to kill off union activists.

Also sponsored by the Lambert and Butler Cancer Unit and McDonalds Obesity campaign (self explanatory)

And "New Kiddie Arsenic" which is a Bill Hicks far anyway.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Youtube metube everybodytube

I have become addicted to Youtube and its little sister Teachertube. The latter concentrates on instructional and thought-provoking video. However Teachertube does not have the bandwidth of Youtube so when I put videos on it, I usually go out for a walk while it uploads.

Anybody can have a go and the contributions reflect that – not always in a good way. The number of people who think they can sing or think they are funny seems to be about 20 times the number who really can or really are.

If you go on Youtube try searching for “derekmcmillan1951” and you can comment favourably or otherwise! However the main thing is to have a go yourself. Webcams are about £10 in the shops or a lot less on ebay and in fact I didn’t even need a webcam for anything I have done so far.

It is so easy to use Moviemaker or VirtualDub to make presentations I will be getting my pupils to throw Powerpoint away this year. The fact that most pupils in school respond “Oh no not again” when you suggest they make a Powerpoint tells me the time is ripe for this.

If you have never watched Mock the Week on TV, or you have missed an episode it is available on Youtube. The clips are usually rather small, one round of the show – usually enough to raise a smile. The same goes for virtually every program I can think of. There are clips from (and parodies of) Dr Who, Blake’s Seven, Star Trek.....just type in any program you can remember basically.

And you will also find out more about Paris Hilton than you could possibly wish to know. However you can flag videos as offensive and eventually Youtube will remove them.

They have guidelines on explicit sex and on offensive content. However, I have to say that I have found them to be soft on Fascism and soft on the causes of Fascism. If enough people complain (small hint) the more egregeous excrescences will be removed.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Dihydrogen Monoxide

I have just been reading this website about Dihydrogen Monoxide. Talk about scary. Apparently it is all over the place. It’s in our food and it is impossible to wash it off. It is used in poisons and in nuclear power plants and it kills thousands of people particularly if they go swimming because by now it is in the reservoirs and even in the sea.

Worrying eh?

(with apologies to everybody)