HE and all that
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   Saturday, November 09, 2002  
Here’s a classic, what with the pending Ofsted visit and no doubt the realisation on the part of old PMT of the SMT that having done virtually nothing for staff in the past year apart from reducing over time rates across the board, limiting the amount of leave you can take during the normal summer recess and making it virtually impossible to remove disruptive students, all of which of course will not boad well with the inspectors goes as well as the colleges investors in people kite mark. Well the thing is we have all been deluged with offers of stress counselling workshops, wonder why? Well wonder why is in fact not the first point of question actually, as all of the workshops take place during lecture periods, how can we attend; no mention of cover or being able to cancel lectures you understand. Anyway I not going to get stressed about this one.
   posted by James at 5:35 AM

   Tuesday, November 05, 2002  
Well its been an illuminating time back at college since the staff training that robbed us of our half term last week. Illuminating because there seems to be a new air of awareness abroad, not I must add a refreshing air but more one of, what is that strange smell type of air. It seems according to one of the many sessions of staff enlightenment; at least one in ten of the population are dyslexic and what’s more this is only the tip of the iceberg, it could be as high as 30%!!! Hold on, no its only the Special Needs department trying to wangle a larger staff room surely, but no it seems at one presentation that was the message and given I must add by a presenter who came out as it were as a dyslexic and in full view of everyone present. Apparently they had only just learnt to spell Hypochondriac; OK but now you come to mention it I not sure I could either without a spell checker and surely if you are dyslexic it not about spelling its about reading, so how do you know it you cant spell it? Sorry I am just being silly now. But a serious point here, I asked one of our Dyslexic support staff, whom I know well enough to approach with such a question as; What do you think? Well I was surprised to hear that the first comment had nothing to do with Dyslexia, but that in their opinion most Dyslexics were nothing short of lazy, using their innate problems as an excuse for just not bothering. Hold on though, are these just naturally lazy people who just have not bothered to learn to read anyway. A comment for which I was not roasted alive and fed to the wolves, in fact my colleague actually became thoughtful, we changed the subject. I mean come on, if 30% of us really were Dyslexic surely literacy would never have managed to established in the first place and then were would the education system be, or where is it you might equally ask.
   posted by James at 11:50 AM

   Sunday, November 03, 2002  
The muse for today, Sunday, arrives as the result of a conversation I had with a friend who works at another college during a long though far from over indulgent session at the pub. He was sounding of about how undervalued, overworked and abused he felt at work; by the college that is not the students. I agreed this is a common phenomena, considering lecturers, like teachers, nurses, doctors are all used to having their professionalism exploited by Senior Management Teams everywhere, and seem to have some hard wired inherited oblivion with regard to the hours and commitment of their staff. But it wasn’t always that way was it? No! So when did it become this way? We discussed the long, many, tortuous, often bizarre tenuous history of events that may have contributed to the current dilemma. Was it when the new principle took over? No, not really, The current government? Nothing obvious, The EEC? Bottom of the barrel that one. Eventually we got there, the mission statement, that’s when we began to count increasingly for less and the perception of what we are supposed to be about counted increasingly for more!!! Funny old world isn’t it.
   posted by James at 7:41 AM

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A blog for HE lecturers of all ages, experience, race and gender to let you know not only that the truth is out there, but more importantly, you are not alone!