Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Report Writing

Writing reports is supposed to be easier and quicker now that it is all down to putting in codes into boxes. When the codes are downloaded into another program called Markit they are changed into comments. There is a tendency for things to sound very impersonal and I don't think it is time saving. I have yet to see the light at the end of the tunnel with my first year reports!

Having said that I have picked out a few codes that just might apply to me. Gs are general comments. Ps are priorities for development and Ss are strengths.

G21- "recognises and accepts that there are different points of view on religion and morality." I know that there are some people that believe everything is either black or white and they could be right. At the end of the day there are different views, and some of those views are definitely right and some are assuredly wrong. I know that my views have changed over the years. I think that I am a lot less brittle than I used to be and perhaps more tolerant - perhaps!

G47 - "has the potential to do better, but needs encouragement to develop pace of work and complete tasks in an acceptable time." I was thinking in terms of curriculum development. I am supposed to be developing a unit on stewardship and the environment. Progress is very slow and deadlines come and go. Monday is the next deadline - will it be done? May be.

G63- "is easily distracted and therefore often fails to complete tasks properly." I have to say that I have many balls in the air, many plates spinning on poles and many thumbs in many pies. Maybe if I just had one thing on the to-do list it would get done. I am reminded of Jesus words to Martha - about being distracted by many things and not choosing the one thing that is needful.

P40 - "Needs to ask for help when required." That speaks for itself. I don't do enough asking - not just from God, but from the people he has placed me beside. It doesn't have anything to do with pride, or hating to feel inadequate. I am a very self sufficient person. I can remember thinking about times when I have testified about overcoming a difficult situation - sometimes the difficult situation would not have arisen if I had involved other people. Sometimes also other people are blessed by being the part of your solution.

P43 - "Needs to improve classroom behaviour." I seriously believe that teachers to some extent create the classes they end up with. Sometimes I am the one that creates the atmosphere in my room by the way I act and react. I did an experiment to test this. With one first year class I have adopted a different way of dealing with disruption. Rather than hand out punishment exercises that I would forget to chase up, the punishment was swift an immediate - telling a joke or singing a song in front of the class. Believe me, I had some pupils begging to be given a punishment exercise!

P80 - "Should pursue individual extension work." The prayer of Jabez in 1 Chronicles has a line about increasing the land or extending the boundaries. I think we all need to push out and extend the boundaries. In view of recent events I thought that come September I might enroll in a evening class for car maintenance. Then I might be less clueless about cars. In the old Harpers keep fit centre they had a poster on the wall about growing. The picture was a Japanese mountain scene with a tree growing out of the vertical side of a ravine. The writing part of it was how growth comes by trying something you've not done before. I can't think how a tree growing out of the side of a mountain illustrates that! I might be a bit mixed up here - there were lots of motivational posters about the place! If you want to grow, you have to be prepared to stretch yourself!

S16 - "Has developed effective investigation skills." This one comes about by having sermons sprung on me! They are not sprung - two weeks notice is not springing anything on anyone! Preparing for sermons makes me dig a little deeper into the word. I like looking at what the commentaries have to say, but I also like to find out my own revelation on things too. There is no better way to learn something than to teach it to someone else!

S51 - "Demonstrates enthusiasm." I just can't help it. If you got Nobel prizes for enthusiasm, I would be in with the running! I can't be cool and collected and aloof and detached about anything! I can't always do what I want to do - like every race I ever ran in, I might have been enthusiastic about, but it did not make up for a lack of ability! I still came in last! This reminds me of my favourite character in the Bible. There is a man called Baruch who just gets a line in Nehemiah - he built his bit of the wall of Jerusalem with great enthusiasm. I can imagine the people responsible for the bits of the wall on either side of him. Other people's enthusiasm for a project can be very inspiring!

S57 - "Tries hard." This reminds me of a comment Joe made years ago. Peter O'Toole was asked once what he would like to be remembered for - his roles in Shakespeare perhaps, or playing Laurence of Arabia maybe? His reply was that he would like to be remembered for being kind. There are some people who are kind like Joe. I asked him if he thought I was kind. His reply was "You try to be." For some people, part of their genetic make up includes "kind genes". I find it easier to be unkind - not deliberately so, I don't go out of my way to think of something unkind to say or do to people - except perhaps with my third year classes at school. I don't always think about the effect my actions might have on others. I am getting better at it.

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