Showing posts from January, 2014

Some pedestrian crossings are more equal than others

Researchers of all disciplines can have a field day observing human behaviour at pedestrian crossings. This zebra-striped road sign is there to regulate road user behaviour - pedestrians and motorists - so that both groups can navigate the road safely. All pedestrian road markings are universal and convey the same message to the those in cars or those on foot. When the pedestrian is at an uncontrolled pedestrian crossing, the pedestrian enjoys the right of way and should the crossing be robot-automated or manned by a traffic controller, the right of way will be regulated by these third party mechanisms, right? Unfortunately, this is not the case. There is another factor, an outlier that somehow influences how motorists respond. Let me use the following illustrations since I criss-cross many suburbs during a regular day. Most mornings I drive through middle class residential areas en route to work. At a pedestrian crossing at a school in such an area, I marvel at the uber politeness

Making a Whisper Phone that children can use to help them practise their reading.

Make a whisper phone for a fraction of the cost. I have encouraged all my Facebook friends who include heads of schools and  teachers, to make a phonic or whisper phone this weekend. I have heard so many people praise the humble whisper homemade phone as an excellent reading tool that I did my own research as well.  I can share this - there is a deluge of testimonies from teachers themselves, parents and many researched-based articles on the educational value of the whisper phone. Do yourself a favour and set aside time to read a few of these articles and blogs to see for yourself. School leadership teams are resource persons  Also, we know that school heads and those who are part of the school management team have instructional leadership as their mandate. These leaders have to be at the cutting edge of educational research. They should also be familiar with classroom methodologies and know what is available out there so that they can direct their teachers to t

The first day of school has the nation cheering

  Ukhanyo learners at the end of their devotion assembly   Hi Aunty Bella   Sorry I missed your call this afternoon. I know you have bragging rights about Storm being at "big" school now. I am sure the water in the knee wasn't so bad today because it is isn't full moon anymore and you don't have to run after all those grandchildren anymore, lol. ( don't worry, I won't tell on you). And now you can use your new smartphone that Uncle Johnny gave you for Christmas. Yes, we saw all the pics of Brad, Leah and Storm on Facebook and Whatsapp. You are really a pro now too on all these social media forms. Wasn't today a fantastic day here in our wonderful rainbow country? Did you also follow the wall-to-wall covering of the learners going back to school today? Facebook was like a reality show where all our nation's children were photographed either at home, in the classroom or outside on the school grounds. Amazing stuff hey! And what did yo

Flashback about my school days because of ironing linen

Our prefect corps   The needlework class While I was ironing linen this morning ( and cursing this boring task), my mind drifted back to the days of our Needlework class and our teacher, Ms Roeloff. That was one lady we never messed with. In fact, we were terrified of her and her eyes that bored into you. Her petite frame belied her thunderous, firm voice and her solid gait. She reminded me of Shakspeare's lover in " My mistress's eyes are nothing like the sun.' You could not describe her well-coiffured hair as 'wires' but she definitely ' walked (thumped) on the ground'. I suppose if Shrek was around in my day, I think they would have been a perfect match.   Once we were inside the needlework classroom, you would make sure your spine is erect, your head well positioned on your shoulders and your eyes receptive to the greeting. Of course, you would already have ensured your shoes are clean and your fingernails are cut short and minus nail varnish

Holiday periods should be embraced, not cursed

  Scene from Kleinmond camp I know there are folk who secretly hate holidays, especially the long annual holidays. These are the ones who would deliberately delay their annual leave until after the crazy season. Then there are those who suddenly transform into grouchy souls and withdraw into themselves. Nope, we are not facing the world now... there is way too much nothingness around, I can almost hear them muttering to their collarbones. I cannot really blame them for wanting to avoid this sudden switch; emerging from the world whizzing past, to this pitstop in the middle of nowhere. I suppose it can become overwhelming when your regular patterns of work, sleep, social life and thought patterns are disturbed. Suddenly you don't have to respond to an alarm and rush off to wash, get dressed in work attire, face peak traffic and arrive at work, dreading all the demands on a conveyer belt. Suddenly and shockingly, you have to deal with YOU.   Strangely, this life you craved for