Tim O’Connor, principal, Auckland Grammar – networkonnet hero of the month

Let’s have it for Tim – hero of the month (and candidate for the year if not the patron) for this progressive education website.

Tim has abandoned the so-called ‘community of schools citing that that project didn’t fit with the school’s ‘strategic direction’.

Oh boy! What a slight.

The community plan is an ‘admirable plan’, he seems to be saying, oh such an admirable plan, never had there been a more admirable plan, history will show it to be the admirable plan of all admirable plans

One could sense him trembling on the edge of Shakespeare:

What a piece of work is the plan, how noble in reason,
how infinite in faculties, in form and moving,
how express and admirable in action, how like an angel in apprehension,
how like a god!

However, unfortunately, it isn’t for us.

‘We can’t afford to alter our operations and direction to manufacture an alignment.’

In other words, the community thing is a load of bollocks.

Not for our Tim another Tomorrow’s School party for principals.

IES now community of schools – a rose by any other name, quoths Tim.

‘No drifting away from our primary focus’, Tim continues.

He knows that IES is a huge waste of money; providing principals with another money-wasting opportunity to strut the stage, and the ministry to display its main skill of fantastical deception.

His inner thoughts:

Why then ’tis none to you; for there is nothing either good or
bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.

That is not the only string to Tim’s hero bow.

Recently he refused the cathedrals of vacuity the ministry insists on building; buildings for that empty vessel called 21st century education; buildings which only comfortably allow one kind of pedagogy – children bent over devices.

We insist on buildings which allow teaching. (From reading his thoughts.)

Hooray for Tim.

The great omission of present-day teaching is that there really isn’t any.

Tim wants children to be guided, given insight, to make knowledge come alive.

Hooray for Tim: teaching and knowledge and insight, a crucial ingredient of developmental teaching.

OK – there will be some differences even the occasional chasm in what we mean by these ideas, but give me valuing knowledge under teaching guidance for a starter. We can party on that.

Did someone say to me the other day Tim praised Hattie. However, not to worry, I have great confidence that he will come to realise that what Hattie has to say is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

In my next posting on Hattie I will place Tim’s minor error of thought in context, in a secondary context if you get my drift.

So there he is the website hero, so much so, that if he had been the principal when I went to secondary, I might have gone to Grammar not Avondale College, and packed down, not against Kel Tremain but on the other side with him.

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5 Responses to Tim O’Connor, principal, Auckland Grammar – networkonnet hero of the month

  1. kellyned says:

    I suspect that this will be the first of many. Unfortunately some I see don’t seem to grasp the idea that IES is a hammer, when they need a screw driver. The intended goals can’t be achieved using the tools allowed/provided. Eventually it will come back and bite them when they fail.

  2. Paul says:

    Maybe he wasn’t given the leadership role? I suspect that most Secondary School Principals see themselves as the natural leaders to these monstrosities and that many would bulk and possibly withdraw when finding themselves led by someone, anyone but themselves.

    On another point I see NZEI are already pronouncing when the collective agreement variation will be put to its members. I thought our fighting would avoid any need for change?

  3. Helen says:

    Great – but even more heroic are all those from the primary sector who recognised it was farcical without even having to try it. Still, better late than never.

  4. Melulater says:

    I’m still disturbed by the number of primary schools and intermediates who have brought into IES and joined a CoS, especially in Auckland. Do they not appreciate what NZEI is doing (not that I’m wholly in agreement with that either)? Or are their BOTs seeing the dollars and not the implications? Maybe Tim O’Connor saw IES for what it really is – government control by stealth.

  5. Kelvin says:

    I take him at what seems his word, that it is a bloody great distraction.

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