TEC Literacy and Numeracy Update


TEC

Just in from the TEC the other day from their TECNow email:

——————————————-

29 January 2015

Literacy and numeracy update

This TECNow provides updates on the following:

  • Consultation on the TEC’s Literacy and Numeracy Implementation Strategy
  • Information on the qualification requirement for foundation-level tutors
  • The list of qualifications that meet the qualification requirement for foundation-level tutors
  • The TEC’s review of other qualifications to determine whether they also meet the qualification requirement for foundation-level tutors
  • Request for your feedback on how the TEC intends to apply the qualification requirement to guest educators
  • An update on the TEC’s methodology for determining Assessment Tool usage
  • Advance notice that the Department of Corrections is seeking the supply of literacy and numeracy support services

Consultation on the TEC’s Literacy and Numeracy Implementation Strategy

The TEC is refreshing the TEC’s Literacy and Numeracy Implementation Strategy (Strategy). As part of the refresh, we would like your feedback on what needs to be done to lift adult literacy and numeracy skills, achieve the government’s goals, and to improve economic and social outcomes from foundation-level education.

The refreshed Strategy will guide the TEC’s work in adult literacy and numeracy from 2016 to 2020.

The consultation paper and more information are available on the TEC website.

Please send your feedback on the consultation paper to sectorhelpdesk@tec.govt.nz by 5pm Friday 27 February 2015.

Feedback received during this consultation period will be used to develop a draft refreshed Strategy, which will then be released for consultation in April and published in final form by July. 

Information on the qualification requirement for foundation-level tutors

2015 is a transitional year for the new qualification requirement for tutors who teach foundation-level courses in the Student Achievement Component (SAC) levels 1 and 2 (competitive and non-competitive, including the Māori and Pasifika Trades Training initiative), Intensive Literacy and Numeracy (excluding ILN ESOL), and Workplace Literacy.  More information on this requirement is available in the TECNow of 10 November 2014. 

The list of qualifications that meet the qualification requirement for foundation-level tutors

Currently, the list of qualifications that meet the qualification requirement is as follows:

  • National Certificate in Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education (Vocational/Workplace) (Level 5)
  • National Certificate in Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education (Educator) (Level 5)
  • National Diploma in Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education (Level 6)
  • Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Adult Literacy and Numeracy) (Level 7)
  • Master of Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education (Level 9).

Tutors who have achieved any of the qualifications listed above have met the qualification requirement and do not need to take any further action.

The TEC’s review of other qualifications to determine whether they also meet the qualification requirement for foundation-level tutors

Several tertiary education organisations (TEOs) and individual tutors have asked that the TEC consider other qualifications to fulfil the qualification requirement. These requests are being considered and will be advised through an updated list at the end of February. The list of approved qualifications will continue to be updated as required.

We will also establish a confirmation process for TEOs and individual tutors who would like their qualification individually considered. Details about this confirmation process will be made available in late March so that TEOs and tutors have time to prepare through the transition period.

Request for your feedback on how the TEC intends to apply the qualification requirement to guest educators

The TEC has considered how the qualification requirement may be applied towards guest educators and subject-matter experts who have limited student teaching contact. Based on initial feedback from the sector, the TEC intends to use the following approach:

The requirement applies to educators and tutors who are responsible for the delivery, oversight, and/or management of an entire programme of study.

This requirement does not apply to:

  • subject matter experts, guest educators, or guest tutors with specialised knowledge, skills, or expertise who deliver a specific part of a programme of study, where the specific part makes up no more than 10% of the theory-based component of the entire programme of study; and
  • guest speakers or lecturers.

If you have feedback on the TEC’s intended approach for guest educators please email sectorhelpdesk@tec.govt.nz by 20 February 2015.

An update on the TEC’s methodology for determining Assessment Tool usage

In October, the TEC published a guide to assist tertiary education organisations with understanding the TEC’s methodology for determining Assessment Tool usage. Based on feedback from the sector, the TEC has updated this guide to clarify that the methodology will be used for the Student Achievement Component, Intensive Literacy and Numeracy, Workplace Literacy and Youth Guarantee funds. We have also removed references to industry training organisations (a separate publication on the methodology for Assessment Tool usage for ITOs will be published by the TEC later in 2015).

The updated guide is available under the ‘Methodology for calculating Assessment Tool usage’ section on the TEC website.

Advance notice that the Department of Corrections is seeking the supply of literacy and numeracy support services

The Department of Corrections has published a Notice of Intent to advise the market of its intention to release a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the supply of Prison-based Literacy and Numeracy Support Services.

The Department of Corrections is seeking the supply of literacy and numeracy support services that will address the high-level of literacy and numeracy needs present within the prison population that act as a barrier to prisoners successfully engaging in higher-level education, vocational training and other rehabilitative interventions.

You can read the Department of Corrections’ Notice of Intent on the GETS website.

How do you feel about data-driven decision making in education?


data-overload-2Our education system is built around outcomes. This is a good thing. Here’s how it works in a nutshell:

You work out what kind of outcome you want to see, hopefully check to see what your learners already know and can do, you might find or develop some resources, then you do some teaching, your learners do some learning and practising, and then you check again to see if what they know and can do lines up with what your intended outcome was.

If it doesn’t line up then you know you need to make some adjustments and you carry on. This is how innovation in business works as well. It’s also roughly how the scientific method works. It’s a kind of hypothesis testing model – to put it in fancy terms. It’s also how research works.

Here’s the next thing: All around us, in all parts of our lives technologies exist that measure and record what we do. Computers love counting stuff and they just keep getting better and better at doing it.

This generates data. Sometimes massive amounts of data.

On it’s own this data is meaningless. And if the data is crappy in the first place then it’s not much use. Garbage in = garbage out. However, if you have good data and you can make sensible statements about what it means (or might mean), then you are better placed to make decisions about current and future actions.

Decisions based on reliable data tend to be better than decisions based on what feels good, what we’ve done in the past, or some idea others have put into our heads.

For example, if you watch sports you will have noticed that massive amounts of sports-related data are now available to commentators, critics, coaches and others. A clever coach can use this data to make strategic decisions about how to train a team.

This is data-driven or data-informed decision making. And this is not to diminish the role of intuition and experience. But having good data should help us make better decisions.

You’ve probably figured out where I’m going with this.

Take a look a what’s happening in education. More and more data is being collected by different organisations and agencies about everything to do with learning and teaching. Some of this data is quantitative like assessment scores. Other data is more qualitative, like from provider evaluation and audits.

For better or worse, the data collection and the data is unlikely to go away. In fact, funding organisations are already using data to make decisions about how they allocate limited resources in education. If anything, this data-influenced decision making is going to get more finely grained as the data collection becomes smarter.

So what are you going to do about it? What am I going to do about?

One way forward is to get ready to feel threatened by the data, to embrace the suck, and to start thinking about how we can use whatever data we already have access to ourselves in order to take some ownership over the process.

As a tutor or trainer, you may not have access to massive databases or be a number crunching ninja, but if you work with foundations-focused learners in NZ you do have access to the following tools for your data-informed decision making toolbox:

  • The TEC’s Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool: This tool is a broad brush diagnostic, but it can give you some finely grained data to use to inform your teaching if you dig into it.
  • Your own contextualised literacy and numeracy diagnostic and other assessments: If you teach in trades or any kind of vocational training area you should also have your own foundations focused diagnostic assessments that attempt to drill down into what your learners know and can do. You can use this data to inform how you are working week to week with your learners.
  • Making your outcomes explicit: It’s hard to measure your own stuff if you haven’t first figured out what it is that you’re trying to do. The more explicit you can be with your outcomes (whether for course content or underpinning literacy and numeracy) the better.
  • Your own ability to map the literacy, numeracy and other demands of your training: The Learning Progressions for adult literacy and numeracy are a free tool for mapping literacy and numeracy demands. It’s easy to get started and it’s built into the professional development work that we do with tutors.
  • Learning plans: Using learning plans with your learners is another way of gathering data over time.
  • Self evaluation data: All NZQA accredited training providers are required to conduct ongoing internal self assessment and internal evaluation, as well as take part in external evaluation. This means, that as a trainer or tutor, you should be looking reflectively and critically at what you do on a regular basis and allowing this thinking process to influence your decisions. Probably you do this anyway, but make sure you are leaving some kind of evidence trail that you and others can go back to.

 

 

More Maths and Numeracy Jigsaw Puzzles – Multiplication and Division


I’ve posted our ALEC subtraction jigsaw puzzles here if you want to download and print, or if you want to tinker with them yourself you can also download the original word doc files as well.

Here’s the rest of them below… they’re all based around the standard 10 x 10 multiplication and division tables. You can get your learners to work them out alone or in pairs or groups.

One great thing about them is that there is only one way to solve them, but what happens is that as your learners get better they will most likely focus more on solving the problems and less on the shapes of what fits. But you’ve got the advantage of working with the shapes if you need the support.

  • Just a note: These work best if you print on thick card A3 size

Green – Easy: 1, 2, 5, 10 x

jigsaw 3

Purple – Squares

jigsaw 4

Red – Harder ones

jigsaw 5

Blue – 9 x

jigsaw 6

If these are useful, or you turn them into something cool for your own training then give us a shout out in the comments.

Try These Maths and Numeracy Jigsaw Puzzles – Subtraction


jigsaw subtraction

For those of you who have attended our literacy and numeracy professional development workshops, you might have seen these cool maths jigsaw puzzles.

If not, we’ve done the hard work… all you need to do is print them, cut them out, and use. Learners can complete individually or in pairs. Let me know how you get on.

There are links below to download both PDF versions and Word doc versions for practising subtraction problems. I’ve got more for multiplication and division tables and I’ll put them in another post.

If you’re printing, just use the PDF versions. If you want to modify them or create your own (hopefully contextualised) versions then open the Word doc versions.

  • Just a note: These work best if you print on thick card A3 size
  1. Easy Subtraction
  2. Harder Subtraction

If you like these, please pass on the download link to someone else and give us a shout out in the comments.

You can find another four multiplication jigsaws here.

ALEC

ALEC

TEC Literacy and Numeracy Implementation Strategy Refresh Consultation


TEC

Greetings all…! The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) are doing a refresh on their Literacy and Numeracy Implementation Strategy. This has implications for you if you work with foundation level learners in tertiary education in New Zealand.

I’d like to encourage you to read the consultation document and respond with your ideas and feedback. Specifically, the TEC is looking for feedback on what we need to do next to strengthen literacy and numeracy skills in the adult population as well as achieve national goals relating to social and economic outcomes from foundation level education.

I’ve pasted in the blurb from the TEC below, but the web link is here if you want to click through. We’ve all got until 27 February 2015 to respond.

———————————————————————————————–

The TEC is refreshing its Literacy and Numeracy Implementation Strategy (Strategy). The refreshed Strategy will guide the TEC’s work in adult literacy and numeracy from 2016 to 2020.

What is the Strategy?

The Strategy sets out the TEC’s work streams as well as future strategic directions for the TEC’s work in lifting adult literacy and numeracy. The current Adult Literacy and Numeracy Implementation Strategy (PDF, 512 Kb) was adopted by the TEC Board and publicly released in September 2012.

Read more about the TEC’s current literacy and numeracy work.

Consultation Paper

The TEC has drafted a Consultation Paper to seek your feedback on the TEC’s proposed future priorities within a refreshed Strategy. This paper reflects findings from the TEC workshops held in late 2014 with key stakeholders, as well as the TEC’s initial thinking.

What do we want feedback on?

We want your feedback on what needs to be done more, and done better, to lift adult literacy and numeracy skills, achieve the government’s goals, and improve economic and social outcomes from foundation-level education.

We want to know what you think are the most important areas to act on, as well as other areas of action we haven’t yet considered.

How to provide feedback on the Consultation Paper

There are two ways to give written feedback that will help us refresh the Strategy.

  1. Fill out the feedback forms that appear throughout the Consultation Paper, OR
  2. Read the Consultation Paper without feedback forms, and then fill out the separate consolidated feedback form.

NOTE: You don’t have to fill out all sections of the feedback form. It is fine if you only want to comment on some aspects of the Consultation Paper.

When is feedback due?

Please send your completed feedback form to sectorhelpdesk@tec.govt.nz by:

  • 5pm, Friday 27 February 2015

We may contact you in March to follow up or learn more about your feedback.

If you have questions about the paper:

If you have questions or require clarification about the Consultation Paper, contact David Do – Advisor, Literacy and Numeracy at david.do@tec.govt.nz.

If you would like to discuss the paper and give face-to-face feedback:

We are happy to meet with organisations in the tertiary sector associated with adult literacy and numeracy where possible during this first consultation period.

Meeting requests should be put through to david.do@tec.govt.nz.

What happens after this consultation period?

We will consider all the feedback we receive during this first consultation period and we will use it to develop a full draft Strategy to be released for further consultation by April.

We will consider the April feedback and expect to finalise the Strategy by June 2015.

Maori Literacy: Dr Pita Sharples – The Power of And


PitaSharples

This is a few years old now, but it’s still a great read and easy introduction to literacy and numeracy from a Maori worldview perspective.

Dr Sharples covers definitions for literacy as well as his understanding of many of the concepts required by the NCALNE (Voc) training that we deliver.

Here’s the attribution if you need it:

Sharples, P., Dr (2007). The Power of “And”- text of the speech given by Dr Sharples, co-leader of the Maori Party. Paper presented at the Conference Name, from http://www.workbase.org.nz/media/42031/sharples_speech.pdf

You can hit the link here to download a PDF of the speech, but I’ve pasted it in below in full. Enjoy.

———————————————-

International Adult Literacy Conference Rangitoto Ballroom, Langham Hotel, Auckland Dr Pita Sharples, Co-leader of the Maori Party Friday 28 September 2007; 8pm
‘The Power of And’

As we made our way here tonight I was thinking about the history behind the phrase, Te Rangi i totongia a Tamatekapua – the day the blood of Tamatekapua was shed.

And before the imagination runs rife as we make our way to dinner….that sense of history was evoked through use of the name, Rangitoto, for this grand ballroom.

Rangitoto derives its name from the source of a major battle between Tainui and Te Arawa around the time of 1350.

Rangitoto – the largest and most recent volcano in the Auckland Volcanic Field also resonates with the memory of an excessively dramatic volcanic eruption. An association that is particularly vivid this week, as the power of Matua te Mana; the ancestral mountain Ruapehu, has erupted once more.

As I return my gaze to Rangitoto I think too, of how it is distinguished as giving life to the most beautiful and largest remaining pohutukawa forests in this land.

Rangitoto, is therefore, an entirely appropriate place to locate this International Adult Literacy Conference.

My hope is that by the end of this hui, you will have:

  • embraced the rich battleground of intellectual challenge;
  • exploded with the volcanic energy of new ideas and
  • created solutions that will blossom and thrive when your return home.

Such can be the power of “And”.

The power to connect, the power of our worlds uniting; being ready to engage and create a moment to share is, what I hope, will be the ultimate outcome of a conference like this.

When I was asked to speak on the power of ‘AND’, at first I thought it might be a joke.

Would the follow-up conference be the power of BUT?

As I searched Uncle Google, I realised, however, that there was a whole body of work around ‘the Power of And’.

How about a PhD thesis from a Japanese scholar analysing the power of ‘and’ in the works of Katherine Mansfield?

There’s even a Coaches Training Institute in San Rafael in California, who have trademarked ‘the power of And’.

Then I suddenly realised, where some of my difficulty lay. In te reo Maori, we do not have just one word to replace and.

  • Raua ko means that person AND that person o Ratou ko means that group AND other/s
  • Maua ko means me AND one other
  • Matou ko means us (group) AND other
  • Korua ko means you two AND other
  • Or there’s many other forms of AND – a, mea, hoki, ma, me, aha and ko.

It seems a whole lot more complex than one three letter word.

But why should I be surprised?

Our world, te Ao Maori, is constructed around the power of connecting.

The act of connecting to say, the volcano Rangitoto or to the history of that land is something I do on a regular basis.

Ko wai koe? No hea koe? From whose waters (birth waters) are you? Where are you from – is our most common approach to life – signalling our interest in understanding and associating to the world you inhabit.

The most important connection I can make to any other is that which comes by virtue of my whakapapa as Ngai Te Kikiri o te Rangi and Ngāti Pahauwera of Ngāti Kahungunu of Hawkes Bay.

Whilst other connections may emerge from work, from lifestyle activities; from mutual friends, it is the blood link of my ancestry that I believe creates enduring connections.

Every hui, every encounter is based on the initial rituals that make explicit our mutual relationships – whether it be through genealogical linkages or whakapapa – or a more recent history.

Indeed, such skills are particularly valued at our tangihanga, to be able to create a connection between the recently deceased and those coming to pay their respects. I am always in awe of the immense capability of our people to trace through generations of descent in search of a shared eponymous ancestor.

This intellectual recall, the attention to genealogical detail, is nurtured in the heartfelt pursuit of bringing people together. It is a very inclusive approach, in which success is measured by that sense of kotahitanga, the unity and purpose that is achieved by the connections being made explicit.

It is a quite marked contrast to the practices often followed by my Pakeha ancestry, where the emphasis in describing genealogy is often highly technical – we may refer to a second cousin, thrice removed as being only a distant relative and in all probability only related to my dad, not to me!!

Or perhaps in the case of blended families, we may be categorised as steps, or halves, or foster children, or my partner’s daughter – the emphasis being on separating out the relationship from each other rather than bringing the connections closer together.

I say this not to criticise – because in doing so I would be criticising myself as well – but more to observe the differences that I have observed in the value and application of family ancestry. Our common connection as Maori and Pakeha is the value we ascribe to family history – the difference lies in the way we apply it.

So how does all this link to adult literacy?

I want to share some thoughts from Wally Penetito, of Tainui descent, who has described a view on how Maori define literacy in the report, Te Kawai Ora, and I quote:

“Literacy in Maori terms should include the ability to read and write in both Maori and English, ie bi-literacy, and be able to use that ability competently, ie to be functionally bi-literate in Maori and English.

Being literate in Maori should also include having the capacity to read the geography of the land, ie to be able to name the main land features of one’s environment (the mountains, rivers, lakes, creeks, bluffs, valleys etc), being able to recite one’s tribal/hapu boundaries and be able to point them out on a map if not in actuality as well as the key features of adjacent tribal / hapu boundaries and being able to read Maori symbols such as carvings, tukutuku, kowhaiwhai and their context within the wharenui (poupou, heke etc) and the marae (atea, arongo etc).

I’m not sure, but even the ability to read body language (paralinguistics) should not be outside the scope of a definition of literacy in Maori terms”.

I would suggest that the face of literacy described by Wally Penetito might well be shared amongst other indigenous peoples of other lands.

I understand, for instance, that in the consciousness of Aboriginality, there is a concept called ‘awelye’ – the inter-relationships of everything, skin, earth, language –something that no doubt the Australian participants at this conference will know more of than me.

The richness of this interpretation is, however, absent from much of the written material that describes indigenous literacy. I read:

  •  44% of indigenous Australians have low literacy levels in standard Australian English;
  • the majority of Maori, Pacific Islands people and those from other ethnic minority groups are functioning below the level of competence in literacy required to effectively meet the demands of every day life.

And so I wonder how it is that these classifications – “low; below the level of competence; not making the standard grades” – bear any relationship to my understanding of literacy in reading the world AND reading the word.

I wonder – is it a case of if we change the way we look at things – the things we look at will change?

If we look for the strengths in each other we may find levels of literacy in indigenous knowledge that can provide a strong base for other learning to be acquired.

We may find that those who we categorise as being below par on one scale, can read the signs of the natural world in a way which may be graded as exceptional.

This is all by way of a very long introduction to the context of initiatives which have transformed learning in the Māori renaissance.

Initiatives which draw on traditional Maori knowledge and philosophies to guide our kohanga reo, kura kaupapa Maori, wharekura, whare wananga, te mea, te mea, te mea (another way of saying AND!).

The concept of connection is central to the modes of delivery, the curriculum, the structures of the institutions in which such learning is found.

The whanau model is pivotal to our success in kaupapa Maori initiatives. The teachers at our kura are called Whaea (Mum) or Papa (Dad) or similar such familial terms – the whanau are actively called on for guiding and imparting the curriculum, for administration and management decisions, for sleepovers, for cultural trips.

The tuakana/teina model – loosely translated as older brother/sister; younger brother/sister – combines the wisdom and experience of the tuakana with the enthusiasm and energy of the teina. The learning is reciprocal – the strength built in the relationship being of inherent value as much as the individual growth.

Adult literacy programmes which build on these broader cultural values will enable the learners to not only function fully as citizens, but importantly who are also critically literate in their history and their world.

The Western views of literacy – while important in their own right – must also connect with traditional, cultural and social values if we are to achieve both individual and collective aspirations.

It is the importance of these relationships – the dance between worlds – that motivated us to establish Hoani Waititi marae based on the premise that Māori may flourish as Māori.

Our intention, some twenty years ago when we founded the first kura kaupapa Māori in the world, was to build on the successes that our babies had experienced at kohanga reo, by creating a total immersion Māori language primary school programme and eventually whare kura.

This led to Te Toi Huarewa o Hoani Waititi – a private training establishment based at the marae.

It is a tertiary programme with open entry for adult students and young people to participate in te reo me ona tikanga; in education about the treasures of our culture as well as upholding the vision of both partners of the Treaty.

Literacy for our adult education programmes at Hoani Waititi is exactly how Wally Penetito described it: it’s about being competent in naming your maunga, your awa, you moana, your whenua – your land and environment. It is about being functionally literate in the history of your people – knowing the waiata, the moteatea, the haka, the stories, the songs, the chants, the prayers that have been passed down over time.

Literacy for our adult education courses is about knowing the rich diversity of your ancestry, your artistry, your symbols, your tribal knowledge – the unique pathway through which you traverse.

Not for us the rigid choices of this or that; your way or mine; black or white; right or wrong.

As our global connectivity increases, we need to look into the worlds we share, close to hand – to learn, understand, and ultimately relate to each other.

Achieving literacy and indeed biliteracy, will come from travelling multiple pathways of which Māori realities will be as diverse as the other cultures and populations who will be travelling on many other pathways of their own.

Literacy programmes which bring together literacy and numeracy skills with Māori world views, with mātauranga Māori, kaupapa Māori, the experiences and methodologies familiar to whānau, hapū and iwi will connect far more meaningfully and effectively with Māori students.

Literacy for life is all about the power of And.

Finally, I think of two incidents which have captivated the hearts and minds of New Zealanders. The first is the story of a little girl who in the midst of a gruesome murder has lost her mother; the second is the story of a whānau who protested outside the Sydney Coroner’s Court, seeking the return of the body of their son, with all of his body parts intact including his brain taken without consent.

In the first story, the grandmother of the little girl, Lui Xiao Ping, has called also for the return of her daughter to China, saying only that fallen leaves return to their roots.

In that one statement we can read a conversation, a shared philosophy of not just two families – but our two cultures.

In Māori world views, the spiritual, symbolic and sacred links between the land and the people – tangata whenua – literally people of the land, requires that when we die, our bodies return to the land of our birthplace – fallen leaves return to their roots.

Chinese and Māori; Aotearoa and Australia; indigenous and later arrivals – these connections weave the rich fabric of our nationhood.

Reading the word; reading the world; being the world is all about celebrating the connections between each other.

The ancient wisdoms of such connecting are reflected in the words of a well-known whakatauaki which I believe reflects not only the over-riding theme of this conference; but also my dream for Aotearoa

‘Nau te rourou, naku te rourou, ka ora te Manuhiri’ –

from your food basket and from mine,

the wellbeing of the people will be assured.

4 Reasons Why Working In Education Is Like A Knife Fight (And What I’m Going To Do About It)


knife fight captain america

I don’t know why anyone would choose to work in education. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s very rewarding. Not financially, of course. But all that feel good stuff you see in those teacher movies is quite true.

Having said that (and let me also say that I am pretty excited about the start of this new year) I think working in education is pretty much like being in a knife fight. Here’s why:

  1. It’s a death by a thousand cuts: the effects of creeping compliance, restricted funding, and massive institutional change wear me down. It’s crazy that I don’t notice until I’m bleeding all over the floor.
  2. It’s unpredictable: I’m an educator right? Well it turns out I brought a whiteboard maker to knife fight. Sure the pen is mightier than the sword. Still damn hurts more being stabbed by a knife than a pen.
  3. They will stab you: I’m not talking about that young offenders class. At least, if you sign up for working with criminal types you are probably aware of the physical dangers. I’m talking about the slings and arrows of outrageous educational politics and bureaucracy. I need to protect myself.
  4. You will bleed: Sticks and stones right? Wrong. Cushy teaching position? That’s what my friends think. I know I’m on the front lines and in the trenches. With a club.

So… what to do about it? I’m not really sure… But as Bruce Lee might have said: “The best defence is a good offence”. I have no idea what this means. But I’m working on some strategies this year to make myself more personally resilient.

  1. Working on strengthening my business to become more antifragile in education by disrupting my business model, open sourcing everything I know, designing how I want to work, and looking for new ways to do the same stuff.
  2. Challenging myself to think more entrepreneurially in the business of education and encouraging other educators to do the same (this applies if they are employees as well as contractors or business owners).
  3. Getting physically stronger and more flexible. This will sound strange, but I’m working on the theory that if I get physically more in shape, I’ll see a corresponding change in my mental and emotional resilience (and ability to to handle myself in any  knife fights).

Since there were no actual knife fighting classes where I live, this year I’ve signed up for a hybrid martial arts training club. I’ve been twice now.

The first time I went to training I nearly blacked out. That was during the warm up.

I don’t know how long I’ll last. But I hope by writing about it out here I’ll force myself to stick it out.