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Archive for 2 July 2015

Hire a teenager, while they know everything

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'Don't just give me worksheets' - pupil suspended over scathing speech about her teachers

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Anela Pritchard’s education couldn’t be as bad as she thinks. After all, she managed to put together an essay that attracted a reaction from her school and nation-wide media coverage.

All in all, she must’ve picked up something from her decade long experience in the education system.

Or does she think her knowledge was absorbed, in utero, when her mother was reading school text-books?

The real problem here is that the school should not have reacted in the way it did. Instead, it could have been a valuable tool to further the girl’s education.

Firstly, her comments should have been used to spark debate and discussion of the role of teachers in our society. This could have really engaged kids in a major way.

Secondly, the difference between an engaged Citizen and a dumbed-down Consumer could have been touched upon. Filling out tax forms is not nearly as important as knowing why taxation is paid and how taxation pays for services New Zealanders take so much for granted.

And lastly, Anela’s education should have been broadened by having her run a few classes and experiencing first hand what it’s like to stand in front of thirty-plus teenagers who all share in common the belief that they know everything.

The old maxim, “Hire a teenager, while they know everything”, was born for good reason;

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google - hire a teenager while they know everything

 

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I recall some of my views when I was 15, and I shudder at some of the comments I put into the public arena through my first letters-to-the-editor. Those horrendously naive polemics shall remain forever buried in the dusty vaults of Fairfax, I hope.

As for the media – I’m not surprised they seized on this as a “story”. It fits their dumbed-down, superficial news perfectly.

As for Anela – she’s a bright kid (from what I saw on TV1 last night) and she will go far.

But she has a massive amount of life-experience to get under her belt first before she gains wisdom to match her intellect. Hopefully she doesn’t become a rabid anti-teacher ACT supporter.

Isn’t that what being a teen is about; the journey from naive childhood to wiser (hopefully) adult?

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References

TVNZ:  ‘Don’t just give me worksheets’ – pupil suspended over scathing speech about her teachers

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Categories: Social Issues Tags: ,

Letter to the editor – a new angle in the flag debate

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Frank Macskasy - letters to the editor - Frankly Speaking

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from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>
to: NZ Herald <letters@herald.co.nz>
date: Wed, Jul 1, 2015
subject: Letter to the editor

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The Editor
NZ Herald

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Considering that, with the rise of globalisation and trans-national corporates able to sue sovereign governments in secret Investor-State Dispute tribunals – as in the TPPA – I’m surprised Key wants a flag at all.

 

If we are one global marketplace and borders no longer exist, then for proponants of the free market, flags are redundant. Nationhood has been consigned to history. Only the Consumer and Shareholder matter, in this Brave New Commercial World.

 

So really, why not spend that $26 million on something that really matters? Maybe a huge statue of John Key, standing astride the entrance to Auckland harbour, beckoning welcome to visiting freighters bearing consumer goods. The government could even build apartments within the frame, thereby addressing the city’s housing crisis.

 

Crazy idea? No more crazy than an expensive referendum that very few people really want.

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-Frank Macskasy

 

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[Address and phone number supplied]

 

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