Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Nice to see Switzerland reading my blogs!

Every so often I notice a bit of a hit from a 'new country,' leading me to assume that they are reading my blogs or my FB page. Of course the two are interconnected, so a bit of 'over-flow' is to be expected. It was encouraging to see Switzerland hitting my site today and I hope it continues. I am always curious as to whether it is multiple readers or one person reading various blogs. Whoever you are---thank you. Hopefully you have ordered either hard-copy of Roskill or the download. I am curious to know what it costs to get 'hard-copy' via Amazon, in Europe, so do let me know. I know that the cost is really prohibitive if one does so from NZ, hence my encouraging people to order the book directly from me at It is a great deal cheaper for Kiwis to do it that way. Spread the word, dear reader in Switzerland.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

To my USA and Canadian readers! Buying Roskill via Amazon

Thank you to all of my readers everywhere, but in particular to the USA and Canada. I have only just realized how expensive it is for NZ readers to buy my book from Amazon. I guess that applies to other countries outside of North America. It seems that the postage alone to NZ is $32, making for a very expensive read for 'locals,' here in NZ I have suggested that they buy directly from me via whereby the price will be half that of getting the hard copy from the USA! If you are wanting hard-copy and you live outside NZ, just click on the link below and it will take you to the page,which include the download option. Thanks for your support and happy reading.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Tunisia at a tip-point---go the way of so many other M.E countries, or find a new pathway.

I feel for Tunisia. It was a beacon for other countries in the region. Sure, it is not perfect as a modern democracy, but who the hell is? It had a Government that was supported by a significant proportion of the population and it was making progress towards being an 'inclusive democracy.' The path towards the latter goal has been fraught with pitfalls, but there was light at the end of the tunnel. The recent events on the shores of the Mediterranean, have thrown this all into a dangerous direction. Tunisia needs tourism and without it, many will suffer. That is when those more extreme elements of the political/religious spectrum attempt to impose their dogma, all the progress made re political freedom are put at risk. If Tunisia loses this battle, then the region as a whole is even more at risk of falling under the sway of groups like ISIS. The whole world is watching, but that is all! Supporting Tunisia on Tunisia's terms would be a 'good move.'

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Jack Russells and 'teaching.' PB4L" Some will know what I mean!

If you are a teacher in New Zealand (AND possibly elsewhere) you will probably be aware of the term---PB4L. That means ‘Positive behaviours) for learning.’ I could spend quite a lot of my energy describing what this means, but in essence it is about engaging with your students in a positive manner, accentuating what they are doing well and encouraging ‘good behaviours.’ It is about the ‘relationship between the student and teacher. Hey---don’t you all remember those teachers---the ones you liked, because they treated you with respect—they had a sense of humour, yet you knew when you had transgressed. They didn’t need to yell at you—they just ‘had a word’ with you quietly and didn’t embarrass you publicly. There is a great deal of research that tells us what we all knew—education is a partnership between the home, the student and the school. We are a community. We are all ‘in it together.’ Recently, one of my friends, who used to be on the staff, visited the school and she left a book in my pigeon hole. It was called “Jack Russells for Dummies!’’ or something like that. Over the last few nights I have read it before sleeping. I had many ‘OMG!’ moments. I laughed, I sniggered and I could not help make the links between the ‘words’ of wisdom,’ in the book, with the ‘theory’ behind PB4L. Much of what I know about PB4L and my subsequent ‘bringing up of my crazy jack Russell is similar, minus of course the ‘leash and the manner of ‘treating.’ I better not get confused and apply the leash at school or give the kids a nice chewy pig’s ear!’ But I do heap praise upon the students for good behaviours, just like I do for Perdy. I send post cards home for continued ‘good behaviour, far more than I make a call about ‘less than good behaviours. It is said that PB4L works for about 90% of students. The remainder require more ‘specialist attention,’ in the form of deans, counsellors, or sadly, alternate arrangements. The link for y JR is that for about 90% of the time, my ‘positive engagement works,’ but for the 10% when she forgets she has ears, or smells a rat or some other critter---all bets are off and it is only my sense of humour (that goes a long way re working with students too!) That gets me through the ‘challenge.’ When a JR decides to use her not inconsequential brain for the purposes of deviating from the expected norm,’ well----I just wait until she decided to see things ‘my way.’ That crazy JK behaviour is observable in human form too. When teenagers disengage their brains, similar unpredictable pathways manifest themselves. Reasoning goes out the window and ‘critters’ of another from appear to be ruling the ‘norm of the day!’ I have often wondered how such episodes will turn out but thankfully, for the most part, peace does reign. It the getting there, for students and JRs, that provides the tears, the laughs and frustrations. My wish is that I don’t confuse the two ‘characters’ in my world---Oh what the hell---why not! Just don’t mix up the ‘treats!’