Zoom In

We added a “Zoom In” button for teachers taking extras so that they can zoom in and display just the class instructions/homework on a whiteboard for students (rather than display the whole extra notice).

The zoom feature also allows for different background colour themes to help teachers improve the visibility of the instructions while being projected on the class white board.

New Zoom feature

Microsoft Edge Browser

The new Microsoft Edge Dev Browser (currently in development) appears much more user friendly and sleek. It also heavily borrows from open sourced software.

One of our major bugbears here at MyExtras with Edge is the inability to print background colours. The extras bulletin is much easier to read with the alternating coloured rows. Edge (Dev) fixes that.

The release date to Windows 10 users has not been mentioned, but it is a step in the right direction. Interestingly, Microsoft’s new Edge browser is Chromium-based and uses the Blink rendering engine. Blink is a browser engine used in the Google Chrome browser and many other projects. It is developed with contributions from Google, Opera Software ASA, Adobe Systems, Intel, Samsung and others.

Replacement Classes

There comes a time when a Daily Organiser has to decide whether to run a very small class or not. An example is elective classes (say combined Year 9/10’s), where the year 9’s may be on a camp, leaving only 1 or 2 year 10’s in the elective.

If the day requires a lot of covers, and covering teaching staff are limited, you may have to join up the class with another smaller one.

Remember, it is not the Daily Organisers job to keep every teacher happy about arrangements. Your job is to help run a school and ensure that legal responsibilities of supervision of students is maintained. Sometimes teachers may not see the big picture going on the school. You can only be as fair as you can be and do the best with the available resources you have at hand. Explain the situation courteously with any disgruntled staff then move on. There are more important things that you have to worry about.

Leadership

I saw the following quote on a parish bulletin recently which I think makes a lot of sense and rings true in my experience. It is also helpful to remember that not everyone wants to stand out to be a formal leader, but in your own quiet way you can be a leader by your actions.

Leadership is about being of service to others, it is not about prestige and acclamation. Many of the best leaders are those who do not have any title of leadership or authority. Their leadership and authority come from what they do and how they do it. They inspire others to follow their example. They don’t demand it; they don’t bully; they don’t play power games. People simply want to follow their example.

Inspiring Teacher

Last year Google made a “Google Doodle” on a fellow called MICHAEL L. DERTOUZOS.
He was professor of electrical engineering and computer science and longtime director of the Laboratory for Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Moreover though he was an excellent teacher and communicator.
Biography of MICHAEL L. DERTOUZOS

I found this particular paragraph from the above biography on Michael very inspiring.

Michael was a quintessential teacher, and he taught in the most effective and endearing ways, through inspiration, by example, and always with passion. In his final interview, printed in the Chronicle of Higher Education a few days before his death, Michael spoke about the qualities that he valued most in teachers—qualities that were a fundamental part of his own approach to his interactions with the MIT community. In explaining his skepticism of computer-based distance education, Michael said, “Don’t forget the impact that love has on education. If you are loved by your teacher—and I mean this in the most innocent and platonic sense—if your teacher really cares for your well-being—and you know that, because your teacher will ask about you, will scold you for not doing the right thing, and will give you stories about why you should do this or do that—the learning can be unbelievably different.”

michael-dertouzos-82nd-birthday-5050461148151808-2x

Extra … Extras

extra

Occasionally it may be important to revisit with teaching staff the definition of an extra. Over time some teachers can become confused. Combining a small class (say 5-6 students) with another small class already running is NOT an extra. The term “Extra” is in reference to time only, not the “extra” number of students you have.

Confusion can also occur when the term “extra” is used generically to include replacement classes. Replacement classes are totally different and do not count to a teachers quota of extras over the year. That’s why it is important to show the “count” column in your daily bulletin. A count greater than zero constitutes an extra. A count equal to zero constitutes an replacement.

So in summary, an extra is “any class taken by a teacher which is in excess of the school determined maximum number of periods to be taught in a cycle”.

Happy Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year