“You’ll Never Win Anything With Kids!”

“I wish I could take back what I said!”

Alan Hansen’s infamous assertion came 20 years ago, after Manchester United’s youngsters were beaten 3-1 at Aston Villa.

Of course, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side went on to claim the Premier League crown that season, condemning the former Liverpool defender to a lifetime of reminders about his disregard for a team featuring Gary Neville (aged 20), Paul Scholes (20), Ryan Giggs (21), Phil Neville (18), Nicky Butt (20), and substitute appearances from David Beckham (20) and John O’Kane (20).

I am sure that there have been times when we said something that we wished we could take back.  Often we can comment without having any weight behind our views.  There have been many times that I have heard teachers say “We have a remarkable group of pupils here!” and then in the next breath say “they cant do that, its too hard for them at their age!”  What mixed signals are we sending out? We should never underestimate our pupils.

My worry in writing this blog is that it may come across as a finger pointing, aggressive toned rambling, but trust me when I say that the finger is definitely pointing at me too.

From a young age I have encouraged my daughters to engage with technology.  My two oldest (aged 8 and 4) are regularly on their tablets, either playing games, watching streaming programmes or using creative apps.  They are fearless when it come to using it and when faced with an obstacle they over come it without my assistance.  You may have seen this in children outside of the classroom environment too.  Maybe family or friends children, children on devices in a restaurant helping to pass the time whilst waiting for food to arrive or a child playing on someone mobile phone simply to pass the time.  Get ready….here comes a really bold question…..anger levels may rise……brace yourself…….

Are teachers reasons not to have pupils engaging with technology in the classroom simply to hide their own lack of ability or confidence?

Agree? Disagree? Strong feelings on this matter?

A colleague of mine, Joe Westermark (@mrwestermark) has an amazing attitude.  The kind of attitude that you wish was infectious or could be bottled.  If you ever have the opportunity to spend time with him it wouldn’t be long before you can see how passionate he is about inspiring and encouraging pupils and improving and developing as well. On top of that he has a wicked sense of humour.  In September 2016 we will finally get to work together at Ysgol Bae Baglan, something I cant wait for!  What I love about Joe is he loves a challenge.  He doesn’t shy away.  Joe has been looking to improve himself on the Microsoft Education Community, and has been doing an amazing job, but he looks to embed what he has learned into his teaching.

 The mountain may be big but we will take it one step at a time!

Look what Joe has led – Primary School pupils effectively using OneNote and Office 365 Web Apps – some teachers say it cant be done, the pupils wont grasp it, its too difficult. I say “Well Done Joe”.

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Pupils Peer Assessing Poems using OneNote Class Notebook

When you look at the pupils in this image, to me, they certainly don’t look like they are struggling.  How would you describe them?

Happy?

Engaged?

Aren’t these what we desire for our pupils in our classroom?

Just from this image alone there should be enough encouragement for you to realise that when we say our pupils are amazing, remarkable people we shouldn’t sell them short!

A school should reflect the society that is part of and if we continue to teach our children they way we did yesterday we rob them of their tomorrow!

Dont hide away, help is out there to aid and assist you.  We cant nor should be depriving our pupils simply because we aren’t equipped!

Don’t be another Alan Hansen!

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One thought on ““You’ll Never Win Anything With Kids!”

  1. Thank you for these really kind words! I feel really honoured and can’t wait to start working together in our new school Ysgol Bae Baglan. Let the challenge commence!

    Liked by 1 person

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