INTO congress 2008

Well, I decided to attend the annual INTO congress in Kilkenny this year. Probably for various unlined reasons.

1. The most important reason- the congress was to be held in Hotel Kilkenny, where Simon and I had our wedding reception, We were dying to see it and relive that day without a dress, bridesmaids, groomsmen and em…guests..not a good reason really, in hindsight..moving swiftly along..

2. We live so near, i.e. 45 miles away

3. WE were on our holidays from school.

4. We felt we should take an interest in the union and general teacher issues seeing as we were teachers.

5. Mary Hanifin was due to be there giving a speech, my dislike of the woman has grown so I thought why not go check her out in person? Actually I cannot say I really dislike her, I just dislike the way she lies and breaks promises but I promise to stay on the fence.

I usually avoid events which involve other teachers, primary in particular, they moan and they look like teachers. the female teachers all have short hair, glasses and work in Special Ed., and the male teachers all look like garda or councillers.. Why does this annoy me?Who knows?It is just a stereotypical observation that actually isn’t that stereotypical at all, I should really do a survey for this one day..

The more senior teachers all save seats for their friends like back in school, the younger more “hip” teachers get dressed up in a room with no mirror…the also save seats for their friends..

Anyway, they generally give out, complain and do nothing about various situations in teaching profession. whenthe minister for education appeared, the whole audience of teachers applauded her?Strange, we didn’t. I just looked at this small woman dressed in gold as she went through her well rehearsed and non-heart felt speech. I compared her to the Minister for Northern Ireland (Education), a huge contrast. Although Catriona Ruane’s speech lacked confidence and was slightly disjointed and very boring in places, she still showed caring and a heart for the children in the primary school setting. she outlined many areas that needed improving N. Ireland- the 11 plus exams, the irish language and the conflict between the religions there. Se kept repeating the phrase ” this is not acceptable”

Mary Hanifin’s speec didn’t once outline ANY problems in the current education system that She is in charge of. she basically gave a long account of how much money she was putting into education and how much more they will put in. she also reckoned we have “top class” teachers, as if to give herself a clap on the back for it? She has nothing to do with the “top class” teaching tha may go on in the classrooms in Ireland, this is created by the teacher him/herself, self motivating, working extra long hours to research methodolgies and resources, spending their own money and time on things that do result in “top class” teaching..

As you can see, I am annoyed with The Government and its lack of not only funding( which can be the easier option to solve a short term problem) and its lack of active listening and innovation and movement within a massively changing society…

We met up with a few friends from previous schools and conferences, I enjoy that bit!

and actually these events are never as bad as I originally think!:)

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