Saturday, 28 September 2013

Alleyne Chater: What Pill Will You Take?

Karyn’s Introduction:

One of the enduring excitements I have as a leader in an area school is the tremendous potential for our primary and  secondary colleagues to truly appreciate and learn from each other in constructive and authentic ways. Alleyne sums this up really well in his posting on the changes he has gone through as a teacher in the last three years.

This is my third attempt at writing a blog post entry.
 Summing up the past three years at the school, for me, cannot really be done in one blog post! It would need to be done in my backyard with my kids jumping on the trampoline whilst sipping some fruity styled beverages! 

At the end of the day every community is different and with that the clientele that we deal with. I have found this in every school and in every community that I have worked in. This will always be a constant.

To me the most significant part of this journey has been my Unlearning, my stripping down of my Educational belief system and my practices. 

After nearly three years I have gone from being metaphorically wrapped in polar fleece, to standing naked in the face of an oncoming storm. Watch the clip, then keep reading (if you don’t, you may think I have discovered Karyn’s censorship limit!).

Much like the Matrix, I have taken the red pill. I am now aware of the war that is raging in Education globally. The Old ways vs the New. I have had a taste of what is possible. Not just for me, but also for our students and the implications this might have for us as a society, and even a species. 
Much like Neo, I have always felt there was something wrong in Education (Matrix). 

I watched too many of my friends fall through the gaps, while others did little all year only to regurgitate enough data to look good on paper. 

Amazing minds and people that asked WHY? 

Squashed into conformity, brow beaten and forced to conform to societies mould of what a good citizen is. 

In this regard, I have been in Purgatory, flying under the radar, not having enough “Kaha” to wrestle with the “man”. 

And as much as I hate to admit it, becoming what I disagreed with in the first place. 

TKAS has awakened me from my slumber and now I can see. 
A new age is dawning. Change too, is a constant, and all around I see people fighting it, scared to accept the fact that how it was for them is not going to work now and in many cases, didn’t actually work then!

I am trained as a Secondary teacher and the best PD I have ever done is teaching at Primary level. I can hear all you subject specialists throwing your hands up in disgust, but its true! 
Our school is not normal and for that I am eternally grateful. I have been exposed to a plethora of left field, educational tools and strategies that have challenged me in so many ways. 

I wept at the realization of the fact that as discursive in my practice I thought I was, I was just a typical secondary traditionalist, just with a little more charisma (if I may blow my own trumpet!). 

Hearing people talk at ULearn, Kath Murdoch, Pam Hook, books I have been given, having the privilege to meet some outstanding practitioners at He Kakano, has all helped me to unlearn and relearn what I thought I knew what good teaching was. 

And you know, through all of this “PD”, none of it was about curriculum content or student management! Go figure aye! 

It was about getting to know, truly know, our clientele and developing new ways to actively engage them in learning. 

Yes! Thinking for themselves, making their own decisions, challenging their perceptions of themselves, not just as learners, but as individuals. 

Inquiry! Should not be something we teach. It should be a side effect of everything we do in school (and hopefully in life). 

I have never been more excited about this industry in my life and I tremble with excitement when I think of the next few years. I love integrated curriculum, I love the technology we have at our disposal, I love our team and their enthusiasm, I love our students, I love being an active life long learner and most of all, I love change…as scary as it can be!

What pill will you take?


  1. I think that a lot of us took the metaphoric red pill. It's been a hang of a journey and I feel privileged to have learnt so much from such a range of colleagues who work with student from five to eighteen and have so much experience to share. Long may it continue.

  2. Awesome Matua Alleyene, on the odd occassion I may ask some of my students who do my health and fitness Inspire.

    If you had the opportunity to take a pill that could change the way you look and feel would you take it?

    This pill has the power to make you either stronger, fitter, muscular and or leaner I ask again would you take that Pill?

    Most students responses are YES! they would take that pill.

    My response to them is this.....that PILL..........'s called HARDWORK!

  3. All true, but remember that you have to be given the opportunity to take the pill. Many of our colleagues and students, haven't yet been given the opportunity. This post will hopefully spur anyone who reads it to take that chance, to take the pill and change. Awesome post Alleyene.

  4. I feel like I've gone back into the matrix, and knowing what is outside - it's so hard to conform back to what everyone wants me to do. It's a battle, and people where I am don't seem to want to take the red pill!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Tena koe e hoa, tika tahau.
    Anei taaku e me ana.
    The matrix exists in all places and spaces of the mental, physical, spiritual and emotional realms. The trick is being able to balance your time, skills and talents to move the learning from side to side or back and forth. The greatest gift given to mankind is choice or free agency. "choose ye this day whom thee will serve"