Friday, November 23, 2012

Strengthening New Zealand So People Don't Want to Leave

I watched a current affairs program about the New Zealanders going to live in Australia in their thousands over the last five years. The current situation is that New Zealanders arriving in Australia are temporary citizens, not able to access any government money in the form of grants or benefits. That people cannot access unemployment benefits is a good thing, as it is often too easy to become dependent instead of standing on your own two feet.  However, the argument was the children who have gone with their parents to live in Australia since 2003 are unable to access student loans when they wish to study and will need to pay overseas student fees which are significantly higher.
Minister Peter Garrett responded to questions about this situation, stating that New Zealanders were making the choice, knowing this information before they left New Zealand.  He did indicate that there were avenues, government to government that could be undertaken to change this situation. He handled a difficult interview by maintaining his stance that it was an informed choice.
The tweets running underneath the story were interesting.  They used all the disconnecting habits. Understandably, few supported what Peter Garrett was saying.
  #New Zealand should do the same thing to any Australians who come here.  Take away their rights.  Threatening and punishing are deeply entrenched in our society. 
#It’s not fair.  We don’t do it so why should they? Blaming and ‘shoulding’ behaviours,   
One tweet suggested that we strengthen New Zealand so that people did not want to leave the country. What a great idea.  Make New Zealand a needs- satisfying place to be and they will want to stay.
If New Zealand was a place that people wanted to be, what would that be like?  A place where people felt safe; where they had a sense of freedom; where they could be playful and stay connected. Perhaps most people equate a move to Australia with financial success. How can we change the perception of financial success to one of being satisfied with what we already have?  Difficult in a materialistic, celebrity-driven society.
The William Glasser Institute-New Zealand has as its vision statement, Strengthening New Zealand through Choice Theory Psychology. Dr Glasser once told me he believed that New Zealand was a small enough country to have the majority of people knowing, understanding and using Choice Theory.  If they did know, and lived a life where they did not meet their needs at the expense of others, then New Zealand would be a better place to be.  

Monday, August 27, 2012

Central Region meet at Tokoroa

Raewyn Thorne, Regional Coordinator of the William Glasser Institute-New Zealand has sent in this report of a recent meeting held in New Zealand.

Last Thursday a small group of people who had completed a Basic Intensive Week at different times in the last 15 years, met in Tokoroa, part of the Central region with Bette Blance. 

After coffee and nibbles and a catch up chat, Tina-Maree Hooper shared a little of her experiences at the Glasser Conference in Los Angeles in June and some of the ideas she had brought back with her.  

The Choice Theory chart came to life again as Bette walked around it and linked it to our discussions and behaviours. We also reviewed the axioms of Choice Theory. 

Feedback has included "I just learn a little more every time"  and "It's great to have the chance to ask questions in a small group". 

We arranged to meet again in November when another 6 or 7 will have completed their Basic Intensive Training.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Choice Theory in Action.

This story comes from Raewyn Whiteman Thorne who is the Regional Coordinator for the William Glasser Institute - New Zealand.  She is at Tokoroa North Primary School.

Her story was about one particular student who came off the field more than a bit stroppy at interval complaining about another student.  He said he was being mean, he wouldn't let him play and was saying mean stuff.

The boy stood beside Raewyn huffing and puffing with a bit of swearing.  Raewyn said to him, "So what do you want?  Do you want to play or to stand here with me, you can only sort out your stuff not the other boy."

He stood there sulking for a few minutes and within five minutes was back on the field, hesitantly at first, then he got over it and did really well.

"We reflected later" said Raewyn "and he could tell me exactly how it was and what he had to sort out."  

Choice Theory made it so simple.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

On Becoming a Glasser Quality School

Those of us committed to Choice Theory in the field of education would most likely agree that if all schools were Glasser Quality Schools, we would have little need for places like the Californian Institution for Women in Los Angeles.

And perhaps people like Paul Van Houts, mental health nurse in Townsville in Australia would have fewer clients.

And perhaps fewer patients would be in our hospitals. Ah! What a dream 

Implementing Choice Theory and its applications in schools takes an enormous amount of time, energy and commitment on the part of everyone in the school.

Throughout the world there are schools ‘on the journey’. Some have declared as a GQS while others are working towards it. Even though a school has declared as a GQS it is still always on the journey of continuous improvement.

In Australia and New Zealand we have decided to draw up a database of schools ‘on the journey’ to acknowledge and honour their efforts and give their contact details to people wanting to visit.

It is a very brave step to declare as a GQS. You are announcing to the world and to the Glasser Community in particular that you have self evaluated and all agreed on achieving this status.

There are huge expectations that the conditions of quality will be found in every nook and cranny of the school. Everyone from the janitor to the principal, the youngest child to the most experienced teacher know and live in a Choice Theory way.

Factors such as changing government expectations, funding constraints, parental expectations can all work against the implementation of a Choice Theory school. Commitment and a willingness to persist in the face of this adversity is what makes a Glasser Quality School.

In the words of Michael Jordan

 Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Changing of the Guard

During the London Olympic Games opening ceremony young athletes aged between 16 and 19 took turns with the Olympic Torch as they ran around the Olympic stadium. 

These young athletes, nominated by various famous British athletes from the past, symbolised the passing of the mantle from the past to the future.    

This was reminiscent of the dinner on the final night at the recent William Glasser Association International conference in Los Angeles.

In this photo Carleen and Dr Glasser with daughter-in-law Pam Glasser are backed by members of the International Board.  This symbolised the passing of the mantle from Dr Glasser to the International Board and into the future.

Juan Pablo Aljure, Colombia, Linda Harshman ( Legal Board), Masaki Kakitani, Japan, Janet Fain Morgan, USA, Mirjana Palcic BubnicSlovenia, Ellen Gelinas, Canada, Mitchell Messina, South Africa, Jim Montagnes, Canada, Lucy Robbins, USA, Ivan Honey Australia and Brian Lennon (Chair) from Ireland.

The work of the Board in maintaining the integrity of Choice Theory and its applications  will continue to evolve as plans are put in place to do this important task. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Win with Choice: The Symbolism and Hope of the London Olympic Games...

Win with Choice: The Symbolism and Hope of the London Olympic Games...: While watching the march-past (perhaps these days more of a walk past) of the athletes at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Game...

Friday, July 6, 2012

Changing language, changing thinking

I was visited by a six year old girl recently and we were talking about school.  She told me that sometimes her friend was mean to her.  In wanting to change her thinking about this behaviour I asked her "Do you think that she was just trying to get what she wanted?"  She nodded her head knowingly.

In helping children to reframe the behaviour of others into Choice Theory language we can help them to see that all behaviour has a purpose.  Exploring behaviour in this way opens up the discussion for self evaluation.  Try it some time.  It is fun to see the understanding develop in children so young.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Oh where , oh where is Choice Theory when you need it.

A Sunday newspaper appeared on the table the other day.  One that I don't usually see.  Three articles attracted my attention.  One the front page the title was "The secret story of violence in schools' with a photo of a face with a large bruise under the eye.  The article began with descriptions of student behaviours towards teachers in New Zealand schools.  Pushing, verbal abuse, kicking, teacher cars being vandalised. Possibly not very different from many schools in other countries.   The article stated that in some cases schools were asking teachers not to report these incidents for fear of involving the police would lead to negative publicity.

The second article "Wagging school the daily deal for 29,000" with a subtitle -Chronic truants are getting lost in the system and ending up in crime or teen pregnancy statistics.
One student was reported as saying he had regularly skipped school since the age of 13.  "School was boring and dumb and I didn't know what to do.  I just wanted to get stoned and hang out with my mates" 

Since that time this student had joined an alternative edcuation program where he was attending class because the lessons were interesting.

It is not news to us that the longer students spend outside the classroom the more likely they are to end up illiterate, on welfare and living a life of crime. They seek pleasure - using drugs and alcohol rather than pursuing a life where they have a chance at happiness through positive, generative relationships.

The third article was more uplifting.  It outlined an equine assisted learning experience.   Through an organisation called New Zealand Horse-Assisted Learning Organisation ( NZHalo) 'at risk' students, special needs children including autistic children, troubled youth are able to benefit by attending these learning experiences.

All of these articles have a unifying theme.  Belonging and connectedness.  In the first article about violence, students who feel connected are happier and therefore less likely to use violence to get what they want.  If students are not connected at school they go where they feel connected.  When students truant they do not find school needs satisfying and they go where their needs are met. 

The NZHalo learning experience was more than connecting with the horses.  One group learned to ask for help from their classmates with managing a horse, something that they did not previously do.  Another lesson was about setting boundaries.

Making learning relevant, engaging and needs satisfying is what Choice Theory teaches.
The elimination of coercion makes for a quality learning environment where all can succeed and become productive.  Fix the system rather than the individuals.  Truancy officers do an important job but why would students want to go back to the same old situation when it is not needs satisfying. 

Read the blog written by an Australian teacher about how she connected with her students. 
Just imagine if the teachers from a whole school did this.  Or a whole nation of teachers did this.  How different things would be.    


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Be with Dr Glasser in LA

The Conference in Los Angeles has captured the imagine of people around the world. 

Confirmation from Al Katz the Conference Chair means that we can now make arrangements for flights.   A sizeable group from Australia has registered and are now looking for the best deal with flights.

The other piece of good news is that the early bird registration fee of $300 will be extended to April 15.

Still to come are the arrangements for booking accommodation, the call for presentations and  giving us information about the Keynote speakers.

I have been in contact with Leigh McGown, principal of the Glasser Quality School in Colorado at  Yampah Mountain High School.  She is willing to have visitors to the school.  Their school closes on 31 May.  I will continue negotiations to see if it is a possibility.

In the mean time, register if you have been putting it off.  Book your flights to get the best deals and wait for the next lot of information. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Too good to miss

We are finally able to give you details about the William Glasser Association International Conference scheduled for 6th to 9th June 2012 in Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

  1. This is the First International Conference organised by the new William Glasser Association International
  2. The location is Dr. Glasser’s home town.
  3. As Dr. Glasser is no longer able to travel beyond Los Angeles, this gives us a special way to honour him and his work.
  4. We have made a special effort to keep the registration fee and the accommodation fees at the lowest levels ever.
Join us in celebrating Choice Theory around the world!
  1. To allow us to finalise our deposits with LMU it is vital to the success of this conference that we get as many early bookings as possible.
  2. We are asking you to pay your conference fee now.
  3. The early registration fee is $300 (ending 31st Jan 2012).
  4. The conference fee includes registration, all presentations and keynotes, breakfast, lunch and dinner Thursday to Saturday inclusive and including the Saturday banquet.
  5. If we do not achieve our target deposits by the end of January we will need to reconsider our options.
  6. If, for any reason, the conference is not held your fees will be returned to you.
  7. Important: Do not pay for any flights until you receive a receipt from the conference committee and a clear go ahead from us to book flights.

For all information about this conference
including payment links
visit WGAI

Monday, January 2, 2012

Win with Choice: Making the difference

Win with Choice: Making the difference: A young mum who, with her husband had taken over the family farm, put in a nutshell the difference between schools that adapt the philosophy...