Saturday, 23 January 2010

The state of play in the world of Rita

I know you’ll all be much relieved to learn that Rita has acquired a new job. Rita will be teaching hospitality at Elizabeth College, for the new Tasmanian Polytechnic system there at EC.

Now you may or may not consider Rita fit for such a job but it’s something that means a lot to me, possessing (as I do) a huge passion for the hospitality industry in Hobart. I always feel it’s easy to criticize something, but when you criticize it you also need to forward-think your criticism and contribute what you believe to be an improvement on whatever you’re criticizing.

So if I complain about customer service standards generally in hospitality in Hobart, the very least I can do is attempt to contribute to raising the awareness of it. This blog is an ideal forum for that. Taking the job at EC is another positive way I can contribute.

I start work on 1st February and am looking forward to it immensely.
Posted on by Rita


Michelle said...

Congratulations Rita! Sounds like a marvelous job and I'm sure you'll enjoy it - EC is very lucky to have you!


Bri said...

Congratulations :)

steve said...

Great news Rita-very happy for you & your future students are lucky to have you

Anon2 said...

Well done Rita! Congratulations

Rita said...

Thanks everyone for your good wishes. I certainly hope the students at EC will feel the same Steve!

Maggie said...

Well done Rita! How exciting, I am so happy for you. I'm sure those EC kids will be very lucky to have someone as passionate as yourself behind at the helm.

Start 'em young Rita!

Rita II said...

This is great news, Rita!! Many congratulations on your new job and good wishes for your future career. Hope you will still be able to find time for blogging.....

Victo said...

Well done, Helen. Congratulations! An exciting new phase of your life.

Nuf Sed said...

Well done Rita. Will you tell them about this blog?

Hospitality students are always an eclectic mix of bogans, nice people, idiots and the fantastic passionate ones.

Seabrook said...

Congratulations. I've been following your blog for only a little while, as Tasmania is one of my favourite destinations to visit. Maybe for those of us who haven't known of you for that long, you could do a post on your biography, and what you've done to get where you are now.

Nigel said...

Congratulations Rita. Look forward to being served by truly dedicated hospitality staff over the next few years.

Anonymous said...

Rita, would love to hear your full honest opinion of the polytechnic now, and then your opinion again in 6 months time.

Tasmania's education system is in one helluva mess!

Anonymous said...

You won't get her opinion in 6 months because teachers are not allowed to say how shit the system is.

Bartlett told em to keep there mouths shut.

Anonymous said...

Congrats Rita
I also will be fascinated to hear what you think of the Polytech from an inside looking out perspective.

Christina said...

I also will be waiting with baited breath to hear your full honest opinion. Now and in 6 months.
I agree the system is in a mess but have total confidence in it all being sorted.
I think the new outlook for education is being put forward with the best of intentions and I'm sure it will continue this way. I have total confidence in Rita to get her honest message across and stand by her principals, no matter what, so will stiil put my faith in her feedback.
Maybe not to such a degree, but I also get paid by the Education Department and haven't struck a problem yet, but have found it has helped me more in my profession, than hindered, to have the feedback from Rita's blog.

Rita said...

Anons 3.41, 3.53, MB and Christina - I will do what I have always ever done in this situation: be strategic! I am more than happy to express an honest opinion about anything IN PRIVATE CONVERSATION, but not publicly here on the blog. The laws of libel are severe, and my excuse/explanation of 'telling the truth' (albeit MY truth) is not justification for slander!
I have opinions currently as a result of having observed the past year's education 'adventures' from the sidelines. But I'm hopeful that many lessons have been learned last year, and this year will definitely be better.

Anon 3.41 - am happy to provide you with what you request any time. Email me if you are seriously interested.
MB - great to see you're still out there checking in here occasionally. I will make sure I report back to you in 6 months time.

My friend DB (a high school teacher) asked me yesterday what I will do when a student tells me to 'Get fxcked' (which happens to him daily, apparently). Thank god my children abuse me daily too, so I think I'll be OK taking that one!

Rita said...

Maggie - thanks for your good wishes.
Rita II - yes, I will still continue to blog. I did remember to ask about it at interview, and was assured all would be fine.
Nuf Sed - Thanks. Yes, I will probably tell them about the existance of this blog, as long as it's relevant.
Seabrook - thanks and welcome. I wrote recently about how the Rita character and blog got started. The link is:

If you would like more back info, please feel free to email me.
Nigel - lovely to hear from you, and thanks.

Anonymous said...

I think the great thing about college is that no one gives a stuff, so to speak.

You rarely get bogans in your class because the bogans get fed up and don't bother turning up. The tecahers don't care cos it makes there lives easier and it works well for everyone. :)

The new polytechnic system is a total disaster, talk about huge stuff up.

Can anyone here (infact anyone anywhere) explain to me what was wrong with the previous college system?

Staff were happy, students were happy, nothing needed to be changed.

All hell has broken loose now. No organisation, students are split - either 'academy' or 'polytechnic' ... Staff on stress leave, more students leaving school, not enough class rooms, time tables stuffed up, everyone blames everyone and no one takes responsibility.

Remember the students being screwed around by this crap now were the ones effected by Paula Wreidt's 'Essential learnings' crap which seemed to disappear very quickly.

Anyone with an IQ of above 12 could see that this joke would never work. It was in the media and then Bartlett told teachers they were NOT allowed to complain under any circumstances. Not to students, the media, or anyone.

I am extremely upset and confused by the Polytechnic, the changes in one of my subject areas have been truly shocking.

But what would I know about education? I'm just a student.

Anonymous said...

And no doubt Bartlett will change things again at his lesiure.

Lets just meander from one disjointed mess to anyother, as long as he gets his large salary and luxury car, why would he even care?


Rita said...

Hi Anon 7.53/5. Your comments are really disturbing, and sad, and nothing I could say would make up for what you have obviously been through. You are a (previously)Hobart College student who has experienced a huge disruption of the system. It's pointless at this stage to wish we could travel backwards in time and wish it all away because that's definitely not going to happen.

For better or worse, this system is going to go ahead.

You asked what was wrong with the previous college system. This is just my take on it, but I'll give it a go....

Tasmania has had an extremely high proportion of people just barely completing Year 10, then dropping out of the schooling system by either going on the dole (ie supposedly looking for work) or taking up an apprenticeship, or actually going into the workforce into some kind of more menial-type job such as retail or hospitality or labouring or cleaning or care-work (aged care, childcare, disability care) or a traineeship in one of the above.

That is all well and good, but it has ramifications later, for the state's productivity as a whole.

I hate the much-repeated 'lifelong learning' sentence being uttered by politicians & others but it actually is true, and a good thing. We SHOULD all continue to learn things throughout our lives. The more stuff you know, the better empowered you are, should you choose to use your knowledge for your own gains and benefit. You make better and smarter decisions about your own life and the direction that will take (and the things you will, or are able, to do).

The college system was one way of allowing students to continue their education after Year 10. It wasn't a bad system but it still wasn't too successful at getting more of the population a bit higher educated than they have been to date.

Naturally I'm grossly generalising all this, so please take that into account.

A change needed to be made at some stage in order to make us generally smarter and more intelligent, as a state. It was always going to be nearly impossible to change anything about the system, so whatever was done was going to cause feathers to fly.

The first thing that was done (a few years ago) was to increase the leaving school age to 17 (?) unless you were leaving school to go into a job where you were still going to be learning - like an apprenticeship where you were combining schooling with working.

The second step was implementing this Tas Tomorrow shakeup, starting with Hobart College.

I won't go into the details of who/what etc of Poly v Academy, or TSI, and whether or not it's good or bad. I know many are still suffering fallout from last year's commencement of Tas Tomorrow, but I know there is a definite attempt to try and ensure things improve in 2010.

In years to come, when the dust has settled, and TT becomes the norm for kids who are still in primary school now, they'll wonder what all the fuss was about.

It's crap that you are in the batch that had, as you said, gone through the Essential Learnings stuff, and now the TT stuff, and, as an adult, I'd love to be able to compensate you in some way but I'm powerless I'm afraid.

The way TT was instigated was hard for everyone involved. I hope this year fares better.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rita -- Thanks for your kind words.

I do agree with you about most of what you have written.

Im not sure if there will be better retention rates - we can only hope.

And so it goes on. This year I am still involved with the Polytechnic, we will have to see how it all pans out....

Rita said...

Thanks Anon. I'm not sure anyone can guarantee that retention rates will increase but we can't just sit on our collective hands and hope to god, with fingers crossed, that somehow we will all (as a state) miraculously get smarter, more intelligent and then naturally, more affluent as a result of us all being so clever!

The more people who are more highly educated and qualified, the better in the long run for all of us. Older people should receive quality aged care. Families should be supported. Roads and all infrastructure should be better. The health system should accomodate everyone in the communities needs.

I sound like a politician, and I apologise for that, but I'm trying to explain why we need to be a smarter state, and why that needs to start somewhere, like in education.

Hazel said...

Congratulations on the new job Rita. My father taught science at EC for over 10 years, retired and is now back doing relief teaching there. He really enjoyed his time at EC, and despite all the upheavals,usually by this stage the students are more engaged with their subjects, and you are unlikely to get too many problem students!