The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

06 February
Comments Off on Teachers Need To Learn From “The Real World”…..WTF?

Teachers Need To Learn From “The Real World”…..WTF?

At the end of yet another pointless article about education in the Speccie this gem appeared

I believe that Teachers become stale due to teaching the same subject year after year after year……I have often wondered if they would benefit from having a six/twelve month sabbatical (retaining their pay and pensions etc) so that they could work in similar occupations as their pupils might eventually choose.Then they might have a clearer idea of the importance of their profession.

Otherwise, they are like politicians, who attempt to run the country, but have never had a ‘real’ job.

As a former teacher (comprehensives 1964-1999) this “real job” remark used to make me smile as we managed an establishment of 1000 pupils, 100 staff (teachers and support) a large rambling estate and a £2m budget.

Nevertheless in the 1980s we duly obeyed our political masters when we were told how much we could learn about management from the business sector. So a lot of government funding went into arranging courses where we public sector drones could gather pearls of wisdom from management gurus telling us how their companies (IBM, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer) did it so well.

We gawped as those business suited golden boys and girls sketched their diagrams, lovingly caressed their bullet points and brainstormed us with bolt-ons and blueskies and, of course, thinking out of the box.

Naturally, being overpaid and underworked taxpayer bleeding public sector drones with little idea of the “real world”, none of us were nasty enough to even feel a slight tremor of Schadenfreude when, at the end of the 80s we learned that IBM, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer were underperforming quite badly due to management failures.

After all we didn’t work in the “real world”….

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14 June
Comments Off on Confessions Of A Teacher….

Confessions Of A Teacher….

A few days ago we went, as “guests of honour” to a school reunion which included several people I had taught nearly half a century ago in the 1960s. Several of women asked my wife how old I was as I didn’t look much different to all the other men in the room. In fact they were all round about 60 while I’m in my early 70s….at those ages the grey hairs, wrinkles and paunches make us all seem the same whereas to a 12 yr old even someone in their mid 20s (as I was then) just looks….ancient…

Everyone was very kind and some said they remembered one or two things I had taught them. A few even told me that I had sparked off a lifelong interest in history. They reminded me of things I had said and done in the classroom (much of which I could not recall…lol…) and there was a collective reminder of idiosyncrasies (some of which, I confess, I had deliberately cultivated)

It was fascinating to also hear about their own pathways through life and see the pictures of children and grandchildren from men and women I had last seen in school uniform filing out of my classroom or running across the playground.

I felt honoured to be there and touched that they should want to include me in their fellowship. But that is the bonus of being a teacher. Despite the myths and caricatures that surround schools I have found that there was very little difference between the young adolescents in the 60s and those I was teaching nearly forty years later (and most of my career was spent in bog standard comprehensives…)

I always made it clear that I was in charge of the classroom and that there were certain behaviours that were unacceptable. But within those boundaries the work we did would be laced with good humour and mutual respect and, whatever happened, I was always guided by one key factor.

That these young people are not yet adults and will sometimes be immature, thoughtless and irresponsible – just as we were at that age….

No, as a teacher there is little chance of getting wealthy – but there can be other riches that go beyond price…

 

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27 June
Comments Off on With Christine Blower You Could Say That Some Teachers Have The Union Leader They Deserve

With Christine Blower You Could Say That Some Teachers Have The Union Leader They Deserve

There is no doubt that Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers is a hard left old school apparatchik, a humourless Fred Kite figure in the mould of Bob Crowe and Len McCluskey. That such prehistoric dinosaurs, still mouthing the empty platitudes and slogans of a long discredited messianic Marxist cult, should be the standard bearers of the shrivelled rump of a once mighty British trade union movement should come as no surprise….wasn’t it Marx himself who said that history eventually repeats itself as farce?

What does raise a few eyebrows, however, is that hundreds of thousands of teachers within the NUT, supposedly intelligent, educated folk, should be willing to see a relic like Blower as a figurehead for their profession.

Anyone familiar both with teacher unions and teachers, of course, would not be surprised at all. People like Blower dominate the infrastructure of the NUT because they throw themselves one hundred percent into the mind numbing routine of committees, minutes, agenda and motions that characterise the everyday business of union administration. Most teachers are happy to let them do it because they have better things to do with their lives…preparing lessons, marking work, shopping, kids, drinking, sex, gardening etc. They very rarely attend branch meetings or conferences – it’s far easier to leave it to the Blowers. So the Blowers drift to the top as a result of ….apathy.

But how come the apathetic majority of NUT members put up with being led by Blower and an executive dominated by fossils like herself?

It’s partly because quite a few teachers regard themselves as vaguely “left wing” …I say regard themselves because, of course, though they might talk the talk they never walk the walk. They are what Lenin called radish socialists…red outside, lilywhite inside.  They lead middle class lifestyles. They like to pretend the revolution..join the odd one day strike, maybe a work to rule but that would be as far as they would go.

This hasn’t always been the case. In previous decades there was always a solid core of professionals who would never ever dance to the Blower tune. But remember that many of today’s teachers are lower level graduates from second or third tier universities where a lack of academic rigour is matched with a shallow sub marxist pedagogy.

State school teaching today is a nice little number. No covering for absent teachers, generous salaries, lower contact hours, plenty of support, no compulsory dinner duties, long holidays and automatic pay increases. No performance payments and almost impossible to sack – no wonder they, like the police, resent any idea of change

That’s why Blower’s class warfare rhetoric strikes a chord. But it’s not a Marxist uprising– it’s a Luddite resistance against anything that threatens their cosy cartel

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20 March
Comments Off on Those White Middle Class Women Teachers Are So Racist……

Those White Middle Class Women Teachers Are So Racist……

Well, folks, so now you know. It’s all down to the white middle class again, the cause of almost all the world’s problems.
In fact this time we can narrow it down to a subset – those white middle class women teachers..

It found the majority of those training to enter the classroom were white, monolingual, middle-class women who were taught by people similar to them.
This, it is claimed, had led to “race equality issues to become hidden”, with often little discussion of issues surrounding ethnicity.

Who says so? Why it’s those academic highflyers at Manchester Metropolitan University (recently ranked 104th out of 118 of all UK universities) so it must be true.

Hidden race equality issues…..all those modern buzzwords….race…equality….ISSUES…and they’ve been swept under the carpet, hidden away….oh dear, what are we going to do?

No need to panic, folks because Dr Peter Hick is on the case. He’s not scared of those white middle classes and has given them a very stern warning…

We cannot rest on our laurels as racial equality remains under threat.

…and to make certain we don’t rest on our laurels he has come up with a twofold solution

Employ more teachers from ethnic minorities

Give the remaining white middle class teachers a very large dose of equality training and make it regular and continuous in case they lapse into their old blinkered ways.

Job done.

Let’s get rid of the quaint, old fashioned idea that we need to have teachers who can give children a basic grounding in how to treat other people as well as an understanding of those areas of knowledge that keep our society going. We don’t want teachers who can teach science and maths and history and literature. We want teachers who are racially and ethnically aware. There needs to be TRAINING…..so we’ll need TRAINERS. Moreover those trainers will need to be paid (by the taxpayer, of course) and someone will have to provide them.

Who on earth can step into the breach?

No need to worry – step forward once more Dr Peter Hick…equality expert extraordinaire and his team. No doubt as a result of this “survey” he already has a well thought out bid for the juicy tranche of government cash that will be diverted into equality training after the great and the good get chivvied into a moral racism panic by the BBC and a prial of bishops. More money for his department at Manchester Met and more feathers in his academic hat.

White middle class female teachers of England – Peter Hick is going to sort you out.

What was that? Maybe some of the students in our schools need to be given a bit of training in respecting their teachers, especially their female teachers?

What are you, some sort of neanderthal? The reason you’re being sworn at, punched, kicked or pushed up against a wall is because, as a white middle class woman teacher you are simply not “culturally competent in teaching an increasingly diverse pupil population.”

But slip Dr Hick at Manchester Met a million quid and he’ll show you the error of your ways, no problem….

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06 December
Comments Off on Et cetera, Et cetera…..Swordfish, Sarkozy, Sex etc.

Et cetera, Et cetera…..Swordfish, Sarkozy, Sex etc.

Sarkozy & Merkel discuss plans for their new ship while the Titanic is sinking under them

Never upset a swordfish

After you have argued with someone it is never advisable to invite them to tattoo your back…

Misogynistic sadists with a medieval mindset doing rather well in some parts of the UK

Am I alone in not caring a fig about Sarah Jessica Parker’s insecurities?

Teachers in Ghana go on strike over students’ “Bowel Protest”

Austrians demand less theory and more practice when it comes to sex education in schools…

Whereas in France if you don’t regularly satisfy your wife in bed a judge will be very displeased…

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