Student Motivation  

Posted by BT in

Being intelligent is oh so very over rated!

In my younger days back at an Eton soiree I was introduced to a beautiful young woman as, 'The guy who understands Structural Functionalism'. Needless to say I didn't get lucky. QED


BTW To all those advocating Web 2.0 tools in the classroom who get upset when students are 'off task', the social will always take precedent over the academic!

Die Political Correctness Die!  

Posted by BT in

I find the world of political correctness farcical. People of higher stations such as myself are now forbidden from speaking our minds the way God intended of an English gentlemen. It is an intolerable crime that plebes object to a man of my stature putting commoners and cripples in their place at the bottom of the social heap. I mean realistically, how can these pinko lefty do gooders expect 'authentic' or 'transparent' communication if they gag the gentry by limiting access to vocabulary. Can't they see this is social engineering?

Bloody retards!!!


Photo Credit

Make an Example of Tautology  

Posted by BT in ,

As I was putting my PIN number into one of those accursed ATM machines yesterday it struck me that I had forgotten to return back to my initial first thoughts on eliminating tautology.

I believe teachers could eradicate the needless repetition of words wonderfully well if they put their minds to it ;-)


Leadership - What Are Your Doing For Your Staff?  

Posted by BT in

(You can click on this image for a full size wallpaper to motivate your staff)

Every year a principal I know releases all the female members of staff for the culminating activity of the, 'People in Our Neighbourhood' Social Studies Unit.

As part of the firefighters' visit she has a 'quiet word' to the station master & makes it clear that the emergency workers are to perform a series of well choreographed moves. These moves are strictly for 'educational purposes' but are required if the crew are to be invited back to the staffroom for drinks after school.

Firstly, a mock rescue of a teacher dressed only in pyjamas is performed for the delight and titillation of all present. Next, the uniformed gentlemen select a 'volunteer' to gently caress the lever that it extends the massive ladder. Often the fireman needs to stand behind the teacher and guide her hand. It is at this point that the echos of much clapping & cheering can be heard by the male members of staff who are 'covering' classes.

After the erection of the ladder, the firefighters must scale it, hose held firmly in hand and then spray foam all over the car park. Needless to say, this is a sight to behold for teachers & students alike but it is enjoyed on completely different levels :-) It is at this point that a couple of the teachers invariably feel the need to reach for a tissue to clean any stray foam out of their hair.

Now don't get me wrong, I can see the this visit does wonders for the morale of the female staff. But I feel a true leader would recognise that a few male members of staff that would eagerly jump at the opportunity to attend an educational demonstration of this caliber. Especially those who secretly hold onto desires of being rescued from the jaws of death by a rugged man in uniform grasping his huge hose.

So all this begs the question, 'What are you doing for the well being of your staff?'

Bring Back A Good Thrashing for Errors in Maths  

Posted by BT in

In my day this little miscreant would have been thrashed to within an inch of his life for his reprehensible ignorance. I mean realistically, how will this degenerate ever succeed in life without a thorough understanding of the geometry of Ancient Greece?


Engagement in Learning  

Posted by BT in

(Feel free to click the image to print it out for your staffroom)

Yet again I return home from my 'Twilight Session' a little over the jargon and in need of a stiff brandy.

Tonight's fashionable word (which was bandied about with gay abandon I might add) was 'engagement'. Well... !@#$ engagement I say! A student can be engaged in digging a hole in the ground or throwing stones through windows but doesn't mean they are learning anything. Let's see some rigor people! Let's see some real learning like when we were young!



Income Protection & Mr Molotov  

Posted by BT in , ,

Let's just say in these uncertain financial times unscrupulous people will try to take advantage of you under the guise of 'economic' necessity. In 'normal' times these people would have a snow flake's chance of 'making you redundant' but today it is a different story. So if you haven't already, secure some income protection and then take a leaf out of Father's good friend Vyacheslav Molotov's book and embrace cocktails.

The 't' in 'often'  

Posted by BT in , ,

Now I'm all for the provincials holding on to their quaint working class grammar as it makes it so much easier to distinguish between us and them. However, my educated ear cannot abide those in the aspirational classes who insist on pronouncing the 't' in 'often'.

As Father's good friend H.W. Fowler wrote in the 1920s, 'The sounding of the t is practised by two oddly consorted classes - the academic speakers who affect a more precise enunciation than their neighbours... & the uneasy half-literates who like to prove they can spell...'

Life your game people!!!

(click the image for a better look)

Tonight as I cast my all seeing eye across the 'Twilight Session's' rabble it struck me that I am surrounded by a bunch of cripples.

Now I'll be the first to admit that I have a few anger management issues (as illustrated by that unfortunate incident with the tub of yogurt, the kitten and the Bunsen burner) but sometimes we have to get angry to show our disapproval of the status quo. Alas... I digress again. Stay focused! Breathe! Breathe!

Ahhhh.... So tonight's 'facilitator' (which I quietly suspect has her own issues) asks in her condescending tone...

'So BT, what do you feel is the place of interactive whiteboards in 21st Century schools?'

'Overpriced toys,' I exclaim, 'I believe they have NO place in schools what so ever!!!'

'Thank you for sharing your novel & interesting perspective with us' she says and proceeds to ask the same question of the next cripple.

'No...' I interject, 'I'm serious! The sooner this fad that raises the most mundane elements of curriculum to sacred cow status passes the better!'

Not wanting to hear me out she quietly ignores me with a roll of her eyes and a flick of her hair and proceeds to tell the whole group why IWBs are fantastic. NB Her finest point was that you can project your Powerpoint notes onto the screen and have the students copy them down while you do some marking.

So, my loyal fans, why did she ask my opinion in the first place if once she had it she then went on to ignore it? Is this the face of twenty first century learning? Only question if the vendor says it is Ok?

Next thing you know I'm getting in touch with my inner mongrel and I just have to be heard.

'I hear what you are saying Ms Facilitator (I feel so cheap for using here flaccid words) but if I asked you which one of these does not belong? Constructivism? Vygotski? or Interactive Whiteboards? Which one would you pick?'

She laughed knowingly and continued on her merry way. She had no idea what I was alluding to.

Cripples!!! I'm surrounded by CRIPPLES!


PS Sincere thanks to that other, 'voice in the wilderness' Gary Stager for being such a good sport about me including his wonderful quote in this little opinion piece. Hip hip hurrah!

'An' Authority Vs 'In' Authority  

Posted by BT

Yesterday I received an absolute tirade of an email accusing my fine self of, 'having a problem with authority'. What a load of bollocks!!! My problem lies with people who are in positions of 'authority' but are NOT actually 'authorities' in the field.

Let's take for instance the rugby player who at the end of his career goes on to become a Physical Education teacher. He then climbs the executive ladder by jumping through all the right hoops and kissing all the right butts so that by the age of thirty-seven he becomes the principal of a rather large private school. Yes the lad is in a position of 'authority' yet is not 'an authority' in anything other than the skills of rugby. Not curriculum. Not leadership. Not management. Not pedagogy. Not staff relationships.... and the list can go on & on.

So the next time you find yourself saying, 'Management just DON'T get it!' take a look at the path they took to their position of authority and you will soon understand why. It is not rocket science people!

Micromanage this Baby!!!  

Posted by BT in ,

Micromanaging principals & executives are like pythons who slowly suffocate their victims. They gradually suck the will to live from their staff and leave them discontent, depressed, unwilling to take initiative, sapped of creativity, frustrated, unable to sleep, reliant on alcohol & completely burnt out.

Here is an example from a friend who attends the same 'back to work' program as I do. She is a little stressed, to say the least, as a result of working in such a toxic workplace.

It is almost the end of term. Student reports have been handed back for rewriting, teaching programs and registers are due (each minute of the day is to be accounted for, each page to be submitted in a plastic sleeve and decorations to be in watercolor pencil only), projected budgets for 2012 are due, the sports carnival software has crashed without a backup, the school concert is in two weeks and her illustrious leader has just set out an email demanding a database for how the students would like their fundraiser hot dogs... White roll? whole meal? gluten free? margarine? butter? mustard? ketchup? pickle relish? coleslaw? sauerkraut? onion? mayonnaise? lettuce? tomato? cheese? chili peppers? or any combination of the aforementioned!!!

Needless to say, staff morale is at an all time low. Many people are considering leaving and children are not being educated to the best of the teachers' ability as they deal with petty obsessions and administrivia. School has become a boring and unstimulating place for the teachers as well as the students.

So what can we do?

According to the literature the best way to deal with this type of person is to see them as an escaped psychiatric patient. Then join a gym, eat out, skydive, minimize the amount of time you spend at school, go swimming, watch a movie, go for a long walk and ask yourself, 'What am I doing to look after my mental health and well being in this environment?'

My answer in a nutshell is..."MICROMANAGE THIS BABY!!!"


PS If you click on the image I've made it big enough for desktop wallpaper :-)

Inspired Leadership  

Posted by BT

At tonight's 'twilight session' yet another flavour of the month, fly by night, 'educational guru' shared the priceless catch cry, 'We are preparing them for their future not our past' on her interactive whiteboard.

Have you ever heard such drivel?

This misinformed pseudo intellectual needs to take a leaf from the inspired leadership of a school in my local district. In this 'cutting edge' school the children are forbidden from logging into the computer system until they are in Year 3. This visionary policy ensures the, 'little vessels' have ample time to be 'filled' with all the skills that will equip them to experience success in the schooling system.

The little inhereters of the world can: work through their phonics colouring books, learn their sums, complete title pages, learn to use bubble writing, master glitter pens, colour in the lines and leave no white spaces, line up outside the classroom, march into class single file, put their hands up to answer questions and learn that their is no place in true education system for individualism or critical thinking.

As I drove the Bentley home tonight passed the bus stops where the plebs were waiting for public transport, I arrived at the conclusion that these 'education gurus' are of the opinion that education' is something more than a sorting mechanism for society. WAKE UP PEOPLE! It is not!

We MUST perpetuate the status quo in the schooling system so we can ensure adequate supply of CEOs, lawyers, kitchen hands and garbage workers. If we actually 'educated' the masses, people would realise that what we call 'democracy' is merely a facade and on a more serious note, there would not be enough Pimms or brioche to go around!


The Bolshie Teacher

PS Do you think I use 'inverted commas' a little too freely?

Staff Morale  

Posted by BT in ,

You know I'm all for having Saturday detention for the miscrents who constantly have their shirts untucked as well as for those who fail to hand in homework on time. I'm also all for failing students who do not achieve a minimum 85% on their exams or fail to put adequate effort into their Latin assignments. The students need these incentives to serve as a reminder that the real world does not tolerate failure.

Teachers on the other hand have 'done their time'! It is a completely different kettle of fish if we don't have time to explore a new piece of software or 'do group work'. When will the executive learn that I get great results in the standardised tests so I don't need to change any part of my teaching practise. Besides, all my lesson plans are laminated and have been for 25 years.

Succeed Despite Management  

Posted by BT

The core business of schools is to educate children. Anything that keeps people from doing this task is 'one step removed' from the core business of the school. So once management (notice I refrain from calling it leadership) start: renaming departments, restructuring, writing vision statements, holding workshops on school marketing and any other form of 'administriva' then they are neglecting their core business!

Try taking the agenda of your next staff meeting and put a dot next to any item that is not associated with educating children. Next, put another dot next to any item that could have been achieved with a memo or email.

What can we learn from the above activity? Learn to succeed despite management!!!

Butchers Paper & my Inner ADHD  

Posted by BT in ,

As part of the 'back to work' program I'm on, I have to attend quiet a few 'twilight professional development sessions'. And let me just say that the methods they use are enough to have the little woman pour me a contreau or four so I can bare it.

Once seated I have learned to 'phase out' when the presenters use words like: pedagogy, metacognition & 21st Century Skillset however the one thing I cannot abide is the butchers' paper! I have come to abhor it! NOTHING gets me more in touch with my inner ADHD than arriving fashionably late to see 'groups' of people 'scribing' their inane ideas onto large sheets of paper and then 'sharing'. I mean realistically... my school have paid for me to learn from experts! I do not want to explore the thoughts of common people! Especially when the best the activity can possibly achieve is the intellect of the smartest person in the room.

Please use the technology to find out what others who matter think and spare me the facade of you caring what I think!


Team Meetings  

Posted by BT in

'Rome did not create a great empire by having team meetings; they did it by killing all those who opposed them.'

Oh God I hate 'team meetings'!!!


You Want Me to What?  

Posted by BT in

Look young man, I have no intention of blogging! I haven't got time! I've got to get through the text book by the end of the year.