Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to one and all! As I write these words, I can see one of those new Government posters warning me of the dangers of Global Warming...

Those of you who started back on Monday with an Inset day will no doubt have tales of new initiatives breathlessly described by one of the more naive members of the 'Management Team' (now renamed the 'Leadership Team' to avoid having 'Man' in it.) The award for the first new 3 letter acronym of 2010 goes to 'JulieM' with 'T.E.D.' although she was unable to remember what it stood for.

As it is snowing in many parts of the country, it's also traditional for the lazy staff to turn up late, as this is much easier than getting up earlier and of course carries no penalty.

The last minute winner of my award for 'Maddest Act of 2009' is Highlands Council, Scotland who decided to ban an outdoor activities trip because one of the children is disabled. This will achieve the twin aims of making her the most unpopular child in the school, as well as getting everybody fed up with disabled people. In short, mindless form fillers triumph again.

Anyway, why are there so many disabled parking spaces right at the front of B+Q car parks?

15 comments:

The TEFL Tradesman said...

Frank (and fellow sufferers)

There's a truly EXCELLENT example of teaching Newspeak and gobbledegook to be found here:

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=909

Just scroll down to the long entry from scrog_420.

Examples include ...

7. Try to use as much educational jargon as possible. If you work a bit into an interview or discussion, those listening will be impressed because they will assume you know what it means and won’t dare reveal that they don’t by asking what it means. You should speak frequently of the need to

• generate collaborative objectives
• aggregate outcome-based paradigms
• enable inquiry-centered schemas
• cultivate technology-enhanced interfaces

It's truly inspirational ... and unfortunately very true too.

Anonymous said...

"Anyway, why are there so many disabled parking spaces right at the front of B+Q car parks?"

Because disabled people (or maybe their parents & carers) do DIY too?

Anyway, if JulieM's T.E.D. is the same as the bullshit I had to sit through, it means " Technology, Entertainment, Design." It's a neurolinguistic programming scheme designed to separate the gullible from their cash under the guise of turning simpletons into creative geniuses (or 'genii' if you are pedantic enough to care.).

"Our mission: Spreading ideas.

We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we're building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other."


Happy New Year
Cynical

Lilyofthefield said...

Donna Williamson: stupid b*tch of the year award from this poster, and we're only five days into 2010.
Don't take the fact that your daughter's disabled out on the rest of the kids in the school, you bitter, selfish harpy.

MarkUK said...

Schools and everyone else have to make reasonable adjustment to help disabled people. I would suggest that cancelling trips is unreasonable.

I used to suffer from epileptic siezures. I'd been fit-free for 3 years when I was 17, and was about to apply for a driving licence, when I had a fit.

All my mates were learning to drive, but I couldn't - bummer, but that's life. (I've now been driving for many years but I'm still not allowed a PSV or HGV licence. Still, I never wanted to be a bus- or lorry-driver. I can't pilot an aircraft either.)

This kid's mum appears to be a sh1t of the first order, with a real gog in the manger attitude.

MarkUK said...

Schools and everyone else have to make reasonable adjustment to help disabled people. I would suggest that cancelling trips is unreasonable.

I used to suffer from epileptic siezures. I'd been fit-free for 3 years when I was 17, and was about to apply for a driving licence, when I had a fit.

All my mates were learning to drive, but I couldn't - bummer, but that's life. (I've now been driving for many years but I'm still not allowed a PSV or HGV licence. Still, I never wanted to be a bus- or lorry-driver. I can't pilot an aircraft either.)

This kid's mum appears to be a sh1t of the first order, with a real gog in the manger attitude.

MarkUK said...

Huh?! What happened there?

Unteachable said...

Classic. I've arrived into school with two new acronyms - as if we didn't have enough already. One of them has turned our 'mission statement' (another entirely seperate bone of contention) into the follow: I.L.I.T - Inspired Learners, Inspiring Teachers. I don't even know what that means.

Sam said...

Frank,

I am a journalist at the Guardian and we're running an online event this Friday that I'd like to discuss having you involved in.

It's a Q&A for people looking to become teachers and we need expert panellists... would you like to drop me a line so we can discuss?

My email today is samjohnparker@gmail.com. Needs to be swift I am afraid.

Best wishes,

Sam

Lilyofthefrozenfield said...

Is that last post for real? You want FRANK CHALK to discuss becoming a teacher? Did you get Peter Moore in to talk about how travel broadens the mind?

Unteachable, it could have been worse - Clever Learners, Inspiring Teachers.

ScienceGuy said...

We have already had a contender for "Stupid Decision of 2010" by the school in Birmingham which confiscated pupils outdoor coats as they did not comply with the uniform policy

Angry Instructor said...

Mr Chalk -

I have read and enjoyed your blog for some twelve months or so. I have never posted a comment until now. But this cancelled outdoor activites trip is too much for me. As someone who works - and has worked - in outdoor education for twenty two years, I have to say "what a bl**dy disgrace". I work & have worked with exclusively disabled / exclusively non-disabled groups. I work with groups who were all nominally of the same ability but even within these there would be some who clearly couldn't do the same things as others. As a relatively new instructor, I remember working with a YTS group on a two week residential with one lad out of the eight who was what was then called a dwarf. He couldnt move as fast on account of shorter legs. Not an issue on fixed-pitch rock climbing. Or Kayaking. Or caving. Orienteering - yes, because of the speed requirement. So he navigated between checkpoints, using the same compass / map skills, and acted as a marshal. Same requirement for head skills, no requirement for speed, which isn't a virtue in a marshal who needs to observe carefully. Only other time it made a difference was on expedition with three overnight stops & walks between these stops. Rest of the group split his equipment between them and adjusted pace. No patronising attitutes. Just what they did. With no prompting from me. Because they worked as a team. Because they respected each other. Oh, and they relied on the lad to double-check all navigational decisons (which is a real requirement in six-foot visibility in the Brecon Beacons).

For God's sake that's the sort of stuff we try to teach in Outdoor Ed. As we moved into the 90's, it became more common to get real mixed ability groups owing to the idea of mainstreaming special needs students. Nothing a decent instructor can't handle, and nothing a chief / senior instructor can't work into the programme. It's what we enjoy & what give us a buzz.

I cannot imagine any reason why this girl should not have an excellent & rewarding programme of activities which would show her & her friends just how much she CAN do. What a criminal waste of a potentially life-changing opportunity for that girl. Ignorant bureaucratic bar stewards! I don't know - as I only have the press report to go on - whether or not the mother could have been talked around, but the trip should not have been cancelled. And the disabled girl should have been on that trip.

This is almost making me take bites out of the carpet out of sheer anger.

GAS said...

I thought I was hardened to this type of idiotic madness but this almost made me weep openly when I read the article. I sat in the corner, rocking and thinking when will it all end?

Angry Instructor said...

OK. Not everyone is going to understand that Outdoor Education has potential to be of great benefit to a disabled kid & her peers - together. I'll concede that maybe it isn't as obvious to people outside the field of education.

However, what is alarming here is that this perverse decision has been made by people who should understand the issues. If they don't, they shouldn't be in their jobs.

Agent Zig Zag said...

I bet I'm not the only person to have noticed that a name change to leadership team still does not make them leaders!

As far as I am concerned one of the foremost qualities that a leader should possess is the ability to promote well being and high morale in one's staff.

Tributes that are sadly missing among the blue sky thinkers of today.

Anonymous said...

Latest noun to become a verb: vision, as in after the teachers did some visioning on teh INSERT day, the governors are going to be doing some at their meeting...