Thursday, June 28, 2007

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Meet The Parents

Mrs C returned home on Monday to complain that her school had been flooded. Not by rain but by parents.

It had rained for several hours and by morning break an endless queue of children had driven the secretaries up the wall, demanding to be given permission to go home because they had 'got wet'. (Nobody had made them go outside, I hasten to add and it was perfectly warm and dry inside the school.)

When their demands were not met, many either stormed off the premises or phoned a parent who reacted with the usual outraged indignation, dropped whatever they were doing (whether daytime tv or employment) and drove up to school where they joined in the melee.

The sight of a fully grown (male) adult shrieking that they want to take 'their Jamie home right now' because 'his trousers are wet' is a sad one. Why has a whole part of our society become unable to cope with the slightest misfortune? Were such scenes common in the winter of 1963? The school was not underwater, all that had happened by this time was that some rain had fallen outside. The mobile phone however, enables a wildly exaggerated story to be conveyed to a parent stupid enough not to question it.

Did the Headmaster take a stand, tell all the parents where to go and send the kids back to class? I'll let you have a guess at that one.

However I wish I had been there to see Mrs. C helpfully suggesting to one dimwit that maybe they should make sure young Jamie is sent to school with a coat next time it rains.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Paris Bloody Hilton

I turned on the news this morning to see a helicopter flying over what looked like a swamp. Then the reporter was showing where an elderly man had been drowned, and saying that the body of a thirteen year old boy had just been recovered. Suddenly he was interrupted by the studio girl breathlessly announcing:

"Sorry John, we've got to go to Los Angeles where Paris Hilton has just been released!"

Have we, or have we not got things seriously wrong when the sighting of some halfwit celebrity is clearly considered to be more important than a tragedy?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Stuart Billington's Petition

A shame he didn't get together with Wellington Grey as we have now ended up with two petitions demanding pretty much the same thing.

Still it's better than no petitions, so if you agree with him (ie that science education is in serious danger of becoming a joke) then give him your support here

You can waste many happy hours looking through all the petitions on this site. I have no idea why this one was rejected, or this one either.

Gordon Brown

Here's Gordon Brown from his last ever Mansion House speech last week:

"I want a Britain where there is no cap on ambition, no ceiling on talent, no limit to where your potential will take you and how far you can rise"

I suspect that, just like like Tony Blair's 'Education, education, education!' this one will come back to haunt him. I also think that it will make the perfect back cover quote for my next book, provisionally titled "In The Company of Dwayne'

We Don't Need No Education

Ditching lessons is definitely the way forward; why didn't I think of that before? What we really need is more 'Cultural Understanding' and of course 'Diversity'

If you do visit the Government's e-petitions site, have a look at some of the funnier ones and sign up to get those toerags peddling.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Wellington Grey's Petition

Having only two neurons, I was unable to remember to post a link to Wellington Grey's petition.

He is daft enough to think that Physics should be a rigorous, factual and mathematical study of the Laws that govern our Universe.

We know of course, that it should just be a mindless debate about Global Warming, Biofuels or Nuclear Power. But he seems like a decent chap so humour him and sign up.

One thing is for sure: they won't be teaching 'Science Without The Science' in China.

Friday, June 22, 2007


Dear Learning Facilitators and Students,

It is with great regret that I must inform you of the disappearance of the Science questions which we had hoped to use in this year's exams. We are at present unsure of their exact whereabouts, but fortunately we have been able to replace them with some Media Studies questions of equal quality, which we hope you will find satisfactory.

Once again, my apologies and I hope that you will continue to choose us as your 'Science Without the Science' provider in the future.

Yours Faithfully,

T. Lysenko (Head of Curriculum Design, AQA)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sit Still! (OK don't then.)

Teachers constantly complain (well I do anyway) about how pupils cannot sit still and keep quiet in class. The official reason for this is that our lessons are not interesting enough. The real reasons are as follows:

1) Some have realised that there is no discipline in schools and they can do pretty much what they like. We'll address this one in a future post.

2) Fed on a diet of sugary drinks and snacks throughout the day, many kids are in a constant hyperactive state. To excuse this, a whole load of medical problems have been dreamt up by drug companies eager to sell new products to the gullible. Every register is chock full of acronyms and excuses such as ADD, Bipolar Somethings, Aspbergers, Oppositional Defiance Nonsense and of course ADHD. Here's a handy tip: if your own child is naughty just send a letter to his form teacher with your own impressive sounding disease and his every misdemeanor will be forever excused. It's like the 'Get Out Of Jail Free' card in Monopoly.

3) If I am cooped up all day without taking any exercise I will cause mayhem and go mad. Funnily enough the kids do exactly the same. Many are driven to school and simply forget their kit or waste their time playing table tennis in PE. Nobody dares force them out to do physical activity and so they burn off their excess energy in our lessons.

Ask anyone who has taken a school trip somewhere involving lots of fresh air and physical activity whether there were any problems from the naughty kids after the first couple of days.

Private Schools realise this and make them do sport every day whether they want to or not.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Well done to the NASUWT for denouncing the pet idea of every weak Head. The interview with a couple of kids present as 'representatives of the Student Body'. I'm serious; people in education really do come out with stuff like this.

Just two posts ago I was declaring that common sense had prevailed and now I'm finding something good to say about a Teaching Union. What is happening to me? Maybe I should see a doctor...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Right or Wrong?

This is an interesting one, which raises a whole host of questions.

Were these two suspended for viewing non work related internet sites during work hours, a crime to which I plead guilty, along with just about everone else in the country or are they in trouble for viewing websites related to the BNP?

Would they be in as much trouble if they had viewed another British political party's website? Would the school suspend (or even question) a Muslim teacher caught accesssing the Hamas website, or Osama Bin Laden's own Blog for that matter?

What would happen to a Chinese teacher found reading a Chinese official newspage celebrating the anniversary of the Tibet invasion and the crushing of its populace? How would a Somalian caught reading the latest Jubba Valley Militiamen broadcasts be dealt with?

I wonder whether his Union would defend him to the hilt or abandon him?

What do you think your school would do in a case like this?

At Last!

Hoorah! After reading my post from last November, the Government is scrapping coursework done at home from 2009. Parents will no longer need to do their child's work for them or fork out £30 per hour to pay me to do it.

Common sense has prevailed. I can't believe I'm writing this.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Seems Genuine To Me

Today I was fortunate enough to receive an email from my new friend Mr Guei with some very good news indeed. Ive copied it below:

From:Master Kone Guei

My Good Friend, I'm happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds transferred under the cooperation of a new partner from Norway. Presently I am in Norway for investment projects with my own share of the totalsum. Mean while, I didn't forget your past efforts and attempts to assist me in transferring those funds despite that it failed us some how. Now contact mylawyer in Accra Ghana as I stated below follow his instructions:

Barrister George Okoye Esq.Email: Telephone number +233-242-772479. Ask him to send you the check what of $750.000.00 which I kept for your compensation for all your pastefforts and attempts to assist me in this matter and I have appreciated your past efforts at that time very much. So feel free and get in touched with Lawyer Barrister George Okoye and instruct him where to send the check to you.

Please do let me know immediately you receive it so that we can share the joy together after all the sufferness at that time you trying to help me out. at this moment I am very busy here because of theinvestment projects which I and my new partner are having at hand, finally, remember that I had forwarded instruction to my lawyer on your behalf to receive the check, so feel free to get in touch with Lawyer Barrister George Okoye to send the check to you without any further delay and try to be honest with him because he is God fearing man.

With best regards,
Master Kone Guei

Being a successful author and dog walker; I don't need the money, so I am offering the opportunity of instant riches to my readers. George Okoye (LawyerBarrister no less) seems like a decent chap, so as Mr Guei says: please be honest with him.

Dedication and perseverance. An example to us all.

Commiserations to poor old Shiv and best of luck next year with your exams and finding the woman of your dreams (under 30 years old)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Why Try To Learn When You Can Shout Out?

The last three posts including the Creation Museum which has about half a million replies so far have provided the background for this one.

There is little point in having a debate on the pros and cons of nuclear power if we don't understand nuclear fission, half lives and radioactivity. Even less point if we don't have the faintest clue as to what an atom is.

Neither can we argue about Creationism without an understanding of Astronomy, Genetics, Physics and Geology.

If we try to do so, then we are simply giving worthless opinions. ie ones that are not based on any sound knowledge. This is what our modern curriculums are encouraging, with their emphasis on debate before learning.

The problem is that it is difficult and time consuming to study and understand these concepts. Learning from a textbook and practising questions isn't fun or fashionable so it will never be popular.

Far better to just blurt out the first thing that comes into your head and try to win the argument by shouting louder than your opponent or hurling abuse. That's what I've always found, anyway.

Increasingly Political

In a similar vein to Wellington Grey's plea in the last post for the safe return of his subject, here is a report which makes a good case for their claim that the curriculum is becoming increasingly political.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Lost: The subject of Physics

Here's an excellent letter from a Physics Teacher begging for the safe return of his subject.

And I have found the missing 'j' from my title.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Noah'm Not Afraid Of A Tyrannosaurus

If I manage to flog my book to an American Publisher then you can rest assured that I shall make a beeline for the $25 000 000 Kentucky Museum of Creation. (I shall of course leave my firearms outside as per the conditions of entry)

I had never realised that 6000 years ago there were vegetarian dinosaurs all over the place who played happily with little cave children. (Or 'Children of Non Artificial Dwelling Homes' as we must now call them.)

If I've got time, I might also try to see the Grand Canyon which apparently was carved out in a couple of days by Noah's flood. He made a wise move only taking baby dinosaurs on his ark as a fully grown Brontosaurus might be a bit heavy.

I didn't know that all the fossils came from this flood as well, along with plate tectonics, volcanic activity, and all other geological phenomena. It's been a real eye-opener for me. And to think I was teaching it completely wrong for all those years.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

No Logo

If, like me you think the Olympic Logo is worth slightly less than the £400 000 the design company was paid (I can't even read it and since when has pink been our National Colour?)

Mrs. Chalk got her class to design logos a few weeks back and some were really good. One in particular stood out for reasons I could not pin down until I realised that it was unfortunately based around the digits '2 0 0 1 2'

I would give absolutely anything to have this as our Olympic Games Symbol.

Physics...Whassatt then?

Here's an article which shows what's happening to Science Teaching in the UK.

CASE (Campaign And Science Engineering) seem to have their heads screwed on and all credit to them for exposing the lack of properly qualified Science Teachers. I think they used to be called 'Save British Science' (BSS) Here's their website if you want to join.

I shall sleep soundly tonight knowing that we have enough Drama Teachers though.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Forlorn Hope

If you are born into the Underclass, doomed to attend a dustbin of a school, then a career in the Army might well be your only ticket out of the slums.

Yes, you might be shot by some toerag in Iraq or Afghanistan; but if you remain in the Estate from Hell, then you stand an equally good chance of being shot by a rival drugs dealer or ending up behind bars for most of your life.

The EIS would like to remove your only hope of escape.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Much More Fun

Sorry about the link on the last post, I can't get it to work. Never mind, you'll enjoy this a lot more. Stick it on full screen and watch Joe Kittinger's 1960 balloon jump from 102 000 feet.

Some of it is from the balloon camera, some of it is from his helmet. All of it is pretty outrageous. You can see the curvature of the Earth as he tumbles around. He was timed by radar at over 600 mph.

It was part of a series of jumps at the time of the Mercury project to see if the astronauts would have a chance of surviving a bailout if something went wrong just after takeoff.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Where, oh where do they get them from?

Look at this clown

Why is it that in times like this, when we are in desperate need of tough, no nonsense leaders who can face down parents, back up good staff to the hilt and rule with a rod of iron; all we get is the helpless and the hopeless?

Here's the link:,'lead%20learner'/