Sunday, December 28, 2008

Colin Adams

50 year old Colin Adams is now £250 000 richer after a 12 year old attacked him at school. Various hopeless cases did nothing to help.

Two points spring immediately to mind:

1) Any 12 year old attempting to strangle me, would do so for exactly one second before being dragged away by their ear to be locked in the stock cupboard whilst I phone the police and have a soothing cup of tea, before getting on with my next lesson. I would be perfectly confident that there would be no repercussions against me whatsoever. (Certainly nothing ever happened on the dozens of occasions when I did similar things anyway)

2) Had I realised that £250 000 might be on offer however, I would have immediately developed stress, backache and Bird Flu.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Elf and Safety

There is a constant war going on between those who work for Health and Safety and claim that their rules are only intended to keep us safe, but are constantly being misinterpreted by the incompetent (eg me) for their own ends and those who are on the receiving end of these rules and claim that they must have been dreamt up after a three hour, booze soaked lunch in order to keep vast numbers of otherwise unemployable people occupied.

This story fuels both sides of the argument.

ps 'Elf' in the title is my one concession to Xmas this year, as I'm already sick to death of it. Tacky decorations, awful songs and Santa seem to have been torturing me since late October. Roll on the New Year!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Role Models

As teachers will now have to behave themselves outside school, whilst their pupils do whatever they like, I've had to write to the GTCE to check that it's ok for Mrs C to carry on working two nights a week at our local Lap Dancing Club.

Poor sod

This could so easily have been me and I cheerfully admit to having done exactly the same on a number of occasions. It's easy to judge his actions as wrong from an armchair, but damn near impossible not to react occasionally, when it's a day in day out occurrence. Anyone who wants to criticise him ought to try and keep order in one of our hell hole schools.

Net result: one teacher with his career in ruins and a bunch of kids who have learnt that they can do anything they like.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fishy Answers

Here's the AQA accepted answers to the question in the previous post, ie the notes that the person marking the paper would see. (Reproduced without permission)

Scientists figures based on research /calculations / data
or scientists sample whole area.

Fishermen based on impression / hearsay /experience
or fishermen fish in well-stocked / limited areas

ignore reasons based on bias

Scientists sample a wider area= 2 marks
Fishermen only fish in well-stocked areas = 2 marks
If no marks gained fishermens’ opinion and scientists’ opinion gains 1 mark

Now the point that I have spent two posts getting to is:

Do you want your kids doing questions like this or would you rather they learnt about how the fish maintains its buoyancy whilst swimming along, how it absorbs oxygen and whether it ever needs to drink?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

AQA- Science Without The Science

You may have heard me make fun of the AQA and its Science without the Science syllabus. In case you are still labouring under the idea that Science has something to do with facts, here's a question from their 2007 Biology Paper. (I don't have permission to reproduce it, so feel free to sue me)

Every December the European Commission makes proposals for cod fishing quotas in European Union (EU) waters. These quotas take into account data obtained by scientists.

Scientists calculate what proportion of the cod stock is being caught each year. They do this by working out the numbers in each age-group of cod.

Every year the fishermen say the scientists are exaggerating the danger to the stocks in the North Sea. The scientists say the fishermen are threatening their own long-term livelihoods by ignoring their warnings of a collapse of cod populations.

The scientists say that fishermen go only to parts of the sea where there are a lot of cod, so they get the wrong idea of the number of cod in the whole area.

a) The scientists and the fishermen have different opinions about the size of the cod population.Explain why. (2 Marks)

My answer was that the fishermen need to go fishing to make money, so will therefore claim that there are plenty of fish. The Scientists will say that there is a disaster looming because their funding will not continue for much longer if they don't find a problem.

Unfortunately like a dodgy song at Eurovision, I scored null points. As a poor loser, my next comment was: What subject is this meant to be?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Green and Blacks

Hot on the heels of the Santa Deniers comes another exclusive revelation...

I've long been a fan of Green and Blacks Chocolate, but feel duty bound to let you in on a secret. All their 100g bars actually weigh 125g, so you are getting an unadvertised 25% extra free.

The sceptical should try weighing an unwrapped one for themselves. A useful talent of mine, which never fails to impress; is that if you tell me the colour of the end of one of their wrappers I can identify the flavour, quick as a flash. eg If you were to approach me and mutter 'Light Blue', I would astonish you by immediately replying; 'Milk!'

Believe it or not, the reverse is also true: even if you were to try and defeat me with 'Maya Gold' I would instantly shout; 'Dark Red!' and receive admiring glances from any onlookers

Friday, December 12, 2008

Santa Deniers

Santa Deniers are one of the biggest problems facing state education in Britain today. Well done to Blackshaw Lane Primary School for having the courage to take a stand on such an important issue.

When I did my PGCE we were lectured for weeks on the importance of maintaining a belief in Father Christmas (at least until some fat woman in stripey woollen tights and shoes with bangles got offended by the sexism inherent in the name 'Father')

Monday, December 08, 2008

Not In My Name...

Something struck me the other day (no, not Mrs. C) when I noticed that Inspector Gadget was looking forward to the 2 millionth 'hit' on his blog and current scourge of the Canadian Criminal Classes; Copperfield was not far behind. Both of these writers seem to represent the rank and file members of their profession. I've spoken to a couple of dozen coppers over the last few years and every one of them was familiar with the blogs and agreed that they say in public what every plod says in private.

Now my point is this: I haven't reached the million mark yet and won't do for several months, yet there are five times as many teachers as police. There can only be two possible answers to this conundrum:

a) I am not half as good aJustify Full blog writer as Copperfield or Gadget.
b) I do not represent the majority of my profession.

Now much as I like and agree with both Gadget and Copperfield, I don't think that they are in a completely different league to myself. Therefore I must consider option b) which after listening to Mrs Chalk's latest tales of hopelessness from her school, may well be true. (I have also on one memorable occasion overheard a couple of teachers describing my own book as 'a disgrace')

Now don't start blubbering; I'm far too thick skinned to worry about these things and in any case, I tend to write mainly for my own amusement. However it does raise some interesting questions and maybe I should put a little caveat on the bottom of each post along the lines of 'Caution-Does not reflect majority opinion'

Anyway, enough of that; just remember not to do this in your next lesson

Sunday, December 07, 2008


This old chestnut resurfaces with depressing regularity. These articles inevitably point out half a dozen people (always including Richard Branson) who did very badly at school and then did spectacularly well in later life, but forget to mention the 5 million counter examples who did very badly at school and went on to do even worse when they left. (Or the equally huge number of people who did well at school and then continued to do well afterwards.)

Even if exams are nothing more than exercises in rote learning and jumping through hoops (that's that's how I always treated mine anyway) they do separate those who can learn to do so from those who can't.

I love the statistics in the article- "77% of people do not believe that exams reflect their true intelligence". Well a survey carried out at 11 pm last night found that 100% of a group consisting of some friends and myself did not believe that a bad result in anything reflected our true ability.

Friday, December 05, 2008


I'd always thought of the Aussies as a tough, straight talking, no nonsense people. However they seem to be doing their best to prove me wrong. (Thanks to Laura for this one)

I can remember hearing similar advice in Britain about 15 years ago. Maybe it's a case of where the American hand wringers go, our sandal wearers follow; then a few years later when the average Brit has finally stopped rolling about laughing, some Australian beardie wierdie thinks "Oh that sounds like a good idea..."

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Computers etc.

This is hardly news- but as the author says; imagine what they're looking at on their own computers. In fact don't.

Journalists across the land are rejoicing and thanking Allah that someone's banned Christmas at last! I was starting to worry that we wouldn't see that traditional headline this year.

Moving on to the Scottish Teacher struck off for incompetence; you would normally expect a Daily Mail style rant from me about 'standards' or something, but to be honest I can't help but think that:

a) She doesn't sound half as bad as some of the staff at my school.
b) If we sack all the incompetent teachers, who will make up the SMTs of tomorrow?

Actually when I read through the list of things that she has done, I have to admit that apart from dancing around the classroom, I've done all of them myself and I can't even spell the word 'incompetent'

Still at least Mr Hunter's daughter will be leaping out of bed in the morning now.