Teaching

jenks

thread death
Just two hours teaching left.

I played in the Staff v Boys football match today - still blaming myself for their winning goal!

It's always a bastard term and this one has been no different. There is a kind of hysteria that seems to seep through the staff which has been exacerbated by the prospect of snow and possible school closures - i am sure the most viewed website in school today was the Met Office.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
Seriously, they were looking at it all day in the staff room. I think they were more desperate for snow than the kids!
 

jenks

thread death
Ha Ha Ha

school closed, 5 inches of snow - I'm on hols!!!

Sorry but there is nothing quite like an unexpected day off.
 

mixed_biscuits

_________________________
John Taylor Gatto:
Empty Children

Not far to go now. Here is my recipe for empty children. If you want to cook whole children, as I suspect we all do, just contradict these stages in the formula:

1. Remove children from the business of the world until time has passed for them to learn how to self-teach.

2. Age-grade them so that past and future both are muted and become irrelevant.

3. Take all religion out of their lives except the hidden civil religion of appetite, and positive/negative reinforcement schedules.

4. Remove all significant functions from home and family life except its role as dormitory and casual companionship. Make parents unpaid agents of the State; recruit them into partnerships to monitor the conformity of children to an official agenda.

5. Keep children under surveillance every minute from dawn to dusk. Give no private space or time. Fill time with collective activities. Record behavior quantitatively.

6. Addict the young to machinery and electronic displays. Teach that these are desirable to recreation and learning both.

7. Use designed games and commercial entertainment to teach preplanned habits, attitudes, and language usage.

8. Pair the selling of merchandise with attractive females in their prime childbearing years so that the valences of lovemaking and mothering can be transferred intact to the goods vended.

9. Remove as much private ritual as possible from young lives, such as the rituals of food preparation and family dining.

10. Keep both parents employed with the business of strangers. Discourage independent livelihoods with low start-up costs. Make labor for others and outside obligations first priority, self-development second.

11. Grade, evaluate, and assess children constantly and publicly. Begin early. Make sure everyone knows his or her rank.

12. Honor the highly graded. Keep grading and real world accomplishment as strictly separate as possible so that a false meritocracy, dependent on the support of authority to continue, is created. Push the most independent kids to the margin; do not tolerate real argument.

13. Forbid the efficient transmission of useful knowledge, such as how to build a house, repair a car, make a dress.

14. Reward dependency in many forms. Call it "teamwork."

15. Establish visually degraded group environments called "schools" and arrange mass movements through these environments at regular intervals. Encourage a level of fluctuating noise (aperiodic negative reinforcement) so that concentration, habits of civil discourse, and intellectual investigation are gradually extinguished from the behavioral repertoire.
 

jenks

thread death
Strangely enough I have just been using a speech by this guy as part of GCSE preparation - it was in the exam JUne 08. All about how schools don't educate.

The kids are lukewarm and think he's a bit of a crank - showing just how socialised into schooling they actually are.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
14. Reward dependency in many forms. Call it "teamwork."

This one used to bug the hell out of me. I was generally pretty happy working by myself. And at the risk of sounding harsh, it's highly frustrating to get paired with someone who's (significantly) less clever than you are - and probably not great for them, either.
 

mixed_biscuits

_________________________
The kids are lukewarm and think he's a bit of a crank - showing just how socialised into schooling they actually are.

Heh, interesting.

It's enlightening to read about how young children, barely into double digits, were able to fulfil roles that now, supposedly, can only be satisfactorily performed by adults.

From my limited experience, I would say that those children at the upper end of primary school seem to have an inclination for serious, purposive work that diminishes noticeably by the end of KS3. It would make sense that there be a particular capacity in the individual for early development of self-control, independence and social negotiation, so as better to deal with the stresses of puberty. I don't think that schools, or modern society generally, do anything to permit this early personal growth: children remain infantilised and are then poleaxed come adolescence (which itself extends through university).
 

mixed_biscuits

_________________________
Gatto again:
The last lesson school teaches I’ll call the glass house effect: It teaches how hopeless it is to resist because you are always watched. There is no place to hide. Nor should you want to. Your avoidance behavior is actually a signal you should be watched even more closely than the others. Privacy is a thought crime. School sees to it that there is no private time, no private space, no minute uncommanded, no desk free from search, no bruise not inspected by medical policing or the counseling arm of thought patrols.

I remember a visiting lecturer on my PGCE suggesting that every student be made to keep an 'open diary', within which they show themselves to be thankful to their teachers. They couldn't see the irony.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
I remember a visiting lecturer on my PGCE suggesting that every student be made to keep an 'open diary', within which they show themselves to be thankful to their teachers. They couldn't see the irony.

Holy crap - did the Politburo ever come up with that one?
 

don_quixote

Trent End
you english teachers eh.

found some AMAZING maths teaching blogs from america and have suddenly got really excited about some lessons i'm going to do this week...

http://blog.mrmeyer.com/

he video lecture on "be less helpful" is especially good and has applications in other subjects.
 

mixed_biscuits

_________________________
Great blog - that's exactly the kind of thing that I've been looking for.

His assessment system is very similar to mine.
 

mixed_biscuits

_________________________
Yeah, especially as one of the things that teacher training colleges rightly bang on about is becoming a 'reflective' teacher. Maybe all it needs is someone to get the ball rolling.

Having said that, Americans seem generally more likely to blog.
 
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Dusty

Tone deaf
Doers anyone here have either direct experience or know of someone who went through the Graduate teacher programme?

I think this is the only option for me but it does require previous experience in schools, of which I currently have none. I'm organising voluntary work at the moment but have no idea just how much I'll need in order to get to grips with the teaching lifestyle.

Wherever I find people discussing the GTP it seems to go hand in hand with the phrase 'hardest year of your life'. Still, I'm always up for a challenge.
 

don_quixote

Trent End
everyone says hardest year of your life about everything. teaching is hard hard work. you work literally all the time when you start.

what i would suggest is that when you organise going into a school do it for a while; do something like 2 consecutive weeks, or pick a regular day to go in for a whole term, watching the same classes. i don't know how much free time you have.

for me, the people i know who did gtp where i know what they did previously usually switched from being cover supervisors, ie unqualified picking up the pieces supply. which doesn't really help your position.

getting into a school is the only way to decide whether you are up to it. the reason they ask for plenty of school experience i imagine is because if you quit a gtp year you leave a school in the lurch a bit, whereas on a pgce if you drop out it wouldn't really bother a school.
 

Dusty

Tone deaf
Thanks. I should have clarified my position a little more: I'm a freelance person at the moment and I intend to give up one full day a week to participate in any way I can in my local school. Ideally becoming some kind of teaching assistant so I can slip into the routine of being in a classroom and helping out with the kids, perhaps try my hand at teaching sections of a class as things progress - who knows.

The school itself seems keen to have me on board and if the voluntary work goes well they are hinting that a GTP with them would be possible (funding allowing).

I've done a masters degree whilst in full time work so I'm no stranger to giving up my life to achieve something - but the mix of learning to deal with kids, learning to teach properly, and dealing with the paperwork all that same time seems pretty daunting at the moment. What I have come to realise is that a life of teaching is a completely different world from 'normal' work. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it all.
 
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