Sunday, February 24, 2008

Random things involving teaching:

Apathy Jack writes:


It turns out there’s a shortage of decent teachers. That counts as news? I don't understand why talented people don't want to go into teaching, I mean, just look at the Ministry’s latest recruitment slogan:

Sandwich yourself into a room where the children outnumber the desks and text books are from the late seventies. There you do a job which everyone else in the entire world thinks they know how to do better than you, and for the privilege of doing so, we’ll pay you literally half of what your friends in IT get, and make sure that we vilify you in the press when, once a decade, you ask that your pay scale be brought into line with the inflation rate.

Doesn’t that sound like fun, you ungrateful bastards? I don’t see a queue forming...


On a related note, the article Teacher Shortage Raises Alarm Bells, which is notable for the following line:

One in three schools have not got extra teachers - or haven't planned to get them - for when new rules for smaller entrant class sizes begin in May, a survey by the country's biggest teacher union shows.

I like that. Schools “haven’t planned to get” new staff to cover the short falls created by the new rules for teacher/student ratios.

I “haven’t planned to get” a house in Auckland and a brand new car (and some driving lessons) and a pair of those Armani dungarees I’ve had my eye on for a while. I would like those things, but the thing is, no bugger will give them to me for free.

Even a first year teacher who you can get away with grossly underpaying is going to suck almost forty thousand dollars out that sock the Board of Trustees keeps under its mattress. Nice, though, how the local press makes it sound like negligence on the part of the schools in question.


Author Charlie Stross on The Youth of Today; specifically what the world looks like to them. This is something I discuss with people, that surprises them more than I always think it will: whenever I tell the students that the poster on my wall is of Big Brother I have to explain to them (slowly, and in small words) that it has nothing to do with reality TV; that the name came from a book (and a movie, from which the poster comes). The fact that the book is called 1984 means, to them, a "boring history" book. The oldest of my kids were born when I was in third form, seven years after that book was set.

The children are routinely horrified when they find out that I didn't have an email address until I was twenty, and they're genuinely shocked to find out that this is because no one really had the internet in their homes until I was in my very late teens - I wasn't even unfashionably late to the trend...

And finally:

It's like they've actually put a camera in my class:

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