Obama is NOT a Muslim Goddamit!

October 21, 2008 at 7:16 pm (Uncategorized)

I realise relying on 12 year olds version of events is no exactly reliable.  In fact one of them the other day was asked who the running mates of McCain and Obama were and responded by saying Mrs Bush and Jackie Kennedy.  However what really shocked me was when the candidates religion came up.  Someone said Barack Obama was Muslim.  It was explained to them that no he wasn’t.  At this point the kids – notice the plural there, not just the one who said it originally but a whole group of them – suddenly became aggressively assertive that he was.  They then had to be reminded that probably teacher knows a little bit more than them.

Is this how prevalant the Republican smear campaign is?  They’ve managed to convince English comprehensive kids of their lies? (Not that I’m saying calling somebody a muslim is  a smear but we all know why the Republicans don’t mind dumb floating voters think it since a vast minority of americans seem to see the words Muslim and Terrorist as synonymous).  Or is it not that.  I genuinely doubt that any of the US presidential campaign has saturated these children’s minds much.  Instead a black man with a vaguely exotic sounding name is just naturally a Muslim to them.  However it is still odd that they were so vehement in their belief that he must be Muslim.

Anyway thank god we have CNN to set the record straight:

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For the Love of The Job

October 20, 2008 at 6:54 pm (Uncategorized)

I’m starting to notice two distinct type of teachers in the staffroom.  Everyone at some points whines about the pupils but there definitely seems to be those who moan but clearly love the job and those who moan and you start to question if they really want to be there.

I know that for me – having been in the profession all of five minutes – it’s a bit arrogant to judge othher teachers but you have to question when faced with such a wealth of pessimism from somme individuals.  Plenty of teachers in between the moaning and swearing and commplaining will show you that they really love what they do – through enthusiasm in a lesson, a kind word about their students or even just some sage advice to us noobs.  But there are others who have a permanent look of disgust on their face, are brutal and cruel to kids and whenever others are out of earshot will tell you that frankly they hate kids and you should get out of the profession while you can.

I just have to wonder – why the hell are they still there?  Do they think they can’t get another job in the “real world”? Do they see themselves as some sort of martyrs to the cause? Or do they just stick around for the job security and the pension?

I hope I never become one of them or if I do I’ll have the good sense to get away from the job and leave teaching to those who can inspire kids rather than take out their bad humour on them.

In some ways you could liken these teachers to Gordon Brown – don’t like the job, nobody wants you there anymore and it’s causing endless stress but for some reason they just won’t give up.

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I’m getting old

October 14, 2008 at 6:57 pm (Uncategorized)

The lack of general knowledge amongst teenagers terrifies me! Today I saw a group of year 11’s be given a simple quiz about what’s going on in the news.  This was not obscure politics or trivia but straightforward stuff that anybody who has glanced at the Metro or seen a tv screen would know.  However they struggled with every question bar those on X Factor (actually that was only easy for those who were bothering to take part).

But what really scared me was when I started trying to give them hints to make the answers incredibly easy to get.  One group was trying to work out which country Joerg Haider was from.  They’d guessed Germany. In fairness this demonstrates these kids are by no means thick.  They’d worked out it was a German sounding name.  They just lack the general knowledge to know any better.  So in an effort to help them I gave them the clue that it was the same country that Arnold Schwarzenegger was from.  Their response?  “The Californian Governor?”.

See on the one hand I’m very pleased they know who the Governor of California is. However on the other hand I’m saddened that I’ve turned into one of those old people who thinks of Ronald Reagan as an actor not a politician.  These kids see Arnie as a serious politician, not The Terminator!!  What sad world they must live in.  So just for the kids I give you the man himself (oh and in case you were wondering they changed their answer to Norway – go figure)

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Weeping

October 13, 2008 at 7:01 pm (Politics) (, , )

Well it’s happened already.  I have had my first bout of tears of the PGCE.  Not because of the coursework or because of the kids or because of the workload.  No just simply because I’m exhausted.  I’m so tired from travelling to my placement school (not too handily close) and being on my feet all day. It doesn’t help that I had commitments all weekend that meant I’ve had no time to myself.  So I’ve ended up in a ridiculous argument with my mate and weeped relentlessly.  I suspect I’m probably right in thinking this won’t be the first flood of lachrymosity of the year.

Nevermind – it could be  worse.  I could have saving in an Icelandic bank.

Of course the continuing meltdown of global finances is no laughing matter – except of course in the fact that the only way to cope with complete disaster is to see the inherant humour.  Gordon Brown seems to have managed to position himself as the saviour of the world for a day or two.  However the bank shares continue to plummet and Europe’s leaders may have agreed in principle to do the same as the UK, but what they do in practice is completely unpredictable – you only need look at Angela Merkel to see that.  It would be churlish to wish failure on Brown just because I don’t want to see him go up in the polls.  However nobody should forget that his massive borrowing means that the budget really doesn’t have the strength to hold up this massive bailout in the long run.

With all the pressure building up and the massive immplications that hang in the balance I should think I’m not the only person having a little cry in the corner tonight.

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WTF!!!!

October 6, 2008 at 8:52 pm (Uncategorized)

Third time lucky!  I keep writing this post and saving it and publishing it but WordPress is against me.  This time I’m going to CTRL C it to make quadruply sure because there is no way I’m writing it again.

*sigh*

Alright super short verion

a) Don’t let american teach englih – how is a kid meant to spell aluminium if the teacher can’t pronounce it.

b) Irony of NUTter demanding we strike followed by teachers gleefully wasting taxpayers money on supplies

c) Evening Standard headline on Friday, up around London all weekend, “Mandy back to rescue Labour”.  Aces 🙂

You should have read the last two versions of this post.  They were brilliant.

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