Category Archives: Vitriol
There you are: enjoying a nice meal in a nicely priced restaurant. Nothing too fancy, just a basic meal and some good company. And then the squeals begin. And the crying. And the shouting. And the nagging. And the running … Continue reading
(FROM THE ‘IT’S MY BLOGGY AND I’LL BLOG WHAT I WANT TO’ DEPARTMENT) A One-Armed Man in a Juggling Contest I used to think that teaching kids under the age of ten was the most difficult thing a teacher could … Continue reading
No, We Are Not Civilized. Or, Why the 21st Century is Still Stuck in the 12th (The Persistence of Middle-Ages Mentality in the Modern Age)
Hans Rosling has shown us that the world is getting better. We have by far the greatest proportion of humanity moving out of absolute poverty that we have ever had. At the same time, Stephen Pinker proves that, remarkably, we … Continue reading
Dear teachers We are considering officially recognizing your vocation as a profession. We realize that you have all felt that what you do has always been a profession, but honestly, we at the Society of True Professionals have had some … Continue reading
Dear Margaret I read your article in The Globe and Mail (Saturday, Jun. 28 2014) with dismay. In the article, you assert that “21st century learning is nothing more than warmed-over romantic progressivism” with absolutely no evidence to support its … Continue reading
I don’t really like horror stories. Except for the kind Stephen King writes. But he doesn’t really write horror, he writes stories which sometimes have a supernatural edge. But Mr King’s true talent is to write about the horror … Continue reading
Things Students Don’t Say:
Standardized tests really allow me to demonstrate my learning in a personalized way.
The curriculum really is more important than I am. No really, it is!
School is definitely about how well I do in the exams.
My education is preparing me for life.
I don’t feel like I am just a number. Continue reading
Homework is evil. Truly, wickedly, horridly evil. Homework is a slimy, smelly, nasty troll which eats the souls of children. And these unfortunate souls are shoveled into homework’s gaping, slobbering maws by its devoted minions.
We call these unthinking, complicit minions ‘teachers’. Continue reading
Have you ever noticed how sporty boys are a bit slow in class? Or how all girls named Debbie are always a little shallow? Or how the Dillons you teach are always a bit naughty? Or how Asian kids tend … Continue reading
Let’s get right to it: Don’t you hate those office whip-arounds and teas where everyone donates money and best wishes for a mom-to-be as she departs on maternity leave? You always feel compelled to give something because everyone else is … Continue reading
You would think that lowering the standards of final national exams in South Africa would be good news for kids. Easier exams mean more of them pass more easily. And top students can clean up. You would be wrong. Easier … Continue reading
Excuse me while I rant a bit… In South Africa, there are two alternative examination authorities: those set under the auspices of the Government (the National Senior Certificate – NSC) and those set by an Independent Examinations Board (the IEB). … Continue reading
Let’s talk about Steve Jobs. I think enough time has gone by since his passing that we can move beyond the mystique and be brutally honest. What Jobs teaches us, on a fundamental level, is that to be successful in … Continue reading
The Teachers vs The Greeks Teachers: Please stop using the word ‘academic’. You don’t know what it means. When you say things like “this is an academic school”, or “we need to lift our academic standards”, or even “I am … Continue reading
The classical man is just a bundle of routine, ideas and tradition. If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine, the tradition, the shadow — you are not understanding yourself. (BRUCE LEE, Tao of Jeet Kune Do) … Continue reading