Thursday, 6 January 2011

Dashed hopes

I had hoped to get home in time to have another tryout of my portable wargame ... but my hopes were dashed when I was just about to leave work; I – along with the rest of my departmental co-workers – had been summoned to a faculty meeting.

The Head of Faculty was too busy to chair the meeting, as was the Deputy Head of Faculty, so we sat in the only room that was available for the meeting (a kitchen that is normally used by the department that teaches Social Care) whilst the third most senior person in the faculty went through the agenda ... of which she had the only copy.

Basically it was yet another 'Ofsted are coming and you must have this ready' talk, with a smattering of 'We have had a 100% pass rate in BTEC for the past x years, and all the students must pass again this year' thrown in for good measure.

To do all this is going to require me to do even more unpaid work than I am currently doing.

Boy, do I feel well past my 'sell by' date today!

14 comments:

  1. Man, you need to win the lottery or something.....this stuff will kill your soul.


    Don

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  2. Brigadier Dundas,

    I buy my lottery tickets every week in the hope that my wife and I will win enough to give up teaching altogether.

    I haven't won yet ... but I live in hope!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  3. This Ofsted person needs to have an accident in a dark alley one night....

    or many dark alleys depending on their staffing levels...

    ;-)

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  4. Pat G,

    There are so many of them, and so few dark alleys!

    Nice thought though.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. Like all bad things in education, it will pass and you'll be out the other side before you know it.

    Don't expect them to thank you for it though. They'll be too busy claiming the credit or shifting the blame.

    Just think about half term...five weeks and counting ;o)

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  6. The lottery and the premium bonds are integral parts of my escape plans too!

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  7. Don't worry..they're just wetting themselves because they haven't done their bit properly.

    Think about half term...five weeks and counting ;o)

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  8. The students must pass but this too shall pass. Don't suppose Nietzsche is on the curriculum is he?

    Mind you it reminds me how glad I am to have given up on bureaucracy, I forget sometimes when the money is thin :)

    -Ross

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  9. Boggler,

    You are quite right about how things change so often in education that if you miss one new development, another will be right along behind it to replace it.

    Is half term really only five weeks away? My, how time flies when you are enjoying yourself!

    All the best,

    Bob

    PS. You are right about the how those at the top grab all the credit when things go right, and how they try to shift the blame on to someone else when it goes wrong.

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  10. Jfidz,

    Unfortunately, I did not manage to buy a ticket for this evening's Euromillions Lottery. Mind you, going on past performance, I would have lost my 'investment'!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  11. Boggler,

    The truth is they are wetting themselves (and p*****g on those below them) because they know what they expect the staff to do is impossible ... and that they have promised that it will be done!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  12. Ross Mac,

    Nietzsche on the curriculum! We have enough trouble getting people whose names the students can read and spell on the curriculum, let alone a German philosopher.

    The big thing at the moment is 'Socratic questioning' ... but the people advocating it have not yet grasped the fact that the Greeks asked Socrates to drink the hemlock because they got fed up with him always asking questions ... and never providing an answer!

    I recently quote Clausewitz (another German thinker) during a meeting (You can guess what the quote was about if I mention the words ‘plan’ and ‘enemy’), and guess what … no one had heard of him.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  13. Bob,
    That's strange, because Clausewitz and Sun Tzu seem to be 'enjoying' being quoted in connection with business/management methodology these days.
    But, of course, the maintained sector of education has for a long time ignored or disparaged military history: over thirty years ago, when a friend of mine had the temerity to correct a college lecturer who had claimed that Parliament's ECW army had the bayonet! he was told, "I'm interested in History, not things!"
    Yet there is much it could learn: I often think a school - especially a large boys' school - is rather like a Napoleonic man o'war - the Head is the Captain, the teachers are the officers and marines who must keep order and quell mutiny, and the prefects the warrant officers and their mates; the pupils - in many cases - resemble the pressed men who would gladly escape if only they could, and need a firm hand and strict discipline to keep them under control.
    Years ago, during a rather circuitous discussion upon the minutiae of uniform, my then Head turned to me and said, "I'm sure, Arthur, with your interest in military history, you will be very interested in this topic {I had been dozing quietly in a corner}?" I took great pleasure in confounding him with Wellington's remark that he was indifferent to how his soldiers were clothed, provided they were clean and could not be confused with the enemy, and Murat's comment on the Army of Naples: "Dress 'em in red, dress 'em in yellow, they'll run away just the same." Which comments did not go down too well...

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  14. Arthur1815,

    A lot of people who know nothing about war seem to think that it is a good model for business. The problem is that they pick up the odd quote that suits their purposes, but have no real depth of understanding as to how the military philosophers arrived at their conclusions.

    Your analogy of a school being like a Napoleonic Man o' War is well made. Sometimes I feel rather like a passed-over officer who has lots of sea time experience, but no friends at the Admiralty.

    Nice story about uniform, by the way!

    All the best,

    Bob

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