Thursday, 22 October 2009

Half term is very much on the horizon!

This is the last week on the first half term of the academic year ... and boy, is everyone tired!

For some reason this half term has lasted eight weeks rather than the more usual seven ... and those few extra days have really taken a toll on both staff and students. The vast majority of the latter seem to have lost all motivation to work and the former are running on empty fuel tanks.

The icing on the cake this week for the staff was an hour-long staff meeting (held yesterday after a full teaching day of six hours!) where we had to listen to the new Principal's 'vision for the future'. Needless to say we all came away feeling that all we faced was the prospect of more work, fewer resources, and even more 'bean counting'.

By the time I got home last night I had little mental energy left but I still managed to do an hour's work on WHEN EMPIRES CLASH! – COLONIAL WARS. I have now completed the worked examples for the combat mechanisms, and all I have left to do is produce the same for the recoil rules. With a bit of luck I should be able to finish the whole thing on Saturday but …


  1. Hi Bob,
    All heads/principals must come off the same production line because they all spout the same non-creative jargon. Just broke up today as well - shattered, with a bad case of man-flu!
    The children have worked hard though and deserve a break - from all the hoop-jumping and target-chasing we impose on them.
    It wasn't like this in my day!! It's a wonder folk of our generation ever got educated - my teachers were never subjected to the amount of paperwork that seems to flow into my tray daily.
    Rant over.
    Enjoy your well deserved rest Bob.

  2. jfidz,

    The new Principal has only been in teaching a few years. Her background is business management. For some reason this is becoming more and more common amongst senior managers in UK schools; people seem to think that education will get better if we 'manage' it better (i.e. get better results for less cost) … and test everything as often as you can so that you prove it has got better.

    I often tell my younger colleagues a short story about the farmer who owned a pig.

    Every week he weighed the pig, but it did not get any heavier.

    So he started to weigh it twice each week, but it still didn’t grow.

    Finally he weighed it every day … but it still didn’t grow.

    Finally, the pig died.

    The farmer was very upset, and asked another farmer if he had ever had the same problem. The other farmer said ‘No’; he fed his pig every day and weighed it once every month … and it grew.

    "Oh!" said the first farmer "You have to feed them as well?"

    We now have a educational regime that tests, tests, and tests again … adds more and more to the curriculum … but never ‘feeds’ the intellect of the students.

    We are producing students whose idea of a research tool is to ‘Google’, cut, and paste … and who resent being told that this is not good enough. They are – with some honourable exceptions – unable to think for themselves, cannot plan anything, and cannot write a sentence that is grammatically correct!

    Thank God my holiday started six hours ago!

    Rant over!

    All the best,



Thank you for leaving a comment. Please note that any comments that are spam or contain phishing messages or that come from Google Accounts that are 'Unknown' will be deleted.