Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Up to speed?

Well are ya? Already back a week and have ya hit your peak yet? Staffrooms just love buzz words....two weeks off and it takes a week to get back 'up to speed' whatever that really means, don't ya just love them.

Talking of things you love....consultants! Now I worked quite a bit in a previous life with consultants and its good to know that the one today from the Education Authority was typically just as incompetent and useless as his salary is grossly over inflated. He was in to 'help' the ICT department with a marking strategy for a particular type of qualification. Now this qualification consists of an e-portfolio of evidence that the students make over about 18 months. The ICt dept are a little worried about students finishing putting this stuff together, ie the work has been mostly done but it needs to be evidenced in a particular way to get any marks. The advice was along the lines of getting the teacher to join it all together after the student has handed it in for marking to make sure the evidence matches the work done. Is it me? No, seriously, is it me being naive? I understand the conflict between being judges on results as the temptation to complete students work, ie cheat, but to have the EA's consultant offer this as best advice and practice......makes you think.

Starting to get a little worried now.....have applied for 6 jobs and not had a squeak back, although one is still ongoing. Suppose I can always big up my CV and exaggerate my importance...what else does it take to be a consultant?

Keep Aa'had

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Just as I get started....

....then I'm stopped in my tracks by the Easter holidays. I know, I know I've only been at this lark for a few months but the way some teachers go on about recharging batteries and making sure they take the time off blah blah blah...its only 6 weeks since you last had a holiday! How do you think other hard working folk with their own long hours and daily stresses cope with only four weeks a year!! Still I'm not complaining, don't bite the hand that feeds and all that. Gail Godwin once remarked that "good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theatre". Whilst I disagree that only one fourth of my time is spent in preparation I do love the theatre bit, the actual standing in a class and delivering the lesson...that's where the real magic is.

So today I bit the bullet and registered with some teaching agencies, four in total. Not that I'm being pessimistic about getting a job but it can't hurt to cover more bases, can it? Forms duly filled in, 3 million proofs of address, status, identity, history, shoe size etc etc now make me eligible to be considered for supply work...woo hoo!

So Easter holidays, ok so I had four days off (counting the weekend), now its back to an albeit reduced work load. The next couple of days I intend to spend getting my standards files sorted out and in some semblance of order. Unless of course the sun comes out then I'm off to play golf, it is the holidays you know! Next week I plan to dedicate to getting my lesson plans sorted for the first couple of weeks back, 16 lesson plans & resources & differentiation & homework's & extensions & starters & plenaries & support staff directions & so it goes on, each and every week. That's as well as the four weekly meetings & odd cpd sessions & occasional extra briefings, between the 0830 start and 5pm finish, the contribution to extra curricular activities, the 2 formal lesson observations each week, the completely pointless large assignment for the University of Contempt.

You know something has to suffer......this time its the completely pointless assignment...I think I'll just make mine will attain the same bland mark and set of useless feedback they all have done this year. Feedback from Uni is along the lines of....."Would have liked to see this in more detail" on a proposal of 500 words. They are just crap at telling me how to improve anything I do, actually strike that, they are just generally crap. Still next week there will be anther survey to fill out about my experiences to allow the Uni to 'listen to the students' if it makes a difference. On the upside now they have my email address I get 57 weekly offerings from the "dept with f*ck all to do except send out sh*t by email" such as free Chlamydia tests, chaplaincy coffee mornings, poxy student union elections (no I really don't give a flying f*ck if d*ckhead A or d*ckhead B gets elected as sports and sexual deviancy officer), new student wellness session, win a £5 'kin Argos voucher for this survey chance, a message from the faceless ivory tower dweller otherwise known as the vice chancellor, free stop smoking services......why don't you all just f off and leave me alone you mindless f'ing waste of my tuition fees.

And breathe....

Keep Aa'had

Still I should count myself lucky, I attend an " 'A' rated Secondary Teacher Training Provider". Rumour has it the 'A' rating is for procedures and form filling than actual teaching that makes sense, like everything else its just spin. Once you delve beneath the surface, and in this place the veneer is especially thin, you find out what its really like.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Up and running

Well the wait is finally over I'm now 8 days into my second teaching practice and er its great. In the main the kids have been fine, I am re learning how to teach again....its amazing just how much you forget. I have charge of a year 10 form class.....ooohhh the responsibility! Actually they are proving to be really good....almost looking out for me....even got a compliment about my tie today.....which is a sure sign all hell will break loose tomorrow. The workload is completely mad, just a constant cycle of but I still smile for most of the day so it can't be all that bad. I work with some fantastic people who ask for nothing in return for the help they give, I appreciate you all.

I managed to secure some post 16 experience at my local FE College.....not a bloody thing from the university of contempt, must still be sat on his arse. Have applied for 3 jobs now and heard not a thing, my application form and covering letter have passed my headteachers inspection with flying colours. Still, put in an application today so fingers crossed. On the jobs front we had a guy come in from a supply agency pitching for new can't do any harm to register can it? Anybody have experience of supply (this decade preferably) to give me any tips?

Whilst not having much time to read one article did catch my eye, a speech to a heads conference by Dr Carol Craig, observing that schools risk turning pupils into narcissists by focusing on too much happiness. Dr Craig, head of the centre for Confidence and Wellbeing in Glasgow (I kid you not!). I surprised me that there was indeed a centre for wellness, especially in Glasgow which I thought had a life expectancy of about 50% of national average but I digress. As you may be aware for the past 2 years schools have had a statutory duty to promote their students wellbeing but now it seems to have gone to far. In some schools the words criticism and competition have been removed from the list of acceptable vocabulary so creating a raft of spoilt prima donnas unable to see beyond 'I'. As with everything else in life its all about do these, undoubtedly well paid, band wagon jumpers create massive cottage industries out of the latest fad, buzzword or initiative. Do we ever need a minister of common sense to take charge of these wonder education is so crap at times.

Anyway, its not all bad.......clocks go forward this weekend, 7 teaching days left till Easter!!

Keep Aa'had

Friday, 6 March 2009

Reading Week

Well as the title suggests this has been a reading week with no school so have spent the entire week on the golf course.

Some reading I did manage however was the Higher Education Funding Council who have promised £407 million to Uni's to "widen participation and cut the drop out rate". It goes on to state how monies should be used to help and support students with few or no qualifications cope with degree level studies. Ok, two points.....what the bloody hell are students with no qualifications doing on a degree course and why don't they invest the money into good teaching. This might just help improve the chances of students not quitting Uni through sheer boredom or the notion that these beholders of academia sit in ivory towers and talk in a language aimed about three feet over their heads.
Under the scheme the Uni of Teeside is to be given £11 million to tackle this. Now 11 million is a lot of cash by any body's standards.....if you break it down it would fund the tuition fees of over 1'200 people who might actually want to do a 3 year degree, rather than spending it on people who don't or quite simple can't. What is the obsession with pushing people further up the education ladder when actually it is much better to advise people that this is indeed their floor and would they kindly get off. 11 million quid would secure the jobs of over 400 people for a year at Nissan who were made redundant, it could pay an average mortgage on Teeside for a year for over 3000 start to get the picture!

I can only speak from my experience at the University of Contempt but its no wonder people drop out. If it were an animal the vet would have shot it a long time ago, if it were a private business, operating in the real world it wouldn't need a recession to kill it off, ineptitude and incompetence would have done the job many moons ago. The bit I don't understand is, now that we as students pay for this crap, why is it accepted? Why is this place still untouchable, why do we have no right of recourse.....value for would you measure that in an education setting?

Prison interview that was an experience, but hey the sun shone and it didn't look such a bad place. Everybody seemed really friendly on the staff side so I just have to wait for security clearance.....minimum 22 days wait, will keep you posted on this one but fingers crossed.

Keep Aa'had

Monday, 2 March 2009

And the winner is......

The lady who stood in front of all the student and NQT teachers to deliver a session on pupils self abusing and delivered the line, in all seriousness: "...more information can be found at forward slash wrists....." Well, I was just creased....totally gone....pure unintended genius at its very best!

Flags out part 2....Uni is finished, no more teaching sessions, we have a reading week this week, which coincidentally is the week after the assignment was due work it out! I have sent in my teaching timetable so you never know they may actually come out and see me as they failed last placement, can't wait.

2 jobs applied for....never heard nowt back....not exactly a confidence booster is it...any tips send em in! One application form to send out, have decided to visit the school for a viewing first (tomorrow) to see if that makes any difference. Have an interview at a prison on Friday to work as a cover lecturer over the holidays....if I get out will keep you posted.

Post 16 is still trying...Uni not arsed....boils my p*ss

2 weeks to go.....10 weeks of work to plan.....8 different classes.....and some crap Uni work to get in the road of it all.......nae bother!

Keep Aa'had

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Half Term

Well, there it is in black & white - 81% of education students are satisfied with the teaching at the University of Contempt according to the Guardian. 81%......who are these people and why couldn't I be on their course. Two possibilities, they were either generous with the rose tinted glasses on the response form or have no idea what crap teaching consists of, or maybe it is just me....nah impossible.

So its half term week and the Uni decides we are so busy preparing for our 2nd teaching placement and the 2 assignments due by Friday that we only need one day in this week. Awesome! The lecture on Monday morning was rushed because the lecturer had to teach somewhere else that clashed, the second lecture was cancelled or maybe just didn't exist. What a life of riley these lecturers lead and to top it all off in 2 weeks we are having a reading week....they get more bloody holidays than a Thomas Cook rep. I am paying for this sub standard pile of steaming horse sh*t......why can't a University follow a standard school day and teach us properly.......all we get is Module XYZ, taught study 6 hours, self study 397 is a complete disgrace and an utter farce.

Special mention to the finance people at the University of Contempt, they decided I was part time so missed out on a £500 bursary.....I now have to wait till next month....'kin hell man!

Nobodyat the Uni has bothered to do anything about my non existant post 16 experience yet......again, pure lazy arsed entities.

On the upside I headed off to Scotland to play some golf and even the sun as it should be!

Keep Aa'had

Friday, 13 February 2009

Geordie Pride

Given to me by the kids today:

50 Degrees: Southerners turn on their heating. Geordies plant their gardens

30 Degrees: Southerners cars wont start. Geordies drive with their windows down

10 Degrees: Southerners turn up the heating. Geordies go swimming in North Sea

ZERO: Southerners head for warmer climates. Geordies have a last barbecue before it gets cold

MINUS 10: Southerners cease to exist. Geordies throw on a lightweight jacket

MINUS 100: Santa Clause abandons the North Pole. Geordies put on a coat

MINUS 173: Alcohol freezes. Geordies complain that the pubs are shut

MINUS 297: Microbiological life starts to disappear. The cows in Northumberland complain of vets' cold hands

MINUS 460: All atomic motion stops. Geordies start to blow on their hands

MINUS 500: Hell freezes over. Sunderland qualify for europe


Paddy the electrician was sacked from the Prison service for refusing to repair an electric chair.

In his opinion it was a
bloody death trap.

Keep Aa'had