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Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Wednesdays suck

Another cold wet day in this South Pacific paradise.

It reminds me so much about Scotland that I am beginning to feel depressed. Even a glass or more of whisky does no more than produce a slight internal warmth.

If I'd wanted cold rain, grey skies, bolshy kids and writing reports, I could have stayed teaching in Haggis Land, at least over there we actually know how to heat and insulate our dwellings, and I would be paid considerably more than the peanuts the give teachers here.

An experienced teacher in Scotland would be getting about 35,000 sterling, about $80,000, and a HOF about 45,000 sterling, about$98,000.

But what makes Wednesdays really suck is the subtle torture called Professional Development.

Every Wednesday morning, 10 minutes before our normal start in Nuova Lazio High we all meet to be harangued about the latest teaching methodologies, research driven pedagogies and other unattractive piles of pseudo-educational crap.

Most of us just want to slowly awaken with a cup of coffee and a pleasant chat to a colleague, maybe even about teaching.

But no, we have to sit there and take it, even show some sort of enthusiasm. The levels of hypocrisy reach world record concentrations, while we sit there and mumble appropriate comments like;

Never thought of that

Brilliant research

That would fit in with my research driven teaching in 9NL

Useful Literacy strategy.

But what we're really thinking is;

What a load of tosh

God, I wish she'd shut up and let me finish my reports

Hmmm, Miss Chocolate Sauce is wearing a very tight T-shirt

and other normal reactions.

Occasionally a gem appears amongst the pedagogical swill, but rarely. It doesn't make up for the pure intellectual drudgery.

Ah well, back to the report writing, only 2 days left and then I've got to print the things, then proof-read them.

Yes we can't trust our colleagues.

Here at Stalag Luft Nuova Lazio,

all of the professional comments, written by qualified teachers, all with degrees, diplomas and doctorates have to be checked that spelling and grammar are correct.

What's really depressing is that the checking is needed. Some of my colleagues couldn't spell their way out of a paper bag, even using electronic report system with built in spellchecking. It's mostly the younger teachers, but many older ones as well.

Back to the chalkface, if it hasn't been washed away with this bloody rain.


  1. After reading your post and the Bass Bag, I really want to know who the chocolate lady is!

  2. Well, at least I think Taffy (not the chocolate lady - a different character) really enjoyed this morning's presentation!
    Afterwards he sent around an email suggesting that he might have got a little too excited. Nothing wrong with enjoying a presentation though. I like Taffy.

  3. Sorry Fflur, state secret.

    We could always breed them and get chocolate covered taffy.

    I like Taffy as well,even though sometimes I have absolutely no idea what he's saying

  4. Sorry for intruding into this discussion but the "I have absolutely no idea what he's saying" comment reminds me of when I attended a wedding in Aberdeen. My partner Lynn who was born in Aberdeen has no problem with understanding the sometimes very strange accents. On this occasion, the wedding of a cousin and the opportunity to catch up with many long lost relatives, I was left alone with Uncle Billy. Uncle Billy came from a 'far-off' town (probably about 50 miles from aberdeen) and had had some weird head injury (I assumed a mortar shell direct hit at the Somme). Uncle Billy was a very sociable chap and freely engaged me in conversation. The problem was I didn't have a clue as to what he was saying. His "Aaah sreggnlich yer claaaghsh" utterances would elicit a "yes, I know what you mean, I used to have one of those" type of responses from me. This went on for about an hour while I searched the room for my beloved. Uncle Billy obviously thought that I was a bit feeble minded as i said 'Yes" or "no" in all of the wrong places in our conversation.
    I was very pleased when finally the Old Girl retrieved me. The situation had been made worse by the fact that this wedding occasion was the first Scottish one I had been at when the reception rules were that the guests paid for drinks at the bar. We, coming from New Zealand hadn't expected this and just brought taxi money.
    Man, what a few good stiff drinks could have done to solve the uncle Billy problem.

  5. Tedium is not the word. Tosh is better. I missed the chocolate lady, I was busy trying to pretend I know what the beginning of the new curriculum contains and worrying that I could never get 75 kids involved in a drama production.

  6. I get groups of 25 kids involved in dramas most days at school. The year tens act up best.


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