Our day for being told to find out how to be better teachers.
Today is the final day (or maybe semi-final day, I'm not sure, I never paid that much attention)and our pet Hobbit is going to do a presentation on the importance and power of voice projection.
The correct use of voice is an essential tool in the teacher's armoury. It can cajole, support, threaten, gently admonish, praise, direct, gain attention and even on one occasion, plead. So today's presentation might even be sufficiently interesting to keep me awake. There's also a book being run on how long he can keep this presentation going. I've heard the smart money is going on 25 minutes, with one optimist trying 40 minutes. The longer the better, so the rest of us won't be asked to make our contribution, and we can quietly vegetate in the back row.
The intrinsic problem with this enquiry based learning is human nature. How can you identify your own weakness and fix it. We humans tend to boast of our strengths, not our weaknesses, and it is difficult to be sufficiently reflective to pick up your own mistakes.
Hobbit for example is talking about voice. He's a f*cking drama teacher for goodness sake, and an actor. I cannot see him having voice as a weakness, or if it is, then he's a bloody awful drama teacher.
We used to get lectured on new developments introduced from the educationalists in their ivory towers of academe, long separated from the rigours (and oft-time pleasures) of teaching at the chalkface. They did talk crap, but there was often sufficient material presented that the occasional technique or approach could be found useful.
What I really object about, get increasingly furious about is the obligatory participation. Look, if you want me to add something to my teaching, (although I just don't seem to have any problems in my classes and I've got a high pass rate) then tell me or just f*ck off. I don't want to participate.
It reminds me of a Ben Elton sketch from years ago. He was complaining against performers who get members of the audience to participate in their show.
When asked to get up on the stage the punter replies, " No, f*ck off, I've paid, entertain me. Do I ask you to come down where I work and polish my lathe..."
Ah well, only 32 days to Christmas, where I can relax under the blue summer sky, fire up the barbie and consume vast amounts of steaks, fruit and alcohol (not necessarily in that order) . Even after almost 8 years down here, there's something just plain wrong about having Christmas outside in the summer. It still beats the hell out of freezing your nuts off in the normal arctic Scottish winters. Still feels wrong though.
|Nice, but still feels wrong.|
|Nope, still wrong|
|Still wrong, but it sort of grows on one. (These are Pohutukawa trees, Kiwi icons of Christmas)|