Thursday, March 22, 2012

Counting down!

The foul weather has persisted up until today with howling gales, thunder and lightning and torrential rain – and now, at lunchtime the sun has made an appearance!  I love this country!

Which is more than I can say for the institutions which grace it!

I have been told (by a fellow union member) that my absence due to strike action will be treated by the school as if I was absent through illness and I will be covered (or not covered) in the normal way.  When I used the “S” word, my colleague informed me that Spain was not Britain and people would not understand the most virulent words a unionist!

“You will get,” he said, “no support in your action.  You will be by yourself!”  So what else is new, I thought to myself.  I am a past master of poking my head above the parapet on all possible occasions – both worthy and also trivial.  Sometimes I do not even have to raise my head to be within firing range!

But what the government (nation and local) is doing now is beyond contempt.  Imposing cowardly retrospective taxes is contemptible and to allow these cowboys calling themselves politicians to get away with it is not acceptable.  Something Must Be Done and my going on strike is my small gesture of defiance.  The fact that it will be a lone act of defiance is depressing, the fact that its effect will be vitiated by the action of “supportive” colleagues is more than depressing.  It’s disgusting.

Still, this is the real world in which I have to live and my ideas are not those of the majority of my colleagues.  That’s life!

The sun, however, shines.  And is shining brightly.  And I fully intend to go home early and the hell with everyone!

This does mean that I have infinity of marks to enter into the computer tomorrow or over the weekend.  As exams are still being frantically marked for a meeting which can quite easily be moved, but which is now an almost intolerable imposition.  We work ourselves into a frazzle for no reason whatsoever – and for wages which are shrinking as we wait!

The first day of our wrestling with the demands of project-based learning is coming to an end and there are, as far as I can tell, no casualties.  Teaching has gone on and the kids have responded or not in the normal day.

My lesson with the kids was one that I designed myself and, apart from the lack of sufficient time to complete it fully, it worked reasonably well.  Not, of course that I wouldn’t change things were it to be done again – but the basis of an effective learning experience has been established.

Tomorrow sees Day 2 of the PBL (project based learning) experience but, whereas previously it has been all day, this year it has been limited to the morning or the afternoon or the middle of the day or a combination of any of the preceding – leading of course to confusion and resentment.  Especially if you happen to have ordinary lessons in the periods when the kids are not enjoying the freedom of the projects.  In the case of Y9 for example, we are lucky enough in the English Department to have these “lively” kids last thing in the afternoon three times in the week and all during the ordinary periods when we will have to try and drag them back to academic lessons after the open approach of the rest of their day. 

Great happiness! 

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