On June 8th, 2010, I was “in conversation” with Christopher Hitchens at the 92nd Street Y in New York in front of his customary sellout audience, to launch his memoir, Hitch-22. Christopher turned in a bravura performance that night, never sharper, never funnier, and afterwards at a small,…
- 2 years ago
Now I really will start posting regularly as I seem to have a lot to say these days so actually have something to post about! I’ll start Thursday night by posting something on a topic that’s been getting on my tits a bit recently. Watch this space!
I could maybe put it down to having nothing of particular interest to write about but then I’d have to reason that this is Tumblr and much like other social media the fact that what I’m saying isn’t at all interesting or relevant should not trouble me in the slightest. I could put it down to not having the time, but again that would be wrong as the one thing I seem to have an abundance of these days is time. So really the only reason I haven’t blogged for a while is through sheer arse-faced laziness. Fear not though! My dry spell is over and I intend to blog at least once a week from this point forward starting this Thursday and continuing every week until I either get incredibly bored or I run out of things to be angry at/over-analytic of. The topics will usually just be speculation on current affairs, analysis of day to day events and general ramblings about anything from politics to relationships. I know the last thing the world needs is another opinion floating about but meh… I like to ramble!
Watch this space!
Watch this space!
If I could sqap places with someone for a day it’d be Zack De La Rocha. As long as I still possessed his talent and clarity of thought that’d be cool.
- 2 years ago
- 2 years ago
Here we go again!
Day 2: The English Department
I know this is maybe a bit more of a specific subject than yesterday but this is a part of the school which cries out to be criticized.
Let me start out with my critique by saying that I do actually like the English teachers in my school, they’re all nice people but the problem is that many of them are not terribly good teachers.
Very few of the teachers seem to have an extensive interest in different types of literature and confine themselves to their particular favourite genre or style and don’t have a great knowledge of texts outside of that small comfort zone. Many teachers are also part of the school of teaching that so loves the phrase “We’re never going to finish the course at this rate” They are so preoccupied with finishing the course that they don’t even attempt to help students become interested in English. They seem to concentrate all of their efforts into making the subject seem like a chore as opposed to what I believe English should be, a joy.
The course content at nearly all levels is so limited to classical and dated literature that it is almost impossible for young students to even attempt to feign an interest in the subject matter. They ignore new and more interesting ways of expression in the form of English such as the emergence of Internet based Blogging sites like Tumblr, Musical lyrics and Performance Poetry and refuse to update the reading material for the course. Many students become disenfranchised with the material so will not retain the information they learn in class, no 12 year old child can be arsed to sit and read shakespeare or Donne and as amazing as both may be as literature it is time to bring English into the 21st century so that we don’t lose a generation to Txt Speek and Facebook style literacy.
Although they focus so much on the course, the teachers rarely get through it in time, taking too long to dwell on convincing teenagers that they should like dated texts which hold no interest to them instead of updating the material used and ensuring that not only will the students pass the exam, but they will go away with a greater knowledge of the language they speak on a daily basis.
In short, the way English is taught at myself is old and boring. The teachers are generally closed minded about the material that they like to teach and not the material that the students would enjoy learning. The teachers also procrastinate to the extent where it is impossible to accurately gauge where a student is at present because they are marking 3 month old work thus making it impossible to gather momentum when teaching to a student and progress them academically. English is my favourite subject of any, but it has only become so due to my own endeavors as my school has failed to help/interest me with it in a school setting at all. Bollocks to Perth Academy English department.
- 2 years ago
Over the next few weeks I’m going to be a right moany little turd and post a small rant about a specific thing which annoys me about the school which I am about to leave. So here goes!
Day 1: Staffing
I find this very frustrating to say the least. Many subjects which I have thought about taking and that would have been useful to my continued academic development have not been made available to me due to the lack of teachers in the school who can teach the subjects I’d like to take.
Many subjects which I have indeed taken, I have been left to teach myself and pass of my own accord, whether this be down to a teacher leaving or being ill and there being no appropriate substitute due to lack of staffing or through the class sizes being too big for the teacher to devote any attention to individuals within that class. The only individuals who seem to be allowed unflinching attention from teachers are those who disrupt every lesson and demand a sort of vain recognition for being a monumental arsehat.
When it comes to the teachers who we do have, it is only a very small proportion of them who have any ability to teach at all. Teaching is not just about trudging through the curriculum purely so you can say you’ve done it. Teaching is about engaging with the class who you teach on a personal level, making them to take an interest in your subject area and genuinely helping them to want to learn and do well. Many teachers don’t even appear to be vaguely interested by the subject they are teaching and are just in it for a cushy pension and a half decent holiday.
So in summary my opinion of staffing procedures and habits within my school are pretty low. We are not allowed to have a choice in our own education as many subjects which we would enjoy are not available and those that are are not available at a high enough level a lot of the time due to under staffing. The subjects which are staffed have huge class sizes which leads to an inability to teach a subject comprehensively and devote time to helping individuals take an interest and progress academically and finally many teachers are uninterested or at least seem uninterested in actually teaching their subject to a high standard and encouraging their pupils to actually retain information and reach a deeper learning of a subject than just ‘you have to do this to pass’. Bollocks to the staffing.