Friday, 21 July 2017

Teaching - A Profession That Needs No Qualifications - Really?

First they said you did not need Qualified Teacher Status to be a teacher. This was because we might deprive students of brilliant scientists who want to teach but do not have QTS.

Now they are saying you don't need a degree to be a teacher. This is because we want to "upskill" people who want to be teachers.

In a sector that is about giving people qualifications, the only "profession" where you won't need them, will be teaching.

I guess this is one way of plugging the gap left by all those "highly valued" QTS graduate teaching staff who decide they have had enough of being lectured to by political donkeys.

What do you think about this policy of not needing a degree to train as a teacher?

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Old School Teaching - The Banda Machine

If you are a new teacher you probably don't give a second thought to using the photocopier. If you were a teacher in the 1970s there were no photocopiers in schools. If you wanted to make copies of documents for students to use, then you needed a Banda Machine like the one in the photo above. This did not copy existing documents. It only copied documents that you had produced yourself.

You could not make mistakes on your master document. There was no way to erase errors, so imagine creating a complex work sheet and then adding a spelling mistake at the end. Arrggggh!

You fed the master into the machine which was filled with a stinky fluid. Then you turned the handle and copies came out, equally smelly, and damp. There was a limit on how many copies you could get. After about 30 copies they started to fade. You might get another class set out of the master but then your only option was to create another master by hand, all over again.

One of the worst things that could happen to you when feeding your master into the machine and turning the handle, was the master crunching up. If you were lucky you could un-crunch it, and have copies covered in crease marks and the writing distorted. If you were unlucky it was back to creating a new master. Not ideal when you needed copies for your class in 10 minutes!

New teachers - you don't know how lucky you are!

What are your experiences of using the Banda? Did you have any disasters? What was the most complex worksheet you managed to duplicate? What tips would you give to anyone wanting to use a Banda Machine today?

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Is OFSTED King of the Hokey Cokey?

SchoolsWeek reports that Sean Harford, Ofsted’s national director of education, has said Ofsted would increasingly look for evidence of “strategic decision-making” in a school’s curriculum, something that was likely to form part of a new common inspection framework in September 2019.

The King said, "jump to the left!" "If you do not jump to the left we will put you out of a job and publicly humiliate you."

So we jumped to the left.

The King then said, "you jumped to the left! Why did you not see that jumping to the left would mean you were no longer going straight ahead?"

The people always knew that going straight ahead was the best direction to take.
The people would like to go straight ahead. We know it is right.

But, instead of just going straight ahead, we wanted the King to tell us to go straight ahead. So we waited for the instruction.

The King is always right, so jumping to the left cannot have been wrong.
So, the King said, "continue to jump to the left, but at the same time jump to the right".

The leaders of the people told their followers to jump to the left and to the right at the same time.

Long live the King!