Friday, August 18, 2006

A Level Results. The Debate

A Level Papers in 1936 (Above) compared with 2006 (Below)

Every year around this time, we have the same old debate.

Are the girls in the newspapers shown opening their A Level results getting easier on the eye?

First of all, I asked a Government spokesman Mr. W. Lyar who assured me that the standards were closely monitored each year and their had been no 'dumblonding' down.

Then I spoke to the Head of a leading Teachers Union, Mr. C Ward who said:

"Every year we get the same accusations. You have to bear in mind that fashion and styles have changed over the decades so a direct comparison is very difficult. However we believe that there is no evidence at all of any change."

So there you have it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Hurrah for the Hols!

Mrs. Chalk and I are jetting away on holiday tomorrow so, Islamic Terrorists willing; posts should resume around the 4th September.

Bye for now.
ps. I've taken down that Amazon banner as it became irritating.
pps Buy a copy of my book. It's excellent.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


I decided to put up Amazon's ad banner at the top of my site after being assured that the content it would advertise would be directly relevant to the people viewing my Blog.

I therefore expected ads for Mensa applications, books about Astrophysics, Philosophy, Politics and Fine Arts. Instead all I've got is stuff with the word 'Chalk' in it.

So much for hi-tech. I'll give it another day or so then bin it if it doesn't improve.

'A' Level results out in a couple of days- I am willing to take bets against the following:

1) Every broadsheet newspaper will have a picture of half a dozen pretty girls from a very nice school, waving their 'A' Level results along with a good looking young Headmistress congratulating them for getting about 12 grade 'A' s each.

2) The results will be the best ever. A ridiculous number of kids will get A-C grades.

3) Somebody important will try to claim that 'A' levels are not getting easier.

4) Lots more students will go on to University to study Psychology, Media Studies and Sociology. Lots fewer will go on to study anything serious.

Any other bets considered.

Oh, why not enter your guess for the sweepstake on the largest number of Grade 'A's achieved by an individual this year. I'm going for 8.

ps. Many thanks to whoever ordered a DVD Box set of "The Goodies" sending the kitty up to £9

More Bullying

On the advice of an email I received last term I headed to to discover the 'truth' about bullying. Unfortunately I ended up buying a chocolate brown Bull Mastiff puppy and need to sell another 750 copies of my book to pay for the damn thing. It has chewed through the legs of Mrs. Chalk's favourite chair and curled out a large do-do on the kitchen floor. Apart from that, it is a lovely dog and we have named him Humphrey.

I then headed for where every conceivable type of bullying is explored. Within minutes I became convinced that I was the victim of domestic bullying and had my wife taken away by the Police.

I also realised that all my friends were bullies, every member of my family and indeed everyone I could think of including myself. To give myself more time to reflect on these discoveries I ordered our student teacher to cover my lessons for the next week and told her that if she said a word to anyone I would make sure she failed her teaching practice. I soon felt much better.

Last year a parent complained that I was not doing enough to stop the persistant bullying of her daughter, Cherelle; who was being bullied by her friends Chevaunne and Collette. In the previous week I also had Chevaunne's parent complain that she was being 'made fun of all the time' by Cherelle. When I phoned Collette's parents, they were furious that the school was doing nothing to stop the 'constant harassment' of her daughter by Chevaunne. I ended up having to draw a little bullying diagram, just to get it all straight. (I might try and patent these and sell them to schools)

It's a giant merry go round of foolishness. In the same way that a sufficiantly large number of monkeys will eventually type out all the works of Shakespeare; so will a sufficiently diligent teacher eventually discover that every child in the school is being bullied by every other.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Survey Again

Many thanks to all those of you that have responded to the survey in the July 31st post (Link Here) emailing with numerous tales of woe regarding SMT, children and parents, balanced out with two expressions of admiration for those in charge (From the same email address!). I'm still trying to collate all the info and will announce results soon.

In the meantime keep them coming and thanks to all those who have participated.

Heroes of Spelling Rescuers of Grammar and Correctors of Factual Errors

I've moved this up again. It's a tribute to those people who still understand that spelling, grammar and factual accuracy are important. Those of you from outside teaching may have thought this was obvious. Those of you who teach will know that it is not.

You may notice that I am having trouble getting the words into neat columns. I've used the £nbsp tag to generate the spaces but when I switch to 'compose' mode they all disappear (although oddly, none of the other HTML tags do.)

Incidently the detectives amongst you will be narrowing down the list of possible subjects that I might teach. No doubt 'English' was crossed off long ago and 'I.T.' will now be joining it.

Heroes of Spelling:


Independant Anonymous
Discreetly Karrde
Existence Anonymous
Definitely Dan (and Rosey)
Exciting Anonymous
Coherent Anonymous
Dependence Anonymous
Ecstasy Anonymous

(The Rolls Royce website thinks it should be 'Ecstacy' but I'll trust my commentators)

Cannabis Hilary
Academies (You can tell I didn't attend one)Pen
Incompetence Dieremie
Humorous Anonymous
Bureaucratic Anonymous
Barbecue Anonymous
Veteran Hilary
Sufficiently Pen
Persistent Pen
Edinburgh Anon
Indefinitely Sarah P
vituperative Domino

I'm not going to attempt the feeble excuse that the spellchecker doesn't seem to work. It's pretty poor if I can't even manage to look up a few words in the dictionary.

Please continue to point out any spelling or grammatical mistakes you spot in this blog so that I can correct them. What hope is there for the kids if the teachers can't be bothered to learn how to spell?

ps Thanks to whoever pointed out that a spellchecker is something that witches use.

Rescuers of Grammar

I asked Kyle from Year 11 what his views were on the teaching of grammar; in particular the importance of sentence structure, parts of speech and the different verb tenses. His considered opinion was:

"They don't learn you nuthin' here."

The fact that my own grammar is often wrong merely indicates incompetence on my part, which nowadays is not considered a fault. (In fact it's often the quickest way to a position on the Senior Management Team). I learnt long ago in teaching, that what is said is far more important than what is actually done.

My Version Correct Version Rescuer
I am sat I am sitting Pen
Absolve Abdicate Rich

Factual Errors

Doggy Matters:

Chocolate Brown is not a recognised colour for a Bull Mastiff nor indeed for many other pedigree breeds such as the Labrador. Thanks to Syb

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Caption Competition

Ok, thanks for all your entries in the caption competition for the picture of teacher Emma Wright. (reprinted below for no good reason)

Emma Wright In Class

It was a close thing with 'Miss-Demeanor' and 'Miss is Bottom Of The Class!' tying for second place. However the judge (Mrs Chalk) has spoken and pronounced the winner to be Danny from Luton who originally emailed me the title I used for the post. 'A Bit Of All Wright!'

A signed pre-release copy of 'It's Your Time You're Wasting' will be in the post to you, Danny as soon as you email me your address.

ps I'm thinking of sending the proceeds from Amazon (when people click through from this site and buy things, I get a small commission) to a school in Africa. Don't know which one yet though. Suggestions and alternative ideas welcome.

pps Whoever bought 'Elvis' Greatest Hits' has sent the total to six quid! Thankyou.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A Sad Tale

This is what happens when parents abdicate all responsibility for their child and we likewise refuse to punish them for minor and later more major offences. They gradually realise that they can do whatever they like. Sadly in this case the judge has decided to confirm this. Tragically, it will not be long before the boy does the same thing again.

My thoughts go out to the victims family.

Daily Mail

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A bit of All Wright. Fwooarr!!

A big thanks to Emma Wright for putting a stop to any silly worries I had been having recently about bringing the Teaching Profession into disrepute.

Daily Mail

Emma claims that she was unaware that the programme might ask her to strip off. I can understand this, as it happens to me all the time. One minute you're engaged in lively debate and the next, you're in a studio posing stark naked for the camera.

Can you imagine facing the slavering dads at parents evening? Or trying to tell a pupil off for say, wearing too short a skirt?

A free copy of my book to the best 'Sun style' headline for this one.

Going Round In A Tumble Dryer

This has nothing to do with Teaching but I think it show the way our society is heading.

BBC News

This daft fireman got into a tumble dryer and his mates filmed him going round. They then stupidly sent the film to the media. A spokesman from the Fire Brigade described getting into a tumble dryer and going round a few times as "A reckless Act". Another described it as "Extremely dangerous"

Are these people mad? This bloke runs into burning buildings for a living. If my house ever goes up in a blaze and I end up standing on my roof with the flames licking at my toes, I want to know that there is someone down there who had the bottle to get into a tumble dryer and shout "Turn it on!". A veteran of several revolutions in a tumble dryer as a young man, invariably fuelled by alcohol, I can confirm that you might get a few minor bruises, which should teach you not to do it again. You would not however catch me attempting to fight fires, which is something that really is dangerous.

The proper way to deal with this would be for the Boss to gather them all around, tell them never to film themselves in uniform and also the stupidity of sending anything to the media. Then make those involved polish the fire engine for a week, run round the station for several hours in all their kit or anything else unpleasant. But no, we are going to have a full inquiry, which will no doubt conclude that "Fireman Jones went round in a tumble dryer ten times" As a taxpayer, I don't want to pay for this. Instead, I want it to be made a compulsory part of Fireman training.

The next thing you know, they'll start building Firestations without poles because of Health and Safety...

Monday, August 07, 2006

School Mottos

I love receiving these. The sicklier the better. (I know that they sort of give away where you work, but you could always say that you 'spotted them whilst on holiday' or 'your friend told you' or something.)

My current favourite is 'Learning For Success' sent in by 'Flutters'

However, I refuse to believe any of the following ones:

"Every Child Will Excel" (In a US school purportedly sponsored by Microsoft)

"Reinforcing Failure" from 'Anonymous'

"Spitting for Success" from 'J Bloggs'

And I'm not entirely convinced by 'Inclusivity For All' from D Barton

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Even More News

I can barely keep up with the current crop of treasures in the News.

Teaching kids the difference between right and wrong? Well you'd think that at least we could try. When you look at some of the parents I'd suggest that we shouldn't trust them to do it.

The Times

Research has shown that teachers who have a good loud voice are better than those who don't. Well that was money well spent. Stone the crows, who'd have thought it!


Teaching is not a boring job. Well not in my place anyway; as long as you count being spat on, sworn at and having your lessons continually ruined by brainless morons as interesting.

BBC Again

ps Three Cheers to whoever bought a breadmaker on Amazon after clicking through from this site. You have brought my comission (which will be given to a suitable charity) to £4.66. I still need to find a charity that benefits teachers though. Suggestions welcome

Friday, August 04, 2006

More Gems In The News

Well there goes my chances of ever getting another job:

BBC News

Those of you from outside the teaching profession might find it hard to believe, but there are still some of our number who do not think that spelling and grammar are important. No wonder employers are tearing their hair out. All most of them want are kids that can read, write and do a few simple sums without going off with stress and depression every three days.

Sir Digby Jones, ex Head of the Confederation of British Industry was also pretty shocked to discover a few home truths about the kids we are churning out:

BBC News

However not all the news is bad. Whilst half of school leavers cannot spell, read properly, punctuate a sentence or do simple sums; nobody could accuse the Professional Association of Teachers of not knowing what's important:

BBC News Again


I received an email from Amazon today informing me that I had earned £1.71 commission from people clicking on the book advert but actually buying other items instead.

So here's a big thanks to the purchasers of Mr Potato Head, a guide to Home Improvements and a set of children's books.

If anyone knows of a charity that benefits teachers then let me know and I will send them the proceeds of this little earner. I'll keep you informed of how much we raise.

ps ' To Midlands Teachers' I don't think I've received your email.
pps Thanks to whoever just ordered a barbecue! Another 24 pence.

If You Think I'm Bad...

Whilst I try to entertain you as best I can; how can I possibly compete with the comic geniuses meeting under the guise of the Professional Association of Teachers.

BBC News

This is the same organisation that suggested in exams the word 'fail' should be replaced with 'deferred success'.

In the past I may have had the odd worry about bringing the profession into disrepute, but groups like this make my efforts seem puny. Six weeks glorious holiday that most workers would give their right arm for and they spend it in a Union Meeting...

I always knew that the day would come when I could stand up proud and say in my best Churchillian voice:

"I may have my faults, but at least I have never accused a pupil of being clever"

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Easy Money

Read the following story:

BBC News

I hearby volunteer to be poked fun at and have a few lewd remarks thrown my way. That will be £800 000 thankyou very much.

Why do we constantly pander to those who simply cannot cope with the stresses and pressures of their job whilst never giving any appreciation to those who do exactly the same job and simply get on with it.

Adults who complain of bullying at work need to get some spine, some self respect or better still, another job.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Survey Response

I've been amazed by the number of emails I've received already to this survey (with stories that are amusing and heartbreaking in equal measure) Virtually every one of them reflects a deep frustration at the sheer inability to actually do anything (rather than tick boxes or claim to reach targets)

'Anonymous' made a good point with their comment on the first survey post. Don't forget the positive examples as I often do.

Oh and can you all come up with a name for comments and emails? I've got about 150 'Anonymous's and I've no idea how many are the same person. Use your imagination and make one up!

Thanks again for all the replies.