Saturday, February 26, 2011

James Hersey Resistor Rhymes

Science Teacher James Hersey is now just plain 'James Hersey' after mentioning an old fashioned mnemonic used to remember the colour codes on a resistor.

"Black Boys Rape Our Young Girls But Violet Gives Willingly"

Now even I realise that you can't say that nowadays, but every engineer over the age of about 40 will be familiar with it. There are numerous variations and I'm sure you will agree that;

"Bye Bye Rosie, Off You Go. Birmingham Via Great Western" would have been a better idea, but should he really have lost his job over this?

We have teachers in State Comprehensives who know very little about their subject and others who do not turn up for months on end. There are some who have no idea about basic grammar or simple maths. We have those who cannot spell, or even speak much English. Rest assured that they have no worries about their job security. We do not sack people because of what they do, instead we get rid of someone because of what he said.

Frankly even if Mr Hersey dressed up as Hitler at Parents Evening and regularly goose stepped down the corridor shouting "Sieg Heil", painted a swastika on the bonnet of his car and had a giant eagle statue either side of his whiteboard along with a stockroom full of Nazi memorabilia- even if he set fire to a giant wooden cross on the school field at lunchtime, before dancing around it wearing a white robe and a funny pointy hat; I'd still rather have him teaching my kids than some of the hopeless cases I've seen in charge of a classroom. Give him a warning, fine him, take him into the Head's office and punch him in the head for all I care, but why suspend him and spoil the kids' exam chances?

Here's the BBC article about it.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cuts, Not here mate.

Whilst enjoying a moment's downtime from the arduous daily grind of running Chalk Investments' European Division, I was startled by a knock on the front door.

I presumed that the man outside was selling something, which from his opening line of "Are you familiar with solar panels?" appeared to be the case. However he then produced a Council ID card and explained that he 'was going round giving out information to help people make an informed choice about the various options available, as apparently some electricity companies are offering to put panels on your roof for free, but that's not always the best long term option blah...'

My eyes glazed over before he could move on to his pile of information booklets. We get speleologists coming to explore the potholes in our road and sacks of garden waste block the pavements because Scagton Council gave out tens of thousands but then decided to stop collecting them without telling anyone. However they can pay some clown to wander round talking to people about solar panels. I wouldn't mind if the Council set up a business selling the damn things, but no, that would be a silly idea.

Can anyone's Council be madder than mine?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Teachers on Facebook

The Headteachers Union has said that schools should tell new teachers what they can and cannot do on Facebook because apparently many younger teachers are letting their pupils be all friendly with them and funnily enough the kids take advantage of this.

What does this say about the IQ of new teachers? Whilst my own Facebook page consists of little more than the trivial witterings of bored mothers labouring under the mistaken impression that the story of their two year old eating his first ice cream is somehow of interest to the outside world, I imagine that if I were 20 years younger it might contain rather more exciting stuff. One thing I do know is that I would make sure that my life outside work was kept well away from the prying eyes of those I taught.

Schools should simply regard the whole Facebook thing as Darwinian Selection. The intelligent teachers will not share their private lives with the pupils and will have no problems, whereas the dumb ones will. Why not just let them suffer the consequences?

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


Councils up and down the country are having to make tough decisions- should they cut all the daft jobs- the outreach units, diversity officers and traveller liaison groups? Should they get rid of all the staff on long term 'sick' as well as all the spare 'managers', 'facilitators' and 'teamleaders'? Or should they spend less on expensive and pointless 'training', new slogans and rebranding consultants?

No, no, no. Don't be silly! It's much easier to stop filling in the potholes, close the town library and shut down all the swimming pools.

Saturday, February 05, 2011


So David Cameron has made a speech saying that multiculturalism has failed and we need a stronger sense of national identity. Well I could have told him that. In fact I would have shortened it to:

"Integrate and you're welcome- if not then B****r off!"

Which is probably why I'm not a politician.

Mind you I wish someone had made his speech when I was doing my PGCE so that I wouldn't have had to sit through endless lectures on the damn subject. 'Call me Dave' also promised a tougher stance on Islamic extremism. Thing is- will it just be a stance, or will we actually do anything before the next bomb goes off?

By the way, has anybody suggested that their school mark National Chip Week? (Feb 21st to 27th)

Thursday, February 03, 2011


Forget swine flu, that's just so 2010. A new plague is sweeping the land- we are all suffering from over-connectedness due to the emergence of social media such as Facebook, Blogging and Twitter. Apparently, being cut off from such things induces feelings of anxiousness, fear, neurosis and abject terror.

(Well that's what the bloke in front of me at the bar said last night, anyway.)

Last week, in order to find out what Twitter was all about, I 'followed' several well known people on the site. Over the next 24 hours I was deluged by a storm of utterly inane trivia. (Now I know how my readers feel)

The only feeling I experienced when I managed to work out how to turn it off was one of relief. The idea that your Facebook 'life' is somehow more important than your real one is disturbing though. I wonder if there were similar worries when story books first became widely available and people started to immerse themselves in those fantasy worlds.

By the way, does anyone know when I should use italics and when do I use quotation marks?

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


Oh well, I've learnt my lesson- always beware of Geeks bearing gifts.

Here's a puzzle somebody told me today- first one to solve it wins a holiday to Egypt.

There are three matchboxes in front of you. One contains two black marbles, the second, two white marbles and the third one has a black and a white marble inside. Each box had the correct label on it until some pesky kid switched them around so that each matchbox is now wrongly labelled.

You can take one marble at a time from any box without looking inside. How many marbles must you remove to be sure of correctly identifying all 3 boxes?

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Aaargh!!!! What Have I done?



I am about to press the button marked "Do You Wish To Upgrade Your Template?"