Monday, December 01, 2014

Buying your Dream home in Spain

When you think about the amount of help that is showered upon undeserving wretches by the UK Government and the EU Court of Human Rights, it does make you wonder how a retired couple can put their savings into a house in Spain with all the correct documentation, only to have it pulled down a few years later, because the planning permission turned out to be fake.

 http://money.aol.co.uk/2014/11/19/dream-spanish-villa-demolished-after-brits-are-scammed/

I've often considered buying in Spain, but stories like this really bring home the dangers of investing in the Third World. We buy in the UK, safe in the knowledge that a legal document is actually worth something and we naively imagine that another EU country will have a similarly robust legal system.

Sadly that's just not the case.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Units of Meaurement

Units of measurement are the ground rock of Science. They have to be clear and unambiguous, precisely defined at great trouble and expense, so that when you refer to a mass of 1 kilogram, I understand exactly what you mean and can reproduce your experiment accurately.


The Unit of Length is the Metre, (defined in terms of the speed of light); the Unit of Electrical Current is the Amp (equal to a certain number of electrons passing a point in one second) and to measure Stupidity, we use the Ashley. (Just as the Ohm was named after Mr Ohm, so the Ashley took its name from a particularly foolish pupil at St. Thickchilds School)

Shouting out during a lesson demonstrates wisdom of 2 Ashley.

Scribbling your own name on your desk is generally held to be around 4 Ashley.

Pretending to be your father when the school secretary phones home to ask why you are truanting and then falling for a simple trick question is conduct of 8 Ashley.

The Institute of Scientific Measurement are the arbiters of all Scientific Units. They are based in Paris and are currently considering whether to adopt the Ashley as an International Standard Unit, along with the Kyle, which is equivalent to a force of 10 Ashley.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Today's Appeal

Today, Christians all over the World celebrate the feast of St. Dweezil, Patron Saint of Children with Silly Names.

I would like to take this opportunity to ask all new parents to pause with me for a couple of minutes at noon and spend the time in silent contemplation.

Then name your child Mike, Andy or Jane rather than Cody, Mayday or Captain.


In return, they will spend their adult life thanking rather than cursing you.

Rev. Chalk

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Behaviour in Schools

Teachers quite rightly complain about how pupils cannot sit still and keep quiet in class. The official reason for this is that their lessons are not sufficiently interesting and exciting..

The real reasons are:

1) Some have seen through the bluffing and realised that they can do pretty much what they like.

2) Fed on a diet of sugary drinks and snacks throughout the day, many kids are in a constantly hyperactive state. To excuse this, a whole load of medical problems have been dreamt up by drug companies eager to sell new products to the gullible. Every class register is now chock full of acronyms and excuses such as ADD, Bipolar Somethings, Aspbergers, Oppositional Defiance Nonsense and of course ADHD. Here's a handy tip: if your own child is naughty just send a letter to his form teacher with your own impressive sounding disease and his every misdemeanor will be forever excused. It's like the 'Get Out Of Jail Free' card in Monopoly.

3) If I am cooped up all day without taking any exercise I will cause mayhem and go mad. It's no suprise that the kids do exactly the same. Many are driven to school and simply forget their kit or waste their time playing table tennis in PE. Nobody dares force them out to do physical activity and so they burn off their excess energy in your lessons.

Ask anyone who has taken a school trip somewhere involving lots of fresh air and physical activity, whether there were any problems from the naughty kids after the first couple of days.

Private Schools and institutions such as the Armed Forces have known this for centuries and make them do sport every day whether they want to or not.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Washing Lines

The latest nonsense idea that I've heard about in teaching is called the 'Washing Line'. This is where the kids either stand in a line annoying each other or stick pegs on each other's ears or clothes, whilst playing about with a long piece of string.

Great when you are six years old, but unfortunately it's aimed at GCSE and A Level!

Can you imagine them doing stuff like this at Eton? It's the kids who are being hung out to dry in the State system by ever more crazy teaching methods.

By the way, is it others, other's or others'?



Thursday, July 03, 2014

Sheffield Prepares for the Tour de France...

Rubbish on School Road, Crookes.

This Sunday Stage 2 of the Tour de France will finish in Sheffield. A glorious chance to showcase the city to a Worldwide audience you might think. If you or I were on the Council, we would make damn sure that the route only went through the best bits of town and that there was loads of bunting everywhere, along with yellow bikes and jolly cycling paraphernalia. We might even decide to have the finish line somewhere nice (like Eccleshall Rd) and we'd make very certain that there was no litter anywhere. 

But no, after several hours of beautiful Yorkshire countryside, the TV cameras will be treated to an urban wasteland featuring derelict factories and the remains of a recently demolished sports stadium. Spectators will be able to enjoy the view of the burnt out former 'Ski Village'. Mind you, it will at least encourage the riders to get a move on (for fear of being mugged) and I'd strongly advise the Team backup vehicles to keep their windows wound up and not to hang about either.

I was a student in Sheffield in the 1980s (in fact I actually lived on the road where the above picture was taken yesterday). A friend told me that the bags have been there for over a week and are being gradually pulled apart by rats! He reckons that the present Council are every bit as dumb as they were in my day and are taken by surprise with monotonous regularity each July when there is a problem with departing students leaving rubbish outside their houses. 

At least other areas on the route are getting into it: 



Anyway, hope it doesn't rain- I'm going up to watch near High Bradfield. If you see someone sitting on a deckchair  wearing a stripey jumper, a stuck-on moustache and a string of onions, with a baguette, cheese and a bottle of red wine, then do say 'hello'. 





Monday, June 30, 2014

Partnered Post: Kids and Homework

Kids and homework: the benefits and the excuses

Love it or loathe it, homework is here to stay. And whether your kids are just starting out in the education system or well on their way to exam success, there’s a good chance they’ll be sitting down every night for a bit of extra schooling.

Though it can sometimes be an inconvenience, in general homework will benefit your child’s education. So whatever excuses they come up with to avoid doing a bit of home study, just try to focus on the good you know it’s doing them.

Benefit: It really can improve school results

Next time your child’s homework is getting in the way of a family day out or evening meal, just try to remember that it really can make a big difference to their school results.

In fact, research has shown that doing around two hours of homework a night can boost school results; giving your child a greater chance of success and helping them to stay one step ahead.

Excuse: There’s no time for homework

One of the most common excuses put forward by both parents and kids is that there’s not enough time to get homework done.

Though this may be true occasionally, normally most kids can find a few half hour slots in which to finish off those maths problems or start an essay. If time really is an issue, look for opportunities wherever you go.

For example, next time you visit the grandparents at home or in a McCarthy & Stone development, try to find a quiet corner for your kids to work in – their grandparents may even be able to offer some useful help and tips using their experience!

Benefit: It can make kids more disciplined and more focused

Whether it is 30 minutes or 2 hours, sitting down to do some homework every night really can make kids more focused and more disciplined. If your kids decide to go on to university or embark on a challenging career, this motivation and dedication can be a huge benefit.

Excuse: The dog ate it

Over the years, kids have come up with every excuse under the sun to explain why their homework has gone undone. Though some may contain a smattering of truth, very few essays have in fact been eaten by the family pet or, as one creative student claimed, blown up in a controlled explosion!


At the end of the day, homework is there for yours and your child’s benefit. If they’re struggling to get in done, talk to their teachers and work together to ensure your child doesn’t get left behind. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Wayne Rooney's Role in the Rise of House Prices and Fundamentalist Islam in British Schools

Well they say that you can't keep a good man down and neither can you get rid of me for ever. Sorry about the slight delay since my last post, but when you run a dynamic and highly successful cutting edge business it does eat up a large amount of your time.

If however like me, you just bumble along, then a different excuse is required. Basically I just got tired of moaning about teaching. After writing two books and over a thousand blog posts, the job of teaching along with the quality of education in a typical Comprehensive has simply got worse. Whilst I don't think that's entirely my fault, it is a bit off-putting.

Anyway, hope you are all well. I'll post occasionally from now on, maybe some bits about teaching along with other stuff that interests me. I will also use Twitter now and again.

The title of this post is nothing more than a blatant attempt to catch web searches. As far as I'm concerned Sharia Law sounds great (as long as you're a bloke).


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fleet Tutors

Need a boost ahead of your exams?

With the ever-stressful exam period just around the corner, more and more parents are looking to use private tuition to give their child that final push. A personal tutor can supplement a classroom education with a personalised programme helping a child achieve his or her highest academic potential.

Enlisting the help of a personal tutor is being seen as an increasingly necessary tool in the preparation stages of exams. A recent poll shows that in the UK, 24% of all young people have embarked on a course of private tuition at some point in their academic life, with that figure climbing to 40% in London; it is clear that private tuition is a booming industry.

Fleet Tutors, the UK’s foremost tutoring agency, has assisted over 100,000 students across Britain and overseas, supporting preparation for exams at all stages and age levels with their brand of personal tuition. Offering a variety of tutoring methods; including group or one-to-one tuition, specialised revision courses and even live online tutoring, Fleet Tutors only supply education experts of the requisite experience and competency, as well as the necessary qualifications.

The benefits of a tailored program of education focused upon a singular student, rather than the division of time and resources that often occurs in a classroom, have been proven on many occasions. With the attention centred on the needs of the individual, an environment is created in which a successful tutor is able to stimulate learning and renew enthusiasm for a particular subject or subject groups.

As well as an increase in academic results and achievement, private tuition has also shown to lead to a boost in a student’s confidence and self-esteem. With the fear of judgement and embarrassment removed, one-to-one tuition allows for active discussion which in turn increases a student’s confidence in the subject matter, leading to a far more comfortable pupil when amongst his or her peers.

Whether you need a helping hand with your GCSEs and A-Levels, would like to give your child the best chance possible in an entrance exam or 11+, get in touch with Fleet Tutors to see how they can help you or your child to build confidence in a demanding subject.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Online Learning in the U.S.

Education in US a Little Lacking?
 
Education researchers are taking a fresh look at some hard statistics about education in America as they prepare a plan to move the American educational system into the 21st century.
 
According to recent findings, U.S. manufacturers report that 40% of high school graduates don't have the math skills and 60% don't have the reading skills needed to hold down a production job. The U.S. ranks 12th among 38 industrialized countries for numbers of 24-36-year-olds with college degrees, putting the United States behind New Zealand, Israel and Canada.
 
Most importantly however, long-term earning statistics for adults indicates that while a high school drop-out can expect to earn $18,000 per year, a high school graduate can expect to earn $28,000, a college graduate can expect a salary of $51,000 and a person holding an advanced degree will earn upwards of $74,000. The more a person earns, the more he will spend which, for economists, emphasizes the importance of encouraging national academic advancement to create a thriving economy for all Americans.
 
Online learning programs are expanding but basic public school education, even with complementary e-learning components, is still dependent on the classroom teacher. School systems and non-profit organizations have begun to institute new changes and advancements that will enhance the performance of public school teachers and prepare them to meet the challenges of the future.
  • Teacher training programs are increasing the on-site components of their programs to provide new teachers with more time in classrooms where they can apply educational theories in practical, real-life settings.
  • Online education is moving into a more prominent role in the classroom. Online learning individualizes instruction, offers more options for student evaluations, exposes students to more information than their classroom teacher might have and increases the interactive components of a lesson.
  • Teacher awards acknowledge particularly effective teachers which serves to  motivate the recipients themselves as well as their colleagues and other community educators.
  • Teacher-mentoring partnerships are becoming increasingly popular in schools throughout the country. Teacher-mentoring programs facilitates mentoring relationships between veteran, effective teachers and teachers who may be struggling with their classes.