Even if I think Antony really misread the purpose of my entry How to Maintain Classroom discipline (1947) — not intended to elicit admiration for the bad practice shown in the first half of the video there — I am happy that he has referred his readers to this blog in his entry disgraceful teaching discipline? Perhaps Antony experienced a Mr Grimes I somewhere in his career? I know I did.
My point further is that all of us can be Mr Grimes I — the shouting, bullying, sarcastic and basically insecure person barely holding it together on classroom discipline — on occasions, especially when we are inexperienced, or when the nature of the teaching environment we are in wears us down, or we are having a bad hair day, or whatever. None of us is Teacher Perfect 24/7 week after week for forty years or so, and I challenge anyone to prove otherwise. We are in a terrible state if Mr Grimes I is the norm, however, and the point of that very old — sixty years old — object lesson on the video was to show us a better way. Mr Grimes II is of course just a bit too perfect, and the whole video is simplistic. That doesn’t mean that the lesson it offers is of no value, because what it said sixty years ago really remains true.
To extrapolate from that video some kind of view about the state of public education, or to say that a Mr Grimes I should be “named and shamed” on tabloid television, as Antony seems to suggest, is just a bit over the top, don’t you think?
Hmmm. That last sentence has raised a very interesting problem of subject-verb agreement. Any suggestions? I suspect I have got it right, but something niggles…