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Category Archives: other blogs

Someone has posted on Ted Hughes (HSC Module C)

And I am very grateful, for one. See Fulbright Scholars some notes. Thanks to Mel McGuinness, who has in turn kindly referred students to this blog for Frankenstein and Blade Runner.

melmcg

I propose to say something about Module C myself shortly.

Update 24 June

Some references I have found.

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Two to look at

Students of ESL or EFL will find much to use on Real English. There is also an associated blog.

realenglish

The next is an Australian educational blog that came my way. It has much to offer teachers, especially but not only those dealing with very young students. I commend the ESL page, not merely because I get a mention but because it points to some excellent resources beyond ones I have so far noted. The literacy page is also very good.

rampantred

 

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Another good edublog

This one comes from Victoria. It came to my attention because it has linked to me, so I visited and liked what I saw.

rabbithole

Much more sophisticated in IT than I am!

 

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Top 100 Language Blogs – Lexiophiles

I can’t say I was displeased when I received an email pointing to Top 100 Language Blogs – Lexiophiles because English/ESL has been listed there — at #75. I strongly recommend your browsing the list as some very interesting blogs may be found there.

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Thanks, Antony

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…

 

A welcome allusion…

Someone who has been at the classroom end of the teacher-student relation much more recently than I have is Thomas of Deus Lo Vult. His most recent entry begins in part from this blog. While not all that many people have been here yet, I have been very happy about some of the feedback I have been getting. Perhaps a positive non-ranting blog is not such a bad idea after all.

Thomas writes:

The past few weeks have been very teacher-dominated. I’ve had to survey people about the teaching profession, speak to people about motivations for teaching, done an assignment which was me reflecting on myself as a possible teacher and where I am headed, and had to think about where I’d consider applying for practical next year. As well, Ninglun has started a new blog up (I’d name it, but it seems to have a frequency of changing names and layouts) where he talks about a number of teaching-related topics. He also has a poll up at the moment, asking “What matters most in a good teacher?”, which I answered in.

All of this culminated in what I would call a self-reflective day on Friday where I started to toy around with the question of who was my favourite teacher, and why…

I won’t steal his thunder though, but if I were the teachers he mentions I think I would be very happy.

 

Interlude 2: Marcel’s teaching experience

My fellow WordPress blogger Marcellous has written a funny and honest account of  life as an English teacher, even if he hints at a darker side. I can relate only too well to “scheming against a female head of English” as I saw that (and the reverse: a head of English scheming against the English staff) on at least three occasions. On the other hand I have also worked in English Departments where the harmony was very strong and few situations can be more pleasant. Unfortunately the reverse of that can be unbelievably stressful and destructive. In my case this even at one time led to as near to a breakdown as I would ever want to get. It certainly led to my leaving teaching for a period.

Marcellous went on to become a barrister. I didn’t…

But let me quote part of his post, and I hope he writes on this theme again:

One effect of teaching which I observed in myself is that, accustomed to parting the crowds in the playground with a purposive walk and a defensive scowl, I caught myself doing it in the world at large (though less effectively). I only really became a real person in the middle of the school holidays.

I think the thing I never really get used to as a teacher is the notion of fulfilling a public persona (which was inherently authoritarian) which was utterly divergent from my own private life. Now I have become more acclimatized to that public-private divide, which doesn’t only apply to teachers, or even to those in positions of authority.

My desire to keep this blog positive may not preclude some dark tales of my own. They too can be instructive. However, one must be careful…