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Surely a new low?

Discussion in 'English' started by PIGGYSSPECS, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. I must admit your arguments strike me as rather incoherent
    and somewhat obtuse. For example, on one hand you state that ‘It's also because
    they have top notch leadership teams who understand that their staff are the
    key to their success and value and develop them’ but then you automatically
    change the subject to ‘I don't mean to
    denigrate the work of University lecturers.’. If you think that you work in a
    school in which you are developed inadequately or not cherished as much as you
    would like to be, then that is your problem. In case you are not aware, you are
    the qualified teacher who is able to teach in schools across the country,
    unlike some of these bright students who do not have a choice about where they
    are sent to school because apparently it was "elitist" to take kids
    and give them the same education for nothing that they would pay thousands for
    at Eton or Benenden to make the most of their potential. During the 70s and
    80s, thousands of poor kids who had been born brilliant had to be forced
    instead into comprehensive education which failed them massively and is still
    doing so. Instead of complaining about your situation, why not see it from
    their perspective.
    More hyperboles, I see. In my initial post, I believe I said
    that ‘there is time available...it just needs to be utilised carefully’, which
    is not directly or indirectly a criticism of your time-management capabilities,
    because, and if you think very carefully and logically I’m sure you’re likely
    to agree, I would have to know the way you manage your time before I were to criticise it. Although, come to think of it, I do
    think that you could improve your time-managing skills by spending less time on
    the forums venting your anger and more time ‘in real life’ addressing the
    issues. If you find it offensive, then that perhaps has something to do with
    your own insecurities about your time-management skills. As you can tell from
    my username, I am a literary enthusiast and often I get into the habit of
    overanalysing what other people say or write (an incurable hangover of a four
    year intellectually stimulating PhD). From the rash and illogical way in which
    you write, I think that you are perhaps the same and, whilst that trait may be
    forgiven in an academic environment, it does not bode well in state
    ’m aware that there is a world of difference between a
    successful sixth form and a tough inner city school. Prior to working at the
    aforementioned successful school, he worked in a number of state comprehensives
    in the some of the most deprived areas of Northern England. Whilst his school
    is successful, they are also feeling the effects of Mr Gove and his policies,
    so please do not make the mistake in foolishly assuming that teachers in
    inner-city comprehensives are the only ones struggling with the regimentation’s
    inflicted upon the education system and terrible decisions being made in
    Hardly applies to my situation? Whilst I’m aware of the fact
    that I am privileged to work with students who willingly want to learn about
    English Literature and creative writing, that does not make it any less
    stressful than working in an ‘inner-city secondary school on the verge of
    special measures in one of the most socially and economically deprived areas in
    Europe’. Clearly you have no idea about the amount of time, energy and
    dedication a PhD requires or the amount of work senior lecturers like myself
    undertake on a daily basis both inside and outside of the university. I very
    well know what it is like to work in an ‘incredibly stressful, demoralising
    often bullying culture’ but rather than behaving petulantly and irrationally, I
    remain strong and focused for the sake of my students and for the sake what I
    believe in.
    I think you would benefit from applying some logic in this
    given situation. Whilst I never said that it is your
    ‘whinging’ which was the issue, I do however think that if people spent less
    time whinging and more time addressing social disadvantage and actively working
    on these issues, problems would get solved quickly.
    This statement is also incredibly illogical. I believe this
    was in response to ‘we came to the conclusion that teaching would be much
    better in this country and students would be better equipped with skills to
    help them at work or at university if there was less whinging about how
    'impossible' the system allegedly is and more focus on what can be improved.’
    If you honestly think that my suggestion indicated that I feel as if I know how
    to miraculously save the appalling state education in this country, then I’m
    not going to stoop to your level and argue the case further. Your lack of basic
    logic shows that you and your ilk are no different to the likes of Gove and his
    cronies. I don't think I'll return to this website. Self-pitying teachers like you
    make me incredibly grateful for the fact that I work in an industry with people
    mature and intelligent enough to grasp simple arguments and have a clear grip
    on basic logic. The sad thing is that studying English Literature (at a decent
    institution, anyway) is a discipline which is supposed to enable people to
    process and develop an argument effectively. It clearly had the inverse effect
    with you.
  2. Another inane and illogical statement. On the university’s
    website, it is referred to as ‘Durham University’. Yours and Muggle1978’s
    inability to apply basic logic, yet constant whinging, just proves that both of
    you are <u>not</u> particularly intellectual and, as a result, have few options are available to
    you. It&rsquo;s unfortunate and I&rsquo;m sorry for you.
  3. gloucesterroad

    gloucesterroad New commenter

    Gosh, johnkeatsadmirer, I do love it when people who do not work in the profession come and tell us we are whinging idiots. I particularly like it when they self-consciously write as condescendingly as possible, as if we plebians are incapable of understanding the complexity of their academic arguments.

    I work in an inner London school. The work pressure is immense (and before you accuse me of wasting time on here, I have already worked 38hrs this week, and it's Thursday of a 4 day week; usually it would be more); much higher than that of anyone working in the University sector. I know this in the same way that you know about Maths A Level; my housemate and 4 of my best friends are either lecturers or PhD candidates at Russel Group universities and Oxbridge. We talk a lot about the various pressures of our jobs. I am wholly sympathetic to the difficulties they face; to funding cuts destroying the arts sector, to students who arrive in first year with limited capacity to write coherently, to the pressure they face to ensure that they have published before they seek their first post-doctoral post whilst juggling PhD write-ups, course planning, marking and lecturing.

    None of them, though, regularly work 70hrs a week and get told that they are failing at their jobs by their bosses, the government and the general public.

    I do not suggest that your job is not stressful, valuable or important, but ultimately you do not lose your job, or get made to justify your results, or get your pay docked because your students did not perform to expectations which were unachieveable in the first place.

    It is especially galling, in light of the above working hours, to be told that we should find time to support more able students as if this is not done already. We do not end up neglecting students who are not borderline because we want to, we end up neglecting them because we are made to, by a relentless drive to 'raise standards'. The more time the government spends 'raising standards', the more standards fall. The more pressure put on us to improve the school's pass mark percentage, the less time we spend educating children.

    Muggle, who begun this thread by describing her school's latest woeful attempt to 'raise standards', is another victim of a system which listens less and less to the people working within it and listens more and more to people like you, who claim understanding but demonstrate little.
  4. Not if you are no good at English literary criticism.
  5. I see little point in engaging further with johnkeatsadmirer, and even less point in justifying my credentials or experience. My 7 years as an Advanced Skills Teacher with a proven track record of motivating students of all abilities and backgrounds to achieve their potential obviously pales in comparison to the 'real literary work' s/he is doing. Incidently, I turned down the offer of a fully-funded PHD because I feared it would turn me into a self-indulgent, egotistical academic who would lose touch with the real world. Ironic. I'm interested, though, as to why someone who considers this forum 'wasting time' would invest so much time contributing to a thread on a subject they have no real experience or knowledge of. You do realise, Johnkeatsadmirer, that this is a forum for English teachers?

    For those of us living outside of the ivory tower, the situation is indeed a depressing one. Today I offered a revision session in half-term for the A/A* students, only to be pulled in to the Head's office to be told that this cohort of students is not priority, and be presented with a list of students 'more in need' of my time. They will, of course, be paid to attend!
  6. It was probably a second-rate university. Interestingly you state that you feared it would turn you into an 'egotistic academic'. A PhD is not an instant route into academia and your rambling and illogical, obtuse statements show that you would not have lasted a minute in my world. A thirst for knowledge does not make you egotistic.
  7. Please do back to 'your world' and leave the rest of us in the real world.

    No offence intended to other posters working on PHD's. Evidently many people are actually able to do them without disappearing up their own backsides.
  8. Well, you clearly didn't have the intelligence to cope with it (by the way, it's PhD, not PHD). I'm struggling with the idea of someone like yourself being capable to produce a dissertation, let alone being offered funding for a PhD. What imaginary institution was this? Or are you just day-dreaming?
  9. Ah, silence. Well, it's a positive thing that you are accepting the fact that you lack basic logic and the ability to string a coherent argument together. Maybe your lecturers were tired/intoxicated when they were reading your 'postgraduate' work that you've very vaguely and implicity referred to (I doubt it exists.)
  10. No, just someone pointing out your lack of intelligence and shocked that you even managed to obtain a degree, let alone be considered for postgraduate work. Although, some universities let anyone in nowadays.
  11. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    Unnecessarily rude.
  12. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

  13. At my university there is a policy on staff use of social media. It contains some interesting guidelines. One is that you must identify yourself by name if the university is mentioned: "Even anonymous comments may be traced back to the University". It goes on to suggest that university staff: 'Stick to your area of expertise'; 'Use common sense and common courtesy'; 'When disagreeing with others' opinions, keep it appropriate and polite'.

    I'm sure that Durham would have something similar.
  14. Google tells me that they do, indeed, have such a policy:

    ? If you already make reference to your employment at Durham University on a personal internet site as defined above, or you intend to create such a site, you should inform your manager.
    ? Use a disclaimer such as "the views contained in these web pages are my personal views and do not represent the views of Durham University".
    ? Avoid bringing the University or its staff into disrepute
  15. Actually, I'll give you some credit. Maybe you did do some postgraduate work, but it was probably at some rubbish university at the bottom of the league table who are desperate for money and as a result let any old students onto their MA course, regardless of skills and knowledge.
  16. I don't work at Durham University. [​IMG] I went today for a visit.
  17. I'm sure they'll be doubly pleased that you have misrepresented the views of their staff.
  18. laticsbird

    laticsbird New commenter

    Highly amused by this thread.

    Especially by this:

    'You are clearly don't understand logic, or literature.'

  19. Whilst not disagreeing with the overall ridiculousness of the OP situation, I do need to point out that if your scholl is still focussing entirely or largely on the C/D/E students to ensure they are getting Cs but not looking at those only making three or less levels of progress, then they are in danger of an emmmergency ofsted and a requires improvement or worse.

    We have just been looking at the latest RAISEonline output and there are two new columns about this aspect. I suspect the main reason why better students fail to make 4 or 5+ levels of progress is early entry with students hitting c then coasting but that explanation is going to wask with Gove/Wilshaw controlled ofsted!!!

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