Friday, 30 November 2012

Touch Line Coaches

Three cheers for those who brave the cold,
To voice opinions brave and bold!
Who stand there bravely shouting brave advice,
As brave as chickens, scaredy-cats and mice!
Their words are so courageous!
Their bravery? Contagious!
Examples of the highest bravery,
From voices brave and never quavery!
These bravest of the brave, this touch line fray,
Who tell their unbrave children how to play!

But some would say they are not brave,
Who brave the cold to rant and rave
And bravely yell at children playing sport.
They are not brave, but thick, proceeds the thought.
For who, this thought might say,
Would waste the time of day,
On commentaries of total junk?
On spouting sporting bilge and bunk?
It’s children playing games, you massive dolts!
So leave them be; stop pointing out their faults.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Do Not Stand at My Desk and Weep

(after Mary Elizabeth Frye)

Do not stand at my desk and weep,
I am not moved by tears so cheap.
I do not care for sobs and sighs;
I am not touched by leaking eyes.
When you lament, “It isn’t fair!”
I will not say to you, “There, there!”
The list of things that I must do,
Concerns me more than your, “Boo, hoo!”
Do not stand at my desk and weep,
I’m marking books; your tears can keep.

Monday, 26 November 2012

The Opposite of Boring isn’t Fun, The Opposite of Boring is Interesting

The biggest crime, according to progressive education,
Is teaching children factual information.
That’s right, you heard it here first:
Teaching children factual information is the absolute worst.

Barely has a child’s first day in school begun
Than he learns the fundamental precept of progressive education, 
   namely: Forget the Facts, Pump Up the Fun!
Fun! Fun! Fun! Just think of all the fun! Away with the tedium of hard 
   work and perseverance,
The lesson must be fun or The Fun Police will be putting in an 
That’s right: The Fun Police are in control,
Trying to make Education the New Rock ‘n’ Roll.
The Fun Police, by the way, are inspectors, whose job it is to go into 
   schools complaining
That there’s far too much teaching and not nearly enough entertaining.

When you teach them English, don’t make them learn the parts of speech,
No – leave linguistic awareness beyond every child’s reach;
But do give them a certificate
To celebrate being illiterate.

When you teach them science, dispense with Bunsen burners,
In case you set fire to your eager little learners.
These days, The Most Fun You Can Have in Science
Is answering multiple choice questions about Health and Safety 
A cause of far more merriment,
Than any difficult experiment.

When you teach them French, don’t make them learn any actual words;
English children speaking French sound like trainee nerds.
“Excusez-moi, Monsieur, parlez-vous le Francais?” No! Give that child a 
Get him to do something utterly pointless, I mean fun, like colouring in a 
In whatever colour he feels it ought to be decorated,
(To suggest otherwise would be both elitist and antiquated).

Whatever the subject, the story’s the same:
Attendance at school should be one, big, fun game.
Which is just the sort of half-arsed thinking which leads us 
   mild-mannered teachers to go round spitting pedagogical invective,
For we all know that learning doesn’t have to be fun – it simply has to be