Skip to main content

Avoiding the fortune teller error

As a teacher, it’s easy to make unfair assumptions that are damaging for pupils. Jarlath O’Brien explains how to spot and tackle them

Magazine article image

When I taught in a secondary school, one of the most important days of the year was the one, very deep into the summer term (deliberately so, I suspect), when we found our timetable and class lists for the next academic year in our pigeonholes.

One such day sticks in my mind. I scanned the lists and a distinctive surname jumped out at me. It did so because it was shared by half a dozen siblings and cousins who all had behaviour and learning difficulties of some sort and were – to use language I resorted to when I inexcusably didn’t know any better – a nightmare.

The boy in question was ...

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.

Subscribe now