From the forums - 'Orrible little muppets and prime-time pedagogy

8th October 2010 at 01:00
How to greet your class, and when on earth did education professors get hip daddy-o? Innit

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, ladles and jellyspoons. There are many ways to address your class. But for heaven's sake don't call them "guys". It's now incredibly naff, according to teachers on the TES online staffroom.

"'Guys' makes my buttocks clench with embarrassment, but seems to be de rigueur for any teacher below 35," notes Last Years Man. "For me, it's 'ladies and gents', or, less often, 'folks'.

So how do you greet yours? Meonia sometimes uses "little people" - "because they are". Many have chosen blunter forms of address including "you 'orrible lot", "muppets", "beasts" and "you pustules of horror".

To her bemusement, laticsbird finds that she naturally addresses her classes as different types of food: "Right then, my little spring rolls!" greets one class, while another gets, "Hello my lovely bowls of crunchy nuts!"

MrsArmitage teaches two subjects at GCSE so opts for the practical greeting: "Who are we and what subject is this?" And what about Lilyofthefield, a teacher who knows how to take control of a class in style? "I just wait expectantly and they fall silent, eager to hear the wisdom I am about to share."

Who would have thought that research into pedagogy would fill night after night of prime-time TV, or that education academics could become stars? Few people, probably, before the BBC started its School Season.

There was a mixed reaction in the forums to The Classroom Experiment, in which Professor Dylan Wiliam (pictured below left) of the Institute of Education in London tried out a variety of teaching techniques with pupils in Hertfordshire.

Tomarnold is "frankly, shocked at the very elementary level of the 'revolutionary' techniques suggested to the teachers and even more shocked by the teachers' reactions."

Others thought the prof's ideas were delightful. Charlieann_83 said Professor Wiliam recently visited her school to teach an Inset course: "He is engaging and entertaining - and it takes something to keep a whole school full of teachers engaged on a Friday ..."

Hardly a day goes by in the staffroom without a new grumble about pupils' grammar. So kudos to Merkatron for his spirited defence of "innit".

"There's a fair amount of linguistic research into 'innit' suggesting that it plugs a gap in our language rather like n'est-ce pas in French," he explains.

"The point is it's an invariant tag: it doesn't change its verb form to agree with the subject of the statement it's tagged onto. So you get 'She's a boomting innit' and 'We were watching X-Factor innit' as well as 'That's a great idea innit.' Are you feeling me?" We are Merkatron, we are.

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