On the naughty step - conduct that deserves a ticking off

28th March 2014 at 00:00
This week: Game of Thrones spoilers

Teachers are forbidden from caning their young charges, no matter how great the urge. And in the absence of corporal punishment, staff have had to resort to other techniques to restore discipline.

But one Belgian maths teacher who was fed up with his class chattering came up with a scheme that might have overstepped the mark. In a move even King Joffrey might baulk at, the teacher reportedly threatened that he would tell his students which characters died in the next television series of fantasy epic Game of Thrones if they didn't behave.

He revealed that he had read the books on which the programme was based and would start to write on the board the names of those slated to die if the students didn't pipe down. Keen to avoid spoilers, they were reportedly silenced by the threats.

Now, his method does appear to have been effective. But as a maths teacher, with all of algebra and Pythagoras at his fingertips, surely he could have found a better way to engage his class. Working out how much wildfire was used at the Battle of the Blackwater, perhaps, or how long it would take for the Wall to melt during a thaw?

Instead, students were left cowering at their desks fearing revelations about the possible gory deaths of their favourite characters. Surely not a mindset conducive to logical thought.

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