Quit your jibber jabber

18th January 2008 at 00:00
And get with the latest educational jargon if you want to get that job, says Kate.

Dear Bex,

I'm relaxing in the staffroom with a copy of Take a Break and a packet of Monster Munch when Graham from geography sidles up to me, sucking a Polo.

"Got a bit of a problem. I've a job interview on Friday and need someone to explain the latest education jargon to me."

"You've come to the right place."

"I mean, in my day the only phrases a teacher needed to know were, 'bend over' and 'stop crying, boy, the wounds will heal'."

"Quite."

"First thing I need is the low-down on personalised learning."

"Well that's easy. It's learning that's, um, personalised."

"So don't teach them oxbow lakes by telegram? Or call everyone Geoff?"

"Basically."

"What about Every Child Matters?"

"Ah yes. Well you see. That's about how every child matters."

"As opposed to the old days when we were allowed to treat them with frosty indifference?"

"Absolutely."

"And what about the annoying children?"

"They matter, too."

"Oh dear."

"I know."

"And then there's all this stuff about learning to learn."

"Yeah well, that's about teaching children how to learn. Some of them find learning difficult. So they need to learn how to do it better."

"And if they can't do that?"

"Then they need to learn to learn to learn."

"And at what point are we allowed to write them off as a bit thick and pack them off to art college?"

"We can't. But I find writing the word 'resourcefulness' on a big piece of paper in marker pen and pinning it to the wall quite helpful. It doesn't teach them much, but it does take you about five minutes closer to break time."

"Thanks for the tip," says Graham. "So if I tell the interview panel I'm committed to personalised learning to ensure pupils learn to learn in accordance with the tenets of Every Child Matters?"

"They'll be completely baffled," I grin. "You can't fail."

Love Kate x.

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