To reiterate, I'm not the 'expert'

16th October 2009 at 01:00

I do not wish to engage in mud-slinging, but I feel it important to make two brief comments on R Brown's reply to my letter last week. I have scanned the text of my letter, and nowhere do I claim to be an "expert"; R Brown's assertion that I am "self-styled" is therefore simply a falsehood.

Presumably, it arises from some sort of visceral, knee-jerk antipathy he or she has to anyone not actually working all day every day in a classroom - such as inspectors, headteachers, union officials, curriculum advisers, examination authorities, support specialists, parents, janitors and dinner ladies. One wonders how lonely and insecure it must be to live such a life.

What I did say was that I engage in behaviour management training with schools, and that I visit many classrooms every year where I see teachers putting into place fantastic behaviour management strategies which build productive relationships with their pupils.

In that respect, I am therefore not an "expert" visiting classrooms: I am in fact an observer visiting the classrooms of "experts" who manage on a daily basis what R Brown seems to find so extraordinarily difficult in the years since teachers were denied the right to beat children.

Raymond Soltysek, Strathclyde University.

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