The following is purely self indulgence. Of all the things I invented in my teaching career this is the one that gave me my greatest thrill; time and time again. Year nine students, in Australia, are somewhere around 14 – 15 years of age and are usually considered to be at their most obnoxious and troublesome. Massive doses of testosterone and other hormones are not … Continue reading Grapes, brandy and a poem #1.
Andrew’s Lead Soldiers’ Collection and JFWK’s 8th most important collection of sugar cube wrappers have given me an idea for a bit of a story about collecting things. Some of you may have read about this before. Many years ago when I was a lot younger I was in the Royal Australian Army Education Corps. I had just transferred to a base in northern Victoria … Continue reading Beer cans and other stuff
Oh there is so much wrong at the moment. So much division. So much me versus you. So much about the bad things people do. There’s not an awful lot about love and understanding and accepting differences. So, I thought I’d tell you a story. You don’t have to believe it, but if you don’t then I would ask you to at least hope it … Continue reading A gentle happiness of words
My brother Michael has just sent me a USB stick with lots of my very early posts from an old and defunct blog. Here is a post I had completely forgotten. One enjoyable interlude in my illustrious career in the Army was a brief stay at the RAAF School of Languages at Point Cook in Victoria. I had applied to do a course in Mandarin … Continue reading Learning Mandarin.
I told you about finding that “Feedback” link the other day. I found more there than I had anticipated. One of the people who wrote turned out to be a longtime reader who seemed to know me quite well. However she was not all that happy to write comments and so I never knew she was there. But luckily I now know, so this is … Continue reading Letter to Rebecca…
I have just had a bit of a conversation on Facebook about the last school at which I taught – I didn’t post it here because it has only limited local interest. But as I was thinking about things I remembered a parent/teacher interview that went wrong. The student was an interesting girl who was struggling to find a focus – she didn’t have any … Continue reading The pursuit of Happiness.
Covid-19 is going to change the world and we can either let it be positive or allow it to destroy us. Ida May is now home from school. Her school hasn’t closed because it is a government school and must stay open unless the Tasmanian Government mandates a closure. However if a parent is able to, and wishes to, students can be withdrawn by parents … Continue reading Market Square and Covid-19
So after showing the ‘West Side Story’ version of Romeo and Juliet and C.J.Dennis’s poem we went on quite quickly. We didn’t look in depth at structure or whatever the year twelve teacher would do. All I wanted was for them to enjoy reading. This was, after all, year nine. It’s a bit like whisky. When you are first introduced to whisky someone offers … Continue reading Teaching English to Year Nine. #2
On my last night in Peterborough I had a long chat, over dinner, with Andrew and Kim. I didn’t bring up the topic but they, being the wonderful hosts that they were, allowed me to pontificate on my favourite subject – teaching. Sometime many years ago a young green graduating teacher rang me. Uncle John, he said, presuming much about which I was innocent, I … Continue reading A bit about teaching.
Graham Greene said, a while ago, that writing was a way of escaping the panic and fear inherent in the human condition. Bit severe perhaps but I do know most of my stories are a way of remembering adventures I never took, of dreams I remember only after I awoke and of confronting adversaries to whom I had, in reality submitted. When St Joe’s closed … Continue reading A Way of Escape.