Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Of pedants, moaners and insults

I’ve been away from the Times Educational Supplement Forum for a while, so it’s great to see that the standard of debate is still high…

Tedious pedants – Make a typo, misplace a comma, fail to use a colon, any tiny grammatical error and these people will instantly seize on it, you’re obviously a complete illiterate. Not that they ever write anything themselves, they just carp and criticise. They remind me of English teachers from the days of yore, those crusty old curmudgeons who managed to turn writing into a dry, arid exercise. Less or fewer? Write it out a hundred times!

Moaners – These people have always infested staff rooms from the days of the Ancient Greeks, Aristotle mentioned them too. They’re the child-hating Old Farts that NQTs always laugh about. Elbow patches on their corduroy jackets, neatly cut sandwiches in their Tupperware boxes, space reserved in the car park, a corner of the staff room that is forever theirs. They just continually moan, moan, moan. ‘Nothing will ever change’. Naturally when it does come to doing anything, like going on strike, or confronting management, you won’t see them for dust.

Insult merchants – It gets a bit like the Monty Python sketch, you’re looking for an argument, but you’ve found contradiction and then abuse (third door on the left). Sadly most of the posts degenerate into an exchange between two or three people who slag each other off, for weeks.

I’m not expecting every post to engage in worthy intellectual debate. OK, it’s Friday, the end of the week, the children are doing your head in, let off steam, but the Forum just seems to be full of the same material that you can find anywhere else on the Internet - puerile, celebrity obsessed, a joke taken seriously, the serious as a joke.

There’s the wild ‘n’ wacky, the bizarre, information on aliens and UFOs, gossip on Paris Hilton, but SATs testing (low grade child cruelty to me) ‘we’re never going to change it’, so no point in discussing that. Sixth formers as cover supervisors? Zzzzzzzzzzz, BORING! Let’s talk about Big Brother.
Maybe it’s just plain naive to believe that there will be a higher standard of debate on the TES Forum. Or have most intelligent people deserted it due to the pedants, moaners and insult merchants?


"Naturally when it does come to doing anything, like going on strike, or confronting management, you won’t see them for dust."

Teachers - making a difference - going on strike - confronting management...

Is that really how teachers make a difference? Sad if you think so...
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