Lower Standards? by Borg Warner

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Borg Warner
When I first saw this story I believed it was about checking the pupils' work; but no!


If the teachers are unable to get it right what hope is there?

Posted 22 Nov 2012, 19:38 #1 

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Hmmm...not an entirely fair assessment...given that most Secondary teachers have to write literally hundreds of reports, almost always after a full day's teaching, then mistakes are gonna happen... that said in 16 years teaching I only ever had one report returned for correction...and it turned out to be correct anyway! But then I was an English teacher..:lol:

Should reports be proof-read? Hell yeah! If only more publications were proof-read! My local rag makes me wince every week with its dire spelling and punctuation...even in the headlines!

Posted 22 Nov 2012, 22:52 #2 

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Borg Warner
In my last job I was supposed to be a technical trainer? To fulfil my role I had to enrol on a training course to teach me how to to train/teach. On enrolment I was given a paper to complete which contained a number of deliberate English mistakes, however the covering paperwork came with a number of non-deliberate mistakes. I couldn't help myself and corrected those too. It's the Virgo in me.

Surely if these things are electronic then it's done for them? But you could do it Zeb.

My wife and I enjoy reading the small ads. How many different ways can one spell 'Mahogany dinner table'?

Posted 22 Nov 2012, 23:14 #3 

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Borg Warner wrote:Surely if these things are electronic then it's done for them? But you could do it Zeb.

Spelling Chequer

Eye halve a spelling chequer

It came with my pea sea

It plainly marques four my revue

Miss steaks eye kin knot sea

Eye strike a key and type a word

And weight four it two say

Weather eye am wrong oar write

It shows me strait a weigh

As soon as a mist ache is maid

It nose bee four two long

And eye can put the error rite

Its rare lea ever wrong

Eye have run this poem threw it

am shore your pleased two no

Its letter perfect awl the weigh

My chequer tolled me sew.

Posted 23 Nov 2012, 20:16 #4 

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Borg Warner
Even worse if it's set to the US English Dictinary!!

Posted 23 Nov 2012, 21:47 #5 

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'o' dear.... :lol:

Posted 23 Nov 2012, 21:54 #6 

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On education in general. I think good education is deliberately restricted to the children of the wealthy, the peasants are there to serve them, so no point education them innit..

Posted 23 Nov 2012, 22:34 #7 

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Whilst there may be the assumption that Private Education = 'good' and State education = 'bad' and hence only the wealthy get the 'good' education, the reality is somewhat different. Yes, some private schools have better facilities (though not always) they do not necessarily have the best teachers by any stretch of the imagination! 'Good' education is a moveable feast in terms of how it is defined but having worked in schools in ex-mining communities, inner cities and *ahem* seaside holiday destinations....all areas where one might suspect the education might not be good...I have to say that, in my experience, in all three locations, where the majority of kids were not from wealthy backgrounds, the education offered was of a high quality and coupled with high expectations of students whatever their backgrounds.

Posted 23 Nov 2012, 22:50 #8 

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Borg Warner
A good teacher will get the best out of their students (pupils) no matter what the circumstances to some degree. From what I recall of my school years, especially at secondary school, only one of them was any good, my maths teacher. One Christmas I asked for a dictionary for a present, duly bought and placed in my Add idas bag (remember those in the '70s?) and taken to school. In my English class I thought it would be a good idea to use it. My English teacher thought otherwise, took it off me saying "You are not to use that in my class", it was returned but I never took it to school again. In my end of term report from that same teacher she said that she could not "prognosticate" a favourable future for this pupil. I used the same dictionary to find the meaning of the word. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a downer on teachers.

Posted 23 Nov 2012, 23:26 #9 

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A very depressing story....:( Happily the majority of the wrong sort of 'old skool' thinking like that is rarer these days..but I recognise the scenario only too well..

Posted 23 Nov 2012, 23:53 #10 

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This is a nothing story. Of course teachers reports should be proof read, just because they are teachers doesn't mean they have a complete grasp of the English language, why should they. It is likely that an English teacher would stand a better chance to write a “correct” report, but what about a Science teacher. My wife who is a teacher only has an English “O Level” but a MSc, with distinction, in her subject.
I have worked in both the private and state sector and from my experience the quality of teaching and the resources available are very similar. However, what you really pay for (and in my opinion worth every penny) is smaller class sizes. In my current school the class size is 32, my old school was from 9 to a maximum of 16. Teachers across the board in my school must spend at least 20 to 30 % of the teaching time just keeping the pupils focused and on task. This was never a problem in my Prep school. When my son left the Prep school where my wife and I both worked and went to a state secondary school, he was at least two years in front of most of his class. I am absolutely convinced that class size is the key to a much better education in this country.
People call me average, but I think that's mean!
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish.

Posted 24 Nov 2012, 08:30 #11 

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Have to agree with you Steve that class size is the key! Better for teachers and students if they are smaller.... Though to be fair both my kids went to a village infant / primary (state) with a class size of 13...only 66 in the entire school! They did however end up going to a larger Primary for the last two years with 'normal' class sizes for various reasons. My wife currently teaches average class sizes of 32-34 and has 11 classes - she has gone down to 4 days a week just so as to get back a little free time - her 'day off' is spent working unpaid and she still spends most evenings and half the weekend doing school stuff...this is neither good for her nor the family nor her students. Class sizes of 16 has always been what is required to truly raise standards.

Posted 24 Nov 2012, 08:56 #12 

Given that state schools are funded via the seemingly bottomless pit of general taxation (and therefore subject to unpredictable financing), when the whole system is largely at the whim of beneficiaries of the laughingly labelled ‘public’ schools (they are unarguably private in any real sense), enables the current fashion of PFI funding of academies to be the better understood.

There are so many MP’s with Socialist bona fides who send their children to private schools or seem readily able to select the very highest achieving state schools to educate their offspring , and so, in dogmatic terms, betray their origins or avenues of advancement, it becomes glaringly obvious why the majority of these pupils are from wealthy families. This is not to say that the expensive schools always produce the better educated pre-adults. It may be an uncomfortable truth to accept that our education system is firstly class based, and secondly containing quite a few lacklustre time servers.

It is also becoming increasingly evident in the state system that there are teachers lacking what were traditional standards of literacy and numeracy, especially with the advent of electronic correspondence and complete reliance on spell checkers. Some teachers are woefully void of any understanding of grammar or punctuation and might today fail GCSE-O/A levels and certainly degrees.

While small classes stand a much greater chance of academic excellence as a result of much more focussed teacher/pupil involvement, when all is said and done it all eventually comes down to the abilities of the teacher and the willingness of the pupil to be inculcated.

In my own (Primary) case, 1948-1959, the classes were invariably 40+ in straightened surroundings and circumstances, in one case what these days would qualify as an inner city ‘sink’ school, the second one a Sec Mod with attitude (good, that is), the teachers were invariably wonderful. Every one of them came to school in a suit and collar/tie, expected good behaviour, spoke in a soft voice but carried a big stick which was almost never used unless in the most extreme cases of unruliness and never left a mark.

Two of them were distinguished ex-services heroes. They inspired, encouraged and enlightened. One of my peers became a GP, another a senior police officer, and two others (twins) were eventually teachers themselves (thanks John Jones, Welsh teaching English). I was obviously the black sheep (can you still say that?) My point is that in the rush to find an expedient alternative to maintaining teaching standards and going for the one that everyone knows won’t ever have to be proven in their lifetime, let’s not get chalk dust in our eyes.

Posted 24 Nov 2012, 14:11 #13 

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Zeb wrote:Should reports be proof-read? Hell yeah! If only more publications were proof-read! My local rag makes me wince every week with its dire spelling and punctuation...even in the headlines!

Not just the local rags - my mum showed me a piece she'd kept out of the Telegraph last week (about a local teenager who'd won £500,000 from McDonalds, and then bought a house and held raucous parties) and they used the word "they" instead of "their". Practical Classics is particularly bad, and of late, so are the caption writers on BBC News - I spotted "responce" instead of "response" yesterday......

Posted 24 Nov 2012, 16:10 #14