Not Research Based

Another Senior Team Meeting drags on interminably towards sunset. Much of the meeting again feels like stream of consciousness outpouring that has gone around in a strangely hypnotic circle. Pinch myself to ensure that I have not in fact fallen asleep and drifted into Joycian reveries.

I haven’t.

Meeting is punctuated by one hilarious moment when reviewing recent CPL session where various colleagues presented in Teach Meet style. T contributes to discussion by revealing that he was pleasantly surprised by effectiveness of approach after admitting deep mistrust of “those Teach Meet things” which, he suggests, “are only excuses for teachers to promote their blogs and look for routes out of the classroom”. Feel vague sense of unease and worry that T has somehow seen through the cloak of invisibility around Provincial Teacher and is making barely hidden reference to own previously published views on matter. Quick check on viewing statistics for Diary reassure me that this is Exceptionally Unlikely.

Hilarity increases when T admits that his stance on Teach Meets is not entirely Research Based given he has never in fact been to one. M immediately sulks and asks whether ANYONE in the team attended the Teach Meet events that he presented at. Sulk increases in intensity when mutterings around table leave no doubt that everyone had Far Better Things To Do on those evenings.

How difficult can it be?

Glanced at my Electronic Diary this morning and aghast to realise I have not added an entry since February. FEBRUARY! Immediately make resolution to Get A Grip, Man Up and otherwise Manage My Time more effectively. Make resolution too to Stop Using So Many Capitals and immediately decide that this is a Bad Idea.

Decide to record in diary how aghast I generally am also regarding spelling and grammar. Reflect that first sentence in this paragraph is somewhat awkward and probably poorly structured or grammatically incorrect and conclude that rules do not apply to me. Especially my own.

In all seriousness however I regularly hold head in hands in disbelief at the quality of written work from colleagues, which in general ranges from passably literate to abysmally incoherent. Immediately worry that ‘abysmally incoherent’ is in truth an oxymoron and is a phrase to be avoided. I do appreciate that colleagues are under immense pressure and that there is precious little time to reflect and edit before hitting ‘send’, but Still And All. How difficult can it be?

All of this brought into stark relief this week thanks to my taking over editing of the leavers’ Year Book. Tutors are therefore sending me Words Of Wisdom and farewells to their year 11 students, each of which appear to be liberally peppered with spelling errors and/or typos. Currently resisting temptation to print these off, mark with green pen, give a GCSE level and return to pigeonholes. ‘Must Do Better’ would be scrawled across the top/bottom of almost all (goes without saying that this would be in addition to some individual, targeted AFL feedback).

Also, double spacing at the end of sentences. WHO STILL DOES THIS? Answer: far too many people who are young enough to know better. By which I mean that if you are Of A Certain Age and learned to type on an analogue typewriter then I will cut you a tiny amount of slack whilst still secretly judging you on my own experience (I miss-spent much of my youth hammering on ancient typewriter keys in Kerouac-inspired outpourings of purple hued prose but even I learned that single spacing is the rule in a digital format).

But at least they are not writing in Comic Sans.