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Curb your enthusiasm, kids

13 February 2012

5:30 PM

13 February 2012

5:30 PM

Iain Martin has flagged upan article from the latest Times Educational Supplement, in which a Norfolk sixth-form teacher bemoans overenthusiastic pupils. Yes — you read that right. In the article, Jonny Griffiths highlights the ‘other aggravation’ in a teachers’ life:

‘Sometimes ambitious children need to slow down. It is 4pm. My weary colleagues and I are slowly unwinding in the maths office, when there is a knock on the door. Could I have a quick word with Jonny, please?” says Michael in a bright, nervous voice. I don’t sigh, but inwardly I think, “Is that my ‘quick’ or yours?”’

And that’s just a fraction of it. The subsequent passage about Cambridge and Bangor is particularly depressing:

‘I mean, I care, of course,” I add, swiftly. “But what is better: to go to Cambridge with three As and hate it or to go to Bangor with three Cs and love it?’

There’s not really much to add beyond Iain’s rightly despairing commentary, although one trainee teacher I spoke to summed it up by saying that Griffiths’ article is ‘teaching students terrible lessons about success and life’.

Michael Gove constantly rails against lowered expectations in our schools system. No doubt this article will be mentioned in a future speech, to demonstrate what he means.


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