Saturday, March 25, 2006

Mrs H and the milkbottle

Hum, can't give too much away but consider the headline feedback
'Teacher does not post on blog for a while and then returns with OFSTED anecdotes'
Suffice it to say, I really am back from the dead, and this blog should pick up again. Which will maybe please my four readers.

Anyway, I stayed up late last night with the other teacher with whom I share my house, bed, life and heart, getting very drunk; rather sweetly and with absolutely no premeditation, we ended up talking about wonderful teaching moments fron our childhoods. Any time someone asks me about memories of my education my mind snaps back to the day I learned about units. My class three teacher embarked upon a bizarre exercise to measure the size of the blackboard with a milk bottle (note there were no aims and objectives written on the blackboard.) This must have carried on for some time, and, swot that I was, I was answering all the questions and throwing myself into the experience. And then she asked a question. 'Why don't we do this in everyday life? Why don't we measure things in milk bottles?'

And the answer hit me with the force of a ten ton lorry, my hand shot up and I practically shouted 'Because they make milk bottles in all different sizes' In that moment, I swear that the whole history of mensuration and the necessity for the SI unit system downloaded instantly into my being. It was a complete paradigm-shifting, penny dropping moment and I have never, ever forgotten it.

Mrs H would not make my personal top ten of most inspiring teachers (she was also responsible for the most mind achingly dull knitting lessons where we all sat in rows and knitted dishclothes) but she gave me a profound and almost mystical learning experience for which I am deeply grateful. When I am not too tired from arguing with kids or too busy writing lesson plans, I aspire to expose my students to the same.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

OFSTED conspiracy theory #1

...OFSTED is actually run by the companies that make poster paper and laminating machines. I mean, you have to ask, qui bono?