Why do online communities get worse as they get bigger? Programmer Robert Seaton has a pretty good stab at this question in a blog post here. Seaton says we behave better with people when we know we're going to have to interact with them again in the future. The penalty for rudeness in a small community is exclusion from a… Continue reading Upvotes and online communities
Reading Tom Bennett's 20-point guide to solving the behaviour crisis in the TES today, I came across this: "3. ...The class rules should be so simple that they can be remembered by the busiest or most stressed of students or staff. More than ten is probably too many." I finished reading James Gleick's The Information… Continue reading The giant book of rules
Small words can indicate big ideas. I'm going to talk about pronouns, mostly. I had a bit of synchronicity today in the form of two events. First, a kid in one of my classes called me out on my use of "my classroom". I was talking about the way he was behaving in my classroom.… Continue reading Whose classroom is it anyway?
Roald Dahl’s Matilda sets out two classic teacher stereotypes: Miss Trunchbull, the fearsome punisher; and Miss Honey, the sweet friend who takes your side. I’ve found myself increasingly interested in recent weeks in the extent to which the ability to conjour fear is part of a teacher’s job. Students can fear their teachers for so… Continue reading Fear
Received this in an email yesterday morning from university: "Please make every effort to be punctual (i.e. to arrive before 8:55am). This is a basic professional expectation of all teachers. Thank you for your professional understanding." People in education love that word "professional". I don't want to criticise the idea that teachers should be professional (it's… Continue reading How people use words to get you to do things
When I started on my current teaching placement, I decided that I would have a firm policy on lending pens. The policy was as follows: I would not lend pens. Exercising personal stationery policies is perhaps the mildest and most train-spottery form of sadistic pleasure. Child asks for pen; teacher replies, “Sorry – you need… Continue reading Lending pens