Sunday, February 24, 2008

From A Retired Teacher's Notebook

by Anton Chekhov

IT is argued that family and school should work hand in glove. Very true, but only if the family is a respectable one unconnected with trade or shop-keeping, inasmuch as proximity to the lower orders may hinder a school's progress. On grounds of humanity, however, one should not deprive shopkeepers and the wealthier tradesfolk of their occasional pleasures - such as asking teachers to a party, shall we say?

The words 'proposition' and 'conjunction' make schoolgirls modestly lower their eyes and blush, but the terms 'organic' and 'copulative' enable schoolboys to face the future hopefully.

As the vocative case and certain rare letters of the Russian alphabet are practically obsolete, teachers of Russian should in all fairness have their salaries reduced, inasmuch as this decline in cases and letters has reduced their work load.

Our teachers try to persuade their pupils not to waste time reading novels and newspapers since this hampers concentration and distracts them. Besides, novels and newspapers are useless. But why should pupils believe their mentors if the latter spend so much time on newspapers and magazines? Physician, heal hyself! As for me, I am completely in the clear, not having read a single book or paper for thirty years.

When teaching science one should above all ensure one's pupils have their books bound, inasmuch as one cannot bang them on the head with the spine of an unbound book.

Children! What bliss it is to receive one's pension!

1 comment:

postpran said...

Hiya Keef,

yes indeed we survived Korea and small town Poland!!

Just let me know if you want to head to Katowice for a weekend. I know I don't know you, but you are welcome to stay over on my pullout couch. Just let me know :-)

My email is:

I think you have the right idea about keeping the blog anon. A contract with a school for a DOS position in Poland was made null and void because I wrote some things on my blog which according to the director in Bielsko Biala was "gross misconduct." All I wrote was that I wasn't sure about a long future in TEFL and I was getting a bit tired of some aspects of Poland. She said a DOS should love their work and have no doubt and it could be a bad example for the other teachers. I never mentioned where I worked in my blog and was always positive in the classroom and at the school. The blog was just a temporary space to blow off some steam. It was technically illegal, but everything is ok now. I moved from Bielsko Biala in the summer to Katowice in October and all is good. Will finish this year contract in June and then see about my next options.

anyway . . . would love to meet. A few cool foreign teachers around here. Also some great jazz concerts and a great jazz club. Sometimes a bit of live Indie rock.