Keep it all in…

Every time I think about writing a blog, I’m near crippled by the idea that actually I haven’t got anything that worthwhile to say. I don’t mind writing about texts that my students might study, if it will help them, but in terms of blogging to offer opinion, I’m really unsure about what my place is. 

Who cares what I think? That’s not a self-pitying question, it’s more like a rational realisation that actually my opinion on plenty of things is neither required nor sought by others. So, I tend to think carefully about what I’m about to blog, and then decide that it doesn’t really add anything to a discussion, and then delete it.

I wish Toby Young (@toadmeister) had done the same thing when he wrote this article about the recent letter to pupils from the Head Teacher at Barrowford Primary school (if you haven’t read it, it looks like this.)

Young’s article is unpleasant, mean spirited and vindictive, but more than that, I really don’t think it adds anything to the discussion. Do we really need someone to suggest that this person should be fired, despite the fact he has never met her and doesn’t know the first thing about how well she does her job? Not really. Is it any of his business? Not really. Should she have copied some bits from elsewhere? Probably not, although I doubt that all the teachers who log into internet sites full of resources to help their planning (of which I most certainly am one) would be able to chuck a stone too hard through her window for that. As for the sentiment, yes it’s a bit hammy but we are looking at primary school kids here – a bit of encouragement that they are more than their test results isn’t surely THAT devastating a crime is it?

I understand why people look to others to have opinions and then act on them. I watch films if my favourite critics say they’re good, I buy clothes if my wife says they look nice on me, and I bought my new laptop because my friend said they were good. But here’s the thing – all those people KNOW their field much better than I do. I’m not an expert on films. I certainly don’t know anything about fashion, and my technological knowhow ranks me alongside sand worms…if they’re even a thing. So I get why we need expert opinions, but I’m not having that Toby Young is an expert. Certainly not based on that article. 

So, while I’ve just completely undermined my entire argument by even writing this, I thought I would share my opinions on Toby Young’s opinions. They sound to me like a spoilt little child who never got sent a letter like that himself. Poor soul.


About PS

English teacher in Shanghai.
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