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Is there a portion of the calendar that lends itself more to metaphors of breathless, giddy excitement and vertiginous, libidinous, shivering thrills than the conference season? NO, READER, THERE IS NOT. As I watch the keynotes, particularly the education keynotes, I am torn between the poles of drowning myself in the bidet and attempting to feed myself into the toaster from the head down. That’s how barely I can contain my quivering heart.
But. Just in case you wanted to watch them again when the DVD comes out at Christmas (‘Now that’s what I call a conference education speech volume 33’), here’s a game that you can play with all the family: FINLAND! The Party Conference Education Speech Drinking Game™ . Simply start the evening with a full table of ASDA’s finest hootches and moonshines, charged glasses, and press play. Last person standing wins a lifetime supply of ennui and schadenfreude.
Let’s Play FINLAND!™
|‘This green tea’s a queer bubbly, wot?’|
Someone mentions the 21st century without apparently being aware that we’re 12% into it already: take a sip
A flagship school is mentioned: take a sip
Says ‘I’ve been up and down the country, and people are telling me…’: take a sip
Uses phrase ‘And what I say to these people is this….’: take a sip
Professed socialist with offspring in private school takes the stand: take a sip
Speaker from private school talking about state education: take a sip. Tut.
Speaker refers to the scarcity of 500 year-old oak trees in their childhoods: take a gulp, and look up ‘odd’ in dictionary
Somebody falls weeping to the ground, touching Stephen Twigg’s hem to be healed: empty glass of communion wine
Michael Gove shows a millisecond of self-doubt: empty glass, replay, freeze frame
|‘So I said to Mitchell, take the p***, it’ll be a laugh..’|
Camera cuts to elderly delegate, fast asleep and snug in a blanket: take a shot of sherry/ port
Bored cameraman attempts to find attractive delegate- fails: Take a drink and email Guardian
Bored cameraman attempts to find attractive delegate- succeeds: Take a drink, turn back to the right channel
Speaker suggests link between Free Schools and National Socialism: Take a schnapps; salute
Gove refers to Unions as ‘Dem Babylon’: select a bottle, drain to the hilt
Specific teaching method disparaged as Victorian by someone who has never taught: drink bowl of own tears
Attempts to mangle a joke out of the word ‘PISA’: drink continuously until sentence is finished
|‘I endorse this brew. Give me the launch codes.’|
Unsuspecting teacher/ student/ patsy dragged out onto stage to do monkey dance: ramraid nearest Threshers, demand a helicopter to fly you to Singapore
Finland is mentioned: drink EVERYTHING on the table!
*Thanks to @captainrobs for inspiration
|‘I can hear you chewing gum in there!’|
There was outrage last night as Chief Judges in the Hall of Learning approved a harsh new system of formal assessment for rookie teachers. Dubbed ‘Block War’, prospective teachers will be paired with a more experienced mentor and assigned to a day in one of Mega-City’s toughest schools, with the simple message- last a day.
Judge Dredd, one of the most prominent advocates of this form of in-at-the-deep-end training, only had this to say yesterday: ‘It’s all the deep end,’ before arresting the reporter for obstructing a GTP program.
The program, one of many new reforms brought in under the coalition of chief Judges Cameron, Klegg and Fergee, has prompted angry reactions from many teachers, who have accused the Chiefs of letting the profession down.
‘This system is completely without justification,’ said one blogger from Stephen Twigg block, who didn’t want to be named for fear he would be transported to the prison planet of Titan and transformed into a cyborg drone.
|‘Yes, bike cannons WERE necessary.’|
‘It’s simply a pass or fail; not even a chance to endlessly resit, like with the aptitude tests. We need something more fluid, more nuanced, that nurtures teachers into the world’s greatest profession. Training Judges in ridiculous, outdated 21st century skills like unarmed combat, using the Lawgiver pistol, and field medicine, has no place in today’s 22nd century civilian war zones. Instead, we believe Judges will be best off learning how to develop perps’ emotional intelligence, possibly using their Thinking Helmets to work out a cooperative, collaborative solution that catalyses independent citizenry.’
When asked what evidence or experience he possessed that such teaching techniques actually prevented Judges from being kidnapped and brutalised, or assisted the prevention of the 17 serious crimes reported to the Hall of Justice every second, the anonymous blogger was less candid.
‘I think I know what I’m talking about; I’ve seen a documentary about these blocks. The people there just need to be allowed the freedom to blossom into beautiful butterflies.’
Judge Gove is doing ten in the cubes.
NEWS: Recent comments by Ofsted that the maths exam is ‘too easy’ has been greeted with cries of ‘but that’s what you f*cking asked us to do’ by most major stakeholders in England and Wales. Additionally, the DfE rottweiler has accused schools of teaching to the exam and gaming the A*-C figures by entering candidates too early. Tired, confused teachers have responded with various degrees of, ‘But….we only get paid if the results constantly increase like an enormous soufflé predicated on infinite expansion. Help, we don’t understand what you want.’
‘Yes, said one maths teacher. Tell us what you want. We’ll do it. Please don’t hurt us. Take my last testicle. I don’t need it any more.’
The Daily Guru has received an advance copy of this year’s GCSE exam, criticised by many as being too obsessed with relevance and engagement with the children’s context than assessing functional maths skills. See for yourself:
Aspirational social class:
1. If Kelis’s milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, and assuming the combined mass of all the boys is equivalent to 1.13 X 10^5 kg and the length of the yard is exactly three times the width of the yard in a right angled rectangle, then calculate:
a) How much would you have to charge?
b) Is it > yours?
2. If the value of Billy Jean ≠ my lover, then does n tend to 1 where n is equivalent to just a girl?
3. In the shape to the left, is the area of the red triangle closest in value to:
a) It takes a nation of millions
b) Nuthin’ but a G thang
c) 50 cent
d) FUCK THA POLIS
4. Baby got back. Is Sir Mix-a-Lot:
c) Down to get some friction on?
5. ‘My anaconda don’t want ________ unless you got buns, hun.’ Is the missing value:
c) Sir Michael Wilshaw
6. Lady Gaga has lost her telephone. How bad IS her romance, to the nearest three places?
a) Ra ra, ah ah ah
b) Roma, ro ro ma
c) Ga ga ooh lala
7. What’s six inches and goes in One Direction?
8. Simon Cowell, the legendary lady-killer and playboy is having a party where Sinitta, Cheryl Cole, and Amanda Holden will be strangling kittens for his amusement in order to gain the Dark Lord’s favour. You have been invited. Calculate
a) how far you would have to jump in order to be assured of a quick death.
b) the diameter of Sinitta’s Adam’s Apple.
9. Calculate the X-Factor.
10. Will-I-am is twice as dope as Jessie J, who is a sixteenth as dope as Tom Jones. Danny = a dope. What is the smallest number of duets Tom Jones must have performed with Elvis before Danny gets a kick in the tits?
11. Extension: Sean Paul wants to get busy. Using the following terms, does he want to get busy with Miss Jodi or Miss Rebecca, or all of them at once in an unhygienic daisy chain of wicked, libidinous foam?
Girl get busy, just shake that booty non-stop
When the beat drops
Just keep swinging it
Get crunked up
Percolate anything you want to call it
Oscillate you hip and don’t take pity
Me want fi see you get live upon the riddim when me ride
Show your workings. No credit will be given for unjustified answers.
Please indicate your preferred grade here (note: candidates who leave this blank will only receive a C):
The Department of Education was unavailable for comment.
‘You’re here to learn about Satan.’ How our schools are petri dishes for the Dark One, says everyone
A teacher at one of the UK’s most successful sixth form colleges has rocked the educational world by claiming that students there would be ‘better off learning how to pay homage to Old Split-Foot.’
In a recent article in the TES Online, he claims he advised a student to ‘stick his A-levels up his arse and instead work out better ways he can serve The Father of Lies by accelerating the Last Days of the Apocalypse.’
The chattering classes of education were swift in their rebuttal of Mr Cypher’s unusual pedagogic methods. ‘This is a disgrace,’ said Mr Mendicant of the Church of the Telegraphed Soul. ‘Worshipping Satan has been an outmoded, outdated way to get ahead in the world since the sixties. We thought we had managed to leave all that pentacle-drawing, blood-letting progressive incantation nonsense in the Dark Ages. Our children are expected to follow the modern, scientifically proven method of emailing their aspirations to the Dark Gods of Cthulhu, as best practise demands.’
|Is this what you want. IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT?|
When asked to defend his apparently indefensible stance on cannibalism, devil worship and desecration of the graves of saints, Mr Cypher was unrepentant. ‘But…but all I said was that kids shouldn’t get too stressed out by exams, and maybe they should still try hard but….oh, I didn’t say it very clearly, but….’
THE NEW SALEM SUN SAYS: BAN THIS DRAGON-WORSHIPPING LEFTY BEFORE HE KILLS AGAIN.
Inappropriate metaphor beaten to death by groovy hipsters
The international community was up in arms today over claims that a rogue metaphor had been ‘dragged through the streets and flogged to death’ in full view of the public over the last 24 hours. The metaphor, known as #pencilchat had enjoyed a short but discrete life of relative obscurity, before it was pounced upon by hordes of educationalists all shouting, ‘Death to the Pencil,’ ‘This metaphor must be stretched across a rack a mile long,’ and ‘What’s this about anyway?’ At the time of press, the corpse of the metaphor was still being poked at by latecomers to the brutal spectacle, many of them simply repeating things that had been done several hours previously.
‘It’s awful,’ said H.B. Parker, an official observer for fair play in allegory (FPA). ‘This metaphor may have done wrong in its own small way, but the treatment it received from hundreds of strangers across the world was disproportionate to all sense of justice. It was stretched so thin that even a robust metaphor wouldn’t have been able to stand the stress. And this wasn’t a strong metaphor in the first place.’
|‘It’s just resting.’|
There was some evidence that the savage, post mortem flogging had started to die down, as Twitter started to bore of torturing the metaphor and people turned to more important things like George Monbiot and football. As the crowd started to dissipate, many simply posted amusing pictures of pencils in the hope that they too could score a hit, although most attempts simply fell short of the mark.
‘Pencils are like anal sex,’ said one desperate tweeter, hungry for blood. ‘You don’t want it, but Jeremy Clarkson gives it to you anyway. Does that work?’ he said, looking confused.