Trying Trendy Teaching

The Grumpy Teacher

I’m just about old enough to have been recruited for my first teaching job in what must even then have been an archaic manner. The Labour Government was soon to pass the Constitutional Reform Act abolishing the ‘tap on the shoulder’ system for appointing judges, but in a few public schools it was still customary for the Headmaster (or the Head of History, I don’t know which) to put in a telephone call to a contact at one of the country’s oldest universities and ask if the History Department knew of any suitable young man who might be interested in doing a year’s teaching.

So I never did a PGCE. But that didn’t protect me from the principles of progressivism. I read some books about teaching, and subscribed to the Times Educational Supplement, and I quickly learned that my own pretty traditional secondary education, which had taken place at a…

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