Don’t Name Six

The Grumpy Teacher

In Tony Little’s An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Education he reports approvingly advice given to him on becoming a Head Master. ‘When the inevitable visit comes from a teacher claiming that all his colleagues feel that … etc., invite him to give six names.’

Now elsewhere in the book, Little cites Jonathan Smith’s (brilliant) The Learning Game several times. He cannot, therefore, have failed to make the connection between ‘Name Six’ and the following little vignette, which Smith gleefully recounts, of a Head Master telling his minions that some initiative or other was to be introduced or dropped:

“‘And, above all [said the Head], parents are adamant about it.’

Suddenly a confident voice came from the back of the room, the voice of a senior housemaster with only two years to go and nothing to fear:

‘Names, please, Headmaster. Names of the adamant parents.’

Nice.”

I had a rather revealing…

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