This one comes from August 18, 2005.
When I mentioned a day or two back that the Dip Ed course and the first few years of teaching could be somewhat transformative I remembered a funny story from my couple of years as a lecturer in Sydney University’s Dip Ed. I won’t mention names, as the person concerned turned out to be a really good English teacher who has had a very good career.
But back in 1978 “James” was in front of an English Class (Year 9 or 10) at Kogarah High School, rather heavily Lebanese. This really was new territory for a young guy who had so far inhabited the role of an English Honours student, and came from a solidly Anglo background. He was using sarcasm and/or irony as a control device, and there are times for that, but in this case I, sitting up the back in such a lesson, wrote the rather informal comment: “One day someone is going to call you a prick.” About five minutes later a student screamed out “You prick”, after which, fortunately, the bell went.
The student teacher and I went to a pub in Kogarah and discussed the situation.
As I said, he went on to do really well.