The Blackboard Jungle

days spent beating back the seeds of doubt

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

The boss has asked us to set Imaginary Homework.

We've finally given up the shared hallucination of expecting kids to do the stuff, of chasing the 29 kids per class of 30 who don't.

We've admitted defeat and opened up to the truth that the reason we sometimes don't set homework is because it's bloody nigh on impossible to set a homework that's actually worth doing that is expected to build upon what we did in lesson X, pave the way for lesson Y, but disadvantages no-one if they don't even glance at the thing.

So the Powers That Be have, as at the start of every term, implored us to be consistent in setting regular homework. Except this time, they admitted that we're generally only expecting three well behaved kids per class to even try it. And then only in the youngest year group.
But to "cover our backs" (is this a corporation? is this communist Russia? is eluding the blame culture the sole focus of our teaching? these questions fell unspoken, heavily, into the silence following that phrase) we must set "Imaginary Homework".

Words fail me.

I must now crack on with my imaginary marking, and dream up some imaginary grades.