Well, it's time for that madcap midget again - Mario Rinvoludicrous! Actually, he's one of my EFL heroes, being, as he is, absolutely unafraid to swim against the tide of tacky mediocrity that often floods the whacky world of modern EFL. The fact that he often swims accompanied by a large rubber ring in the shape of a cute yellow duck is irrelevant, in my eyes.
Anyway, here's an offering of his that I've managed to 'bowdlerise' (must look that one up some day) in order to make it more acceptable for the discerning Tefl Tradesman public. It's been adapted from an article in Humanising Language Teaching, concerning teachers who are deemed to be failing, and how they are 'revealed' in school inspectors’ reports.
Although Mario invites us into his world of dysfunctional teachers by stating "Let us look at three teachers ... who are clearly totally out of place in any school environment", I rather feel quite at home with all of them. My comments are, of course, in italics, as measured responses to the school inspector's callous and undeserved verbal lashings.
Mr. R seems happy to ignore the minimum obligations of his job. [Too right - ignorance is bliss, after all!]
This state of affairs is fully known to Mr. R’s colleagues, superiors and students. [Damn right - and they don't give a toss either!]
In this situation Mr. R lives a state of permanent aggression and takes every opportunity to create conflict and tension in the school. [There's my man - a born fighter!]
Mr. R does not know the curriculum and does not wish to get to know it. [Absolutely - no careerist crap for Mr R!]
In class he reads the newspaper. [Shame on him - should be into Viz and Loaded!]
Mr. R has other interests. [Oh dear - a teacher with a real life!]
Working as he does in an evening school, he has another daytime job. [Ha - underpaid, that's his problem!]
His absences are numerous and he never lets people know in advance, which makes it very hard to find people to stand in for him. [Right on, Mr R - keep the bastards on their toes!]
Mr. R spends his time verbally attacking the Head and the Deputy Head. [What else are they for - we all slag them off relentlessly, don't we?!]
During my meeting with him, Mr. R declared that his students “are animals who are worthy only of my contempt.” [I salute you, Mr R - you take no prisoners, and tell it like it is!]
Apparently, Mr. R went even further and physically attacked the Deputy Head, and nearly had a fight with his own angry students. The man was a true hero! I guess even the inspectors were impressed with his feisty attitude, as after initially demanding his transfer to a daytime school, it was then decided to keep him where he was and merely monitor his teaching for a year. No doubt they wanted to see even more of him and his idiosyncratic approach to the pedagogical profession!
At times when Ms G was quiet she would lean on the window sill and look out, staying silent for hours on end. [Ah - a practitioner of Taoism and the dogme approach.]
At other times she would pull a novel out of her bag and settle down to read it. [So? Don't teachers have the right to read in class, as well as the students?!]
Occasionally she would cry for the whole of the lesson. [Hmm. Usually I cry after a lesson, but rarely during it.]
The class representatives in the January of that year complained that “so far we have done nothing; the teacher never explains anything, she writes a few phrases on the blackboard and then quickly rubs them out.” [As much as that, eh? And the students have the nerve to bloody complain!]
If a student asks her anything she responds with insults and threats. [Perfectly acceptable teaching method in my opinion.]
Most of her class groups have decided to ignore her. [My classes often end up the same way - again, what's the problem here?]
To avoid being got at during her lessons, the students do their homework, study other subjects, and read the paper - the inspector says that a modus vivendi has been created, based on mutual silence. [See - a mutually acceptable outcome, just like a class contract!]
According to Mario, in her interview with the inspector Ms G let on that "for many years the idea of entering into dialogue with the students has seemed to her to be immensely psychologically difficult, and even to say the name of the subject she is meant to teach leaves her feeling sick." Well, we can ALL sympathise with that, can't we...
Amazingly, our practitioner of the Silent Way got through four inspections! In fact, the inspector’s final decision in the case of Ms G was that “given her state of strong demotivation, total absence of didactic intent and dramatic relational difficulties, Ms G should be transferred to non-teaching duties.” Exactly - promotion to Director of Studies!!
For the last one, I'll just leave you with the inspector's comments. As you can see, she is a victim of cruel and teasing students, all of whom need to be gassed or dealt with in a suitably extreme way. The final remarks, that she "feels liberated" as she is relieved of her teaching duties upon doctor's orders, evoke a lot of sympathy, I believe.
For fifteen years she’s been teaching in the same school without any complaints against her. In October 2004 Mrs. C began to feel got at by her colleagues. “they’ve marginalized me,” she told the inspector. Her students have no pity. They see her in difficulties and take full advantage. They laugh in her face and mock her for being badly dressed.
Mrs. C is absent from school more and more often; she is sucked into a negative spiral. At first she tells the inspector that there is nothing wrong, but then finally admits, in her last meeting with him, that there has been a change:
“I have always taught. I do the same things I did years ago. It’s the students that have changed. I can’t understand them anymore, and I don’t see why they don’t follow me.”
She then admits she is in the grip of anxiety and that the very idea of leaving home and walking into her classroom fills her with moral and physical dread. A medical examination allows her to give up teaching. She feels liberated.
Original Source: http://www.hltmag.co.uk/apr09/sart03.htm