Now that the problems with the website are fixed I'm working towards again putting up a weekly blog post. I've got some more general reflections on working in school teaching again in preparation in my mind, but today I wanted to tell you about one particular thing.
Here in the UK the nearest Sunday to 11th November is Remembrance Sunday, corresponding to the First World War finishing in 1918 on that date. Working with youngsters at this time is a reminder just how fast time goes by, with current affairs very quickly becoming history.
apologies for the gap in posting to this blog, a combination of life being very busy and problems with my website provider which are now solved. I look forward to reflecting on working in school again shortly, meanwhile,
I realised that I'd written the piece below a while ago, based on my conference
talk in April, and thought you might be interested to see it. As always,
very pleased to hear what you think!
1980s comedy series, “Yes, Minister” there was an episode “The Moral Dimension”
in which it became apparent that a British contract in a fictional Middle
Eastern country had come about through bribery.
As I've mentioned briefly already in previous posts, from next week I will be school teaching again. This is a move I've thought a great deal about over the last few years and I'm really looking forward to it. I'm delighted with the school which has been kind enough to take me on. I've known the school from the outside for many years, and have been colleagues previously with at least two teachers I'll be working with, including the head of the mathematics department.
At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you."
Solomon answered, "You have shown great kindness to Your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to You and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day. Now, Lord my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties.
The last 6 chapters in Genesis give a great case study in
forgiveness. Brief summary of situation
to this point: Joseph was the second youngest of Jacob’s 12 sons, the first
born of his original love, Rachel. As
such he was the favoured son which caused his brothers some considerable anger
and resentment. Recounting his dreams of
his brothers bowing down before him (Genesis 37) really did not help
matters. The brothers were able to
overpower him away from their father, and having considered killing him, sold
him into slavery.
I’ve now been back in my house for 3 months and finally I’m
getting it the way I want it.
Why so long? Well,
first to explain that it’s a beautiful, small and old house in a lovely area
surrounded by much larger houses, a bit of an oddity really! It’s long and thin with two rooms upstairs
and, on the ground floor an entrance area with the bathroom to the right and
then a kitchen area which leads straight into the downstairs reception
room. When I was first shown the house
back in 2007 I had actually enquired about another but allowed the estate agent
to persuade me to see this one as well.
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to His disciples: “The teachers of
the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.
So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not
practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on
other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger
to move them.”
This is the beginning of a section of teaching, shortly
before His trial and crucifixion, in which Jesus is highly critical of the
religious leaders of the day.
Since I've been back from Tanzania I've been reading 'The Times' most days (except Sundays, got to draw the line somewhere). By buying vouchers in advance I get a substantial reduction on the price compared to buying the paper in cash each day.
(Parenthetical thought: so I currently have vouchers going up to 12th August. I have no idea what the news will be that day, could be a major world changing event or small developments on existing stories, but I can be confident that 'The Times' will be produced that day and I've already paid for my copy.
One of the things I've been doing over the last few weeks is trying to bring myself up to speed with various things going on in UK education. This includes the pupil premium, ie. that schools with children in disadvantaged circumstances are given additional funds to work with them. Also there have been some major curriculum reforms, specifically in mathematics, so youngsters are meeting more advanced topics at a younger age, with a stronger sense of problem solving in approach.
As with so many things, there's a bit of a sense of, "Yes, I can see what you're trying to do here, but.
There's a jolly interesting story to be found in the Bible at the end of 1 Samuel. Saul is King, David is the anointed successor, Saul is not too happy about this. After a whole number of altercations David takes refuge in the land of the Philistines and makes friends with King Achish - who, presumably, has either forgotten about the incident with Goliath or does not realise that this is the same person who killed him.
David tells Achish that he (David) and his warriors were fighting various small battles on behalf of the Philistines, whereas in fact he stayed loyal to Israel during this time and fought battles on Israel's behalf.