It's not exactly media-hype; but thanks to Steven Jones for a very fair, if skilfully selective, account of our discussion at the link in the heading. So far, I haven't the chutzpah to put a direct link on my site, but I'll get there!
I drafted what's above a week or so ago as soon as the article was on the web, but forebore to publish. It would be self-indulgent, I thought.
But my brother mentioned it to the former head of my primary(elementary) school (she actually took over after I left, but my mother was still teaching there... I haven't mentioned before that my mother was once my class teacher, have I? Well, doctor.........) She is 93; she wrote me a real (paper and ink) letter, in a beautiful teacher's hand, which was generally very complimentary.
But, she picked me up on my (reported) use of "bureaucratise". Had I succumbed to the very jargon I castigate?
Apart from being delighted at the feedback, I felt at once as if I were before her at the teacher's desk for having yet again mis-spelled "becuase" (sorry! "because"). Two reflections;
- the potency of the teacher/pupil relationship. For better or worse, it has an impact fifty-two years later. The UK teaching development agency has a slogan, "No-one ever forgets a good teacher". I'm not so sure about that; few people forget bad teachers, either. But I am still challenged by her comment much more than I would be had it come from anyone else!
- Her integrity; she gave me that feedback. It was I (I have to careful about syntax here--she might read this!--should I say "me" as assumed object, or "I" as the technically correct complement?) who volunteered the information, but she could not forebear to correct me.