peter pan syndrome

The Ghost of a Teacher remembers the day, years ago now, when he was called an idealist by a senior teacher in a staff meeting. The astonishment and subsequent introspection when he realised it was meant as an insult. (“Time to grow up, son!” the avuncular Yorkshireman might as well have condescended.) But an idealist […]

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favourite band?

right now, it’s gotta be these chaps… check out this review for the opening track: “It’s not just the insistent riffs, the onrushing drums, the incandescent harmonies. Who couldn’t love a band that marries Hughie Green and the Bard in one couplet, the Carpenters and the Archdrood Cope himself in the next? You want a […]

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into the wild

The final film the Ghost shared in a classroom was ‘Into the Wild’, Sean Penn’s 2007 adaptation of Jon Krakauer’s book of the same name, which documents the true story of Chris McCandless. Frustrated with the limitations and vanities of society’s preoccupations, as exemplified by the materialism and unhappiness of his parents, McCandless abandoned civilisation […]

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The intention at this time of year is to hunker down and read. Somehow that never quite happens. Hours of escapism are sacrificed for the more immediate concerns of constant clearing up, juggling invitations and the sociability of cosying around a warm television in the room where the Christmas tree twinkles. Alcohol and constant snacking […]

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porn star christmas

Christmas traditions are there to be adopted, adapted, abandoned. Surely? Having just attended a (rather beautiful) Advent carol service at my local church, I was forcefully struck, not for the first time, by the sheer inanity of the words being spoken and sung, even though the aesthetic in the building, with the candles and the […]

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monkeys on the ceiling

The most frequently asked question of my entire career: ‘Sir, why are there monkeys on the ceiling?’ Now, I’ll admit that the question was not random, and it had something to do with me. I will also admit that the room below does not resemble, even remotely, any of the classrooms I ever taught in, […]

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  The conviction had been growing awhile, watching satirical news shows on TV alongside a longer established diet of news, news analysis, and Question Time (which my dad inducted me into, although I perpetually yearn for Robin Day over Dimbleby any day of the week) that our politicians were becoming morally redundant, intellectually specious and […]

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save us all from bad poetry

Now this is clever, relevant, spot on really… thank you to Facebook sharer… The ghost of a teacher considers this to be poetry with no illusion, other than the capacity to communicate a simple, powerful message with universal impact. It engages in a contemporary issue; persuades the student to explore history, politics, and ethics, rather […]

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the virtual classroom

old teachers do not die, they just kind of fade away… we don’t forget them, they become a part of us, for better or for worse… in the virtual classroom  we can explore the stuff that allows us to conjure with our learning, that leads to laughter and awe, that goes beyond the stuffy confines […]

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