37 students in a classroom?!

“Five more students in each class,” a student scoffed. “Where would we put them?” “You know Sir, it isn’t really five more students,” another clever student informed us. “If you teach five classes, that will be 25 more compositions to correct!” It had started as a polite conversation in a homeroom class about our government’s latest proposal to raise the number of students in each classroom. The discussion soon deteriorated into audio mayhem as each student felt obliged to voice his or her incredulity. Speaking with fellow teachers our first reaction was, “We sure hope that that our education minister is merely floating a trial balloon.” However, being aware of the sorry state of our coffers

‘Tis the season!

Wait for it. Wait. Any day now a Grinch somewhere will wake up with an uncontrollable urge to suck the joy out of the upcoming holiday season. It will begin with a remark about how annoying it is to hear festive, quasi-religious music being piped into the local supermarket. The snide comment will grow into a full-blown furor about a teacher or a principal who has allowed a Christmas tree, some multi-colored lights or a creche scene to infiltrate the sanctity of a secular classroom. There will also be the requisite diatribe about how shopping malls are being desecrated with tinsel-enhanced decorations. There is occasionally a more scholarly and intellectual approach that disputes the historic

Parties and protection

This year’s office party season is on a collision course with the current climate of physical and sexual misconduct accusations. People’s lives have become derailed and in some cases destroyed by events that careened out of their control. However, with minimal planning, and minor course changes, catastrophe can often be averted. The following is a collection of tried and proven directives. The goal is to prevent social disasters and to pave the way for productive and risk-free work and after-work environments: Respect yourself. Respect others. This is foundational. Establish your boundaries now. Yes right now. Sit down and write them out if you need to. It is very difficult to set limits whe

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