This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.



Thursday, 1 November 2012

Reportage: a rant.


Bart is a remarkable young man with real ability and potential.
 
That's from an on-line school report example sheet. What does it mean? Well, outstandingly lazy, quite probably.
 
He has a passion for understanding the world around him.
 
Won't concentrate on the matter in hand.
 
And [can] arrive at innovative solutions by making connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena.
 
I have grave concerns about his sanity.

The trouble is that writing a school report involves predicting the future, and that's seldom easy. What will people do when they're let out of school?
 
Well, become themselves, I suppose. If they're lucky.

I believe Gurdon has ideas about becoming a scientist; on his present showing this is quite ridiculous


Sir John Gurdon's school report gained fame recently when he won the Nobel Prize. Well, at least his poor teacher seems to have been trying to help, and I can't see that there's anying wrong with what he's said: the problem is with the teacher's sad ignorance of his pupil.

A teacher needs to be very well informed indeed before he writes something like: to this student all ages are dark.

What economy and wit, though! And at least that means something.

Unlike:

Belinda displays good literacy skills (but are they as good as they should be? That's the vital thing) and she is able to join in class discussions (how? By blowing raspberries? Pinching Sheila? Setting fire to the teacher?). Her numberwork is showing promise (of what? Fraud? Incompetence? Psychosis?) and she is able to express herself socially (by wearing fifteen studs in each ear? Swearing? Being a Twitter troll?)

Come on, report-writers. These kids are all precious. Take a risk. Think hard and justly - and then be honest.

It's not as if you're going to stop anyone winning the Nobel Prize, is it?

Word To Use Today: report. This word comes to English from the Old French reporter, which means to carry back, from the Latin reportāre.




 


1 comment:

  1. My school reports ALWAYS said I talked too much in class. They were right. I still do talk too much. SHUT UP, ADELE was the cry in every classroom I was ever in!

    ReplyDelete