The Final Countdown Day 48

It’s the final countdown. I’ve calculated it’s 48 days until I make my great escape from the classroom. There will be many things I will miss, but, as I’m sure many teachers will agree, there seems to be so much more that I will be glad to see the back of.

Number Three – ACRONYM – A Crap Reminder Of Nonsense You Must Remember

When I first started teaching, everything was written or spoken in full words. But before long, abbreviations started to creep into education, starting with L.O. – the good old learning objective. Just like yesterday’s fronted adverbial, I somehow managed to do quite well at school without being explicitly told what I would be learning in that particular lesson. Before learning could commence, the L.O. had to be discussed, dissected, chanted then copied and underlined into exercises books. By my reckoning, 10-15 minutes of actual learning was lost by discussing what the learning was to be, because we also had to look at the S.C.s (success criteria) to help us understand how we could achieve the L.O. If we were lucky, we could look at a WAGOLL to help us identify the S.C. in order to achieve the L.O. And, with the emergence of What A Good One Looks Like, so began the introduction of acronyms. We were clearly learning to procrastinate instead of educate and, quite frankly, this is something I don’t need to practice!

Before long, some schools started to abandon L.O.s. They clearly were too easy to understand, so instead establishments adopted WALT – not some Dickensian orphan, but We Are Learning Today. My teachers just used to tell me what I was going to learn but now we needed WALT. 

“Hang on!!” cried some educational think tanks (probably when in a meeting in COBRA – the most disappointing acronym ever) “How will students know what they’re learning if we don’t have WALT flying in or zigzagging all over the first slide on a PowerPoint?” 

And let’s not forget WILF, WALT’s younger cousin. Clearly S.C. wasn’t long enough. I now needed yet another acronym to tell the children what I’m looking for. It was probably around this point I knew exactly what I was looking for – a way out of education!

So, up and down the country, children were adept at acknowledging WALTs and WILFs, even if it meant there was now less room in their brains for something bloody important that they should be learning. I’m not sure TIB (This Is Because) ever took off. One, it doesn’t really belong to the Victorian era like our WALT and WILF. Or maybe it was because us teachers didn’t like the reason we were having to learn/teach some of this utter tripe also known as the curriculum. Ok kids, We Are Learning Today sweet FA (fronted adverbials). This Is Because our curriculum is shit. And What I’m Looking For is some vodka hidden in a water bottle.

And it gets worse. 

“Right, we are going to use I SAW A WABUB to help remember subordinating conjunctions.”

“What’s a Wabub Miss?”

“It’s an imaginary creature.”

“What does it look like?”

“I don’t know. It’s imaginary.”

“Are we going to go and describe it Miss?

“No. It’s to help you remember what a subordinating conjunction is.”

“What’s a subordinating conjunction Miss?”

“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you!”

“Is this our WALT Miss?”


“Do we get to look at a WAGOLL to help us with the WALT of ISAWAWABUB Miss?”

“Oh FFS!”

“Are we learning FFS as well Miss?”

Secondary schools haven’t escaped. I’m sure kids learning foreign languages are confused they’re in the right lesson when all the acronyms make them think they’ve wandered into Food Technology. Let’s improve your writing – think CROISSANT! Use BRATWURST! Look at AVOCADO! I just learnt French and German without having to get hungry at the same time.

So, if I never have to use an acronym in my life I will be happy. I’m sure kids are tiring of them too. 

“Miss. Why do we need to know all these ways of remembering stuff?”

“So you can pass your SATs.”

“What does that stand for Miss?”

“Stupid Ass Tests.”

 Now that is a good acronym.

Read what made number two on the list in The Final Countdown Day 49

Also, read about when my daughter was doing her SATs in What’s important

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