Friday, July 20, 2007

Teachers!! Enjoy!

Whenever I come across good material for teachers, I get a strong urge to share it. All those passionate about teaching will truly enjoy this poem by Taylor Mali. He is a "former teacher turned slam poet, who for over 15 years has been reciting impassioned poems about teaching and everything that goes along with the job." A little about Mali, written by Stacey Hollenbeck in Teacher Magazine:

The former president of Poetry Slam Incorporated, Mali has been featured on HBO’s “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry” series and even created and starred in a one-man show called “Teacher! Teacher!,” which was named best solo performance at the 2001 U. S. Comedy Arts Festival.

Inspiring Teachers

Mali says his poetry about teaching has received a dramatic and rewarding response.

“I started to get people e-mailing me or telling me that they had decided to become a teacher partly because of the passion with which I spoke about the profession,” he said.

Mali began keeping track of the effect he was having on others. In 2000, he established a goal of inspiring 1,000 people to become teachers by 2006.

“I thought by the time 2006 comes, I will certainly have either reached this goal or totally forgotten that I ever had it. When 2006 came, and I didn’t have my 1,000 teachers yet, but I was just hovering around 100, I thought, ‘Scrap the deadline; I’m going to just keep doing it. And if it takes me until I’m 75, so be it.’”

Mali now has nearly 170 new and aspiring teachers, whom he calls his latest heroes, listed on his Web site. Many, like Barajas (number 169), never considered teaching before hearing Mali’s poetry."

The poem he wrote, which became very famous:

What Teachers Make

Printable Version

What Teachers Make, or
Objection Overruled, or
If things don't work out, you can always go to law school

By Taylor Mali

He says the problem with teachers is, "What's a kid going to learn
from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?"
He reminds the other dinner guests that it's true what they say about
Those who can, do; those who can't, teach.

I decide to bite my tongue instead of his
and resist the temptation to remind the other dinner guests
that it's also true what they say about lawyers.

Because we're eating, after all, and this is polite company.

"I mean, you¹re a teacher, Taylor," he says.
"Be honest. What do you make?"

And I wish he hadn't done that
(asked me to be honest)
because, you see, I have a policy
about honesty and ass-kicking:
if you ask for it, I have to let you have it.

You want to know what I make?

I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional medal of honor
and an A- feel like a slap in the face.
How dare you waste my time with anything less than your very best.

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall
in absolute silence. No, you may not work in groups.
No, you may not ask a question.
Why won't I let you get a drink of water?
Because you're not thirsty, you're bored, that's why.

I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:
I hope I haven't called at a bad time,
I just wanted to talk to you about something Billy said today.
Billy said, "Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes, don't you?"
And it was the noblest act of courage I have ever seen.

I make parents see their children for who they are
and what they can be.

You want to know what I make?

I make kids wonder,
I make them question.
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them write, write, write.
And then I make them read.
I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely
over and over and over again until they will never misspell
either one of those words again.
I make them show all their work in math.
And hide it on their final drafts in English.
I make them understand that if you got this (brains)
then you follow this (heart) and if someone ever tries to judge you
by what you make, you give them this (the finger).

Let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:
I make a goddamn difference! What about you?

This is a TED video for teachers to view:

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Gandhigiri or Gandhiism as a Way of Life for Teachers

Ever since the release of the movie “Lage Raho Munnabhai”, the term ‘Gandhigiri’ has come to be used frequently. Mahatma Gandhi-known as the Father of The Nation was the key motivator in bringing freedom to our country. He was also a well read person, being an ace lawyer by profession. He also held with him a set of values, most of which he strived to practice in his life. He could be looked upon as a person who was extremely confident. And because of this inherent quality, he managed to be a leader, at one time literally leading the whole country.

Now as teachers we need to emulate most of those qualities. Ethics and morality could be clearly related to Gandhi and his ways. The teacher must strive to be the following:

  1. Self- confident: to be able to market qualities of self righteousness, astuteness, humility and be a compassionate, as well as an approachable being.
  2. A Problem Solver: that is what Gandhi was. The quiet strength and resilience that he portrayed in his ways is an example for all. “He saw a situation and dreamt up a novel method to address it that got good results” Gandhi tried to solve problems by trying not to hurt either side.
  3. An Effective Communicator: A man of words, Gandhi could be interesting, assertive, and could prevail upon others, often through moral force.
  4. Patience: Gandhi proved it that anything could be achieved by patience. Especially with those who harm you, to exercise patience is a quality that may eventually correct the problem at hand. In today’s world intolerance is becoming a way of life, which leads to violence. Gandhi pro-actively preached Ahimsa or Non-violence. Gandhi said “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth will make the whole world blind and toothless”. The trick is in being ‘persuasively patient’. The path of patience is difficult but pays in the end.
  5. Be Truthful: In the words of Gandhi “My uniform experience has convinced me that there is no other God than truth” This is an essential quality for a teacher. Truth always triumphs (satyamev Jayate) is what Gandhi always preached, a path that ultimately leads to peace. The Story of My Experiments with Truth, which is an autobiography of M.K.Gandhi is a must read.
  6. A Preacher of Ahimsa: Gandhi said:” Identification with everything that lives is impossible without self purification; without self purification the observance of the law of Ahimsa must remain an empty dream…”

“So long as a man does not of his own free will put himself last among his fellow creatures, there is no salvation for him. Ahimsa is the farthest limit of humility.”

Gandhigiri or Gandhiism re-gained momentum recently and for the good. I discussed this in detail with my students, and thanked our good fortune that such a movie had been released. Teachers can take this opportunity to discuss moral and ethical issues with children, with relation to Gandhiism. It is a way of life, and we as teachers could in all sincerity make it ours.


Everybody loves Kung-Fu fighting?? Where is our Saint of Sabarmati?

In this age of terror and fear where violence seems to be making a stronghold in urban and rural societies, where are the ideologies of Gandhi?? So has Gandhi failed to keep his ideals alive? Is Gandhigiri/Gandhiism just a fashionable word? What do you have to say?

I am of the view that Gandhi’s values still live on and is more alive today than any other age. It is on the firm base of love that the world moves on. More and more people believe in non-violence. We want peace in our lives, minds and hearts and all around us. There always will be extremists,, there always have been in every age, but ultimately the only solution to all the strife has been peace. As long as there is constant questioning and debating on this issue, I am sure we will come to the right conclusions, for our own sake.

Gandhi’s empathetic, non-violent attitude, his dramatic responses like Satyagraha which embodied humility, love, and non-violence; all this seems more relevant today.

Gandhi lives on, our champion of non-violence still lives on…

Now I enjoy the rhythm of this song, lets not love to fight, but this is about Kung-fu fighting, which is an art form.. so listen on and enjoy:)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Relevance of Kabir Today

Kabir is one of India’s ‘Priceless Gems’ - who is called a saint because of his writings - full of wisdom, and teachings for the masses. I feel they cannot be ignored in today’s world. In fact, in schools when we teach ethics and values to children we could make it easier by quoting Kabir often. It is a part of the rich heritage of India which we cannot afford to lose. Did he play a decisive role in shaping India’s culture? I do not know, maybe students of History will be able to answer it better. But we do know that Kabir worked hard to make people think differently, especially when it came to breaking walls of strict religious beliefs, and superstitions. He has highlighted simple virtues like honesty, love, truth, faith in oneself, encouraging introspection, and more. He has explained it beautifully with similes, linked with observations of day to day life which people can understand.

Kabir is a highly quoted poet, who, despite having criticized every sect, has people from various religious backgrounds accepting him and regarding him as a wise person with saintly leanings. His ideas are in the form of simple poems - mostly couplets, and are popularly sung in rural India. In fact I was inspired to write about it as I was listening to one such popular music cassette in a car and felt that I must talk about Kabir with my children, while making them listen. It also brought back memories of my father, who would sing these sonnets and couplets, as a part of his daily chores at home, and would often end up explaining them to us. Kabir's poems essentially teach humility, religious tolerance and that faith leads us to be humble. In a world torn apart by religious strife today, Kabir's writings take on even more relevance.

To take a peek into what the couplets are like, and if they could be incorporated into our curriculum, click on the related link.

Related link :

Monday, May 21, 2007


With problems like obesity, diabetes, and other chronic ailments affecting children, it is high time we started giving diet, and eating habits that extra attention. Even in schools a proper effort should be made to drive children into knowing more about health foods, and a diet which is nutritionally complete. Gone are the days when ma’s and grandma’s added that extra sugar, into the child’s daily ‘dose’ of milk, or gave salt to have with fruits etc., to make it tastier or edible to the child. These are habit forming and they stay on life long, creating problems later on in life. In fact one does not have to wait to get to their thirties or forties to experience severe ill health. It starts much early on in life nowadays and that is the reason why we must stress on diet foods for children also. Tubby girls and boys with paunches is a common sight. Why? Are they lacking in enough exercise or is it that they are not aware of the right kinds of foods. There are too many temptations in the market too to blame young children. The media is a powerful tool in today’s world and affects choices. What with cokes, chips, sweets of all varieties, junk food, and foods with preservatives hitting the market stands making it difficult for the child to resist. Very often disruptive behaviors of children are linked to poor food habits. Therefore the quality of foods that we provide to our children is important. It is essential to know what sort of a diet is normal. Our own attitudes and behaviors around eating and our body appearances can serve as a model for children. Our children are our future, it is our duty to nurture them and work hard in helping them form good habits.
As a teacher I take any given opportunity to speak on this issue with the children. Many bring money to schools to eat the savories (read junk food) from the canteen. Mothers also take their mornings easy as all they have to do is give the child money for the lunch break, rather than cooking some nutritious mid-day snack, which is wholesome as well as healthy. Canteens cater to the children’s tastes and sell what sells. Isn’t it high time that we incorporate talks on good diets and the ill-effects of a bad one? Actually maintaining a follow up? If from an early age children are conscious about health foods, the right habits shall be formed, which we realize are so important at a later stage when metabolism is slower and whatever we eat takes double the time to digest.
Doctors, dietitians, nutritionists, health freaks all are doing their bit to impart knowledge to the masses about avoiding junk food. Inculcating a taste for a healthy diet should start when small; it goes a long way in shaping healthful attitudes. Schools should participate in health programs, Canteens should do away with fatty foods, soft drinks, chips, and too much fried foods.
It could be taught how fats can block arteries, in the science class, in the Math class, one could teach children to count the calories of the foods they eat and determine how much they need to cut down or add. Outdoor activities should be packed with a lot of physical activity. Stress on exercise should be given. After all a healthy body houses a healthy mind. Schools and society at large benefit from happy healthy children. It would do well to enforce the “FAT TAX” as they call it, in other countries, and mean to keep the country on their toes literally. Overweight people after all do leave more carbon footprints on mother earth.
Some one sent me this article which is good information, especially mothers of young chidren. It featured in The Economist Magazine,

Jul 17th 2008

Eat your way to a better brain

CHILDREN have a lot to contend with these days, not least a tendency
for their pushy parents to force-feed them omega-3 oils at every
opportunity. These are supposed to make children brainier, so they are
being added to everything from bread, milk and pasta to baby formula
and vitamin tablets. But omega-3 is just the tip of the nutritional
iceberg; many nutrients have proven cognitive effects, and do so
throughout a person's life, not merely when he is a child.

Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a fish-loving professor of neurosurgery and
physiological science at the University of California, Los Angeles,
believes that appropriate changes to a person's diet can enhance his
cognitive abilities, protect his brain from damage and counteract the
effects of ageing. Dr Gomez-Pinilla has been studying the effects of
food on the brain for years, and has now completed a review, just
published in NATURE REVIEWS NEUROSCIENCE, that has analysed more than
160 studies of food's effect on the brain. Some foods, he concludes,
are like pharmaceutical compounds; their effects are so profound that
the mental health of entire countries may be linked to them.

Last year, for example, the LANCET published research showing that
folic-acid supplements--sometimes taken by pregnant women--can help
those between 50 and 70 years old ward off the cognitive decline that
accompanies ageing. In a study lasting three years, Jane Durga, of
Wageningen University in the Netherlands, and her colleagues found that
people taking such supplements did better on measures of memory,
information-processing speed and verbal fluency. That, plus evidence
that folate deficiency is associated with clinical depression, suggests
eating spinach, orange juice and Marmite, which are all rich in folic

Another suggestion from Dr Gomez-Pinilla's review is that people should
eat more antioxidants. That idea is not new. Antioxidants are reckoned
by many to protect against the general effects of ageing. Vitamin E,
for example, which is found in vegetable oils, nuts and green leafy
vegetables, has been linked (in mice) with the retention of memory into
old age, and also with longer life.

Dr Gomez-Pinilla, however, gives the antioxidant story a particular
twist. The brain, he observes, is peculiarly susceptible to oxidative
damage. It consumes a lot of energy, and the reactions that release
this energy also generate oxidising chemicals. Moreover, brain tissue
contains a great deal of oxidisable material, particularly in the fatty
membranes surrounding nerve cells.

That suggests, among other things, the value of a diet rich in berries.
These have been shown to have strong antioxidant effects, though only a
small number of their constituents have been evaluated in detail. One
group that has been evaluated, the polyphenols, has been shown in
rodents to reduce oxidative damage and to boost the ability to learn
and retain memories. In particular, these chemicals affect changes in
response to different types of stimulation in the hippocampus (a part
of the brain that is crucial to the formation of long-term memories,
and which is the region most affected by Alzheimer's disease). Another
polyphenol, curcumin, has also been shown to have protective effects.
It reduces memory deficits in animals with brain damage. It may be no
coincidence that in India, where a lot of curcumin is consumed (it is
the substance that makes turmeric yellow), Alzheimer's disease is rarer
than elsewhere.

Though the way antioxidants work in the brain is not well known, Dr
Gomez-Pinilla says it is likely they protect the synaptic membranes.
Synapses are the junctions between nerve cells, and their action is
central to learning and memory. But they are also, he says, the most
fragile parts of the brain. And many of the nutrients associated with
brain function are known to affect transmission at the synapses.

An omega-3 fatty acid called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), for example,
provides membranes at synaptic regions with "fluidity"--the capacity to
transport signals. It also provides "plasticity"--a synapse's capacity
to change. Such changes are the basis of memory. Since 30% of the fatty
constituents of nerve-cell membranes are DHA molecules, keeping your
DHA levels topped up is part of having a healthy brain. Indeed,
according to the studies reviewed by Dr Gomez-Pinilla, the benefits of
omega-3s include improved learning and memory, and resistance to
depression and bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, dementia,
attention-deficit disorder and dyslexia.

Omega-3s are found in oily fish such as salmon, as well as in walnuts
and kiwi fruit, and there is a strong negative correlation between the
extent to which a country consumes fish and its levels of clinical
depression. On the Japanese island of Okinawa, for example, people have
a strikingly low rate of mental disorder--and Okinawans are notable
fish eaters, even by the standards of a piscivorous country like Japan.
In contrast, many studies suggest that diets which are rich in trans-
and saturated fatty acids, such as those containing a lot of deep-fried
foods and butter, have bad effects on cognition. Rodents put on such
diets show declines in cognitive performance within weeks.

In the past few years, several studies have looked at the effect of
adding omega-3s to people's diets--particularly those of children. One
such, carried out in the British city of Durham, was controversial in
that it was funded by a maker of children's omega-3 supplements and did
not include a control group being given a placebo. Despite the
publicity this study has received, Ben Goldacre, author of a book
called "Bad Science" that includes an investigation of it, says the
results will not be released.

Work by other researchers, however, has suggested such supplements do
improve the performance and behaviour of school-age children with
specific diagnoses such as dyslexia, attention-deficit disorder and
developmental co-ordination disorder. Moreover, although more work is
needed to elucidate the effects of omega-3s on healthy school-age
children, Dr Gomez-Pinilla says that younger children whose mothers
took fish-oil supplements (which contain omega-3s) when they were
pregnant and while they were breast-feeding do show better cognitive
performance than their unsupplemented contemporaries.

Eating well, then, is one key to a healthy brain. But a word of
warning--do not overeat. This puts oxidative stress on the brain and
risks undoing all the good work those antioxidants have been up to. For
those who would like a little practical guidance, THE ECONOMIST has
some suggestions for dinner (see menu). So why not put the Nintendo
brain trainer away tonight, and eat your way to intelligence instead?

See this article with graphics and related items at

Monday, May 7, 2007

Poetry & Elocution

Writing good poetry is an art.But over the years only some have been appreciated and understood.Here is a list of some poems that I have tried in my four year old teaching career. Our school holds an elocution competition every year. The categories are Group Elocution (where the whole class recites a poem), and individual, where there are three children from each class. Usually in the individual category there are nine contestants, the prize is given to the first two. For the group, only one section from each class is the winner.

I have always strived to get unusual poems. It results in an extensive search at times (I quite like the whole process). I have got them all from books, people, and internet. Ultimately it is the student who has to be trained, it is a challenge at times, as we try to bring in newer students each time, and of course the credit goes to the child who has put forth the piece in an acceptable manner. I am proud to say that several of my students get prizes, but even those who don't, are happy to have been given a chance to participate and represent the class.

Here is the list. (For some poems I could not find the name of the writer.):

1.The Porcupine- Roald Dahl

2.The Three Little Pigs- Roald Dahl

3.Granny's tree Climbing- Ruskin Bond

4. Never Trouble Trouble- Fanny Windsor

5. The Congo- Vachel Lindsay

6. Song of the Sea- Barry Cornwall

7. Cloony the Clown- Shel Silverstein

8. The Louse and the Mosquito- Vikram Seth

9. Somebody's Mother- Unknown

10. The Mystic Weaver- Unknown

11. Carry On!- Robert Service

12. My Kingdom- Louisa May Alcott

13. Mothers of Men- Joaquin Miller

14. It Makes One Think- G.B.Shaw

15. The Law of the Jungle- Rudyard Kipling

16. Hymn Before Action- Rudyard Kipling

17 The boy who did not pass- unknown

18 The silent and the Dark- Meher Dhondy

19. The Cataract of Lodore- By Robert Southey

20. The Schoolboy- by William Blake

21. I Must go down to the sea- by John Masefield

22. The Builders- By Henry W. Longfellow

23. When papa was a boy- By E.A. Brininstool

24. Television- By Roald Dahl

I would really appreciate other choices for poems for elocution, if possible.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Road Ahead

I want to live/ I want to grow/ I want to see/ I want to know/ I want to share what I can give/ I want to be/ I want to live.....There are children raised in sorrow/ On a scorched and barren plain/ There are children raised beneath a golden sun/ Children of the water...There are children of the sand/ And they cry out through the universe/ Their voices raised as one...” -John Denver

Whenever we talk of education, e-learning, technology in education etc., there somewhere in my mind I wonder at the dualism of it all. Schools suddenly start looking unreal. Where can we move ahead if majority of the children are hardly educated? With all that talk of globalization, think of those villages where people still struggle for two square meals a day. Forget worrying about things like education. This disparity is heartbreaking. People talk of sharing knowledge. Also of creating such an educational atmosphere where teachers of ‘good schools’, should as part of their job go and teach/ take lectures in the ‘not so good schools’. It reminds me of some such decision of the government , which requires young medical pass-outs to go and practice in the villages, in the first few years. How much of that is fulfilled is debatable. So I think it could be voluntary.

Coming to statistics, I read somewhere, 35% of our people lack basic literacy, about 53% of our children drop out of school at the elementary level. And just a third of high-school students graduate. Sounds dismal. The drop out rate should be telling us something. Schools should not become a social problem. Now this kind of neglect on the part of the government is deplorable. There is a lot on paper to show-off, how much is implemented is the question.

Also it brings to mind that vocational training should be given more emphasis. There should be more skill centers, as one of the main objectives of educating society is employment. A new market for skill-learning needs to be opened up. The people enrolling for these centers should not have those demonic entrance exams. A certain kind of liberation is required from being enslaved to schooling and certificates attached. Industries/ offices/ business houses could open these skill-centers.

In the words of Professor Amartya Sen,”When people are illiterate, their ability to understand and invoke their legal rights can be very limited and educational neglect can also lead to other kinds of deprivation…..If we continue to leave vast sections of the people of the world outside the orbit of education, we make the world not only less just, but also less secure,”

With such a good picture of the Indian economy at present, do spare a chunk for education, and implement it at a war footing. Don’t lose sight of the desirable end result, and that is employment.

To end with John Denver’s song :

“We are standing all together/Face to face and arm in arm/We are standing on the threshold of a dream/No more hunger no more killing/No more wasting life away/ It is simply an idea/And I know the time has come........

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hey, Teachers!! Leave Us Kids Alone!!

In all the din being created about children, their education, and the control we think we have on their lives, how many of us take time out to actually LISTEN to them? What do they want? What kind of a school would they like to be in?

Of course with all the researches in psychology and Child Development which is getting more and more advanced, the education policies are focusing on the child, making the curriculum more child-centered. A general direction is being given and framed along which the policy makers would like to see future Indian schools to move on. A lot is being said about bookish learning which they say has to be substituted with a kind of learning which is applicable in every day life, and connects children with home and society. Having said that, I do not for a moment doubt that implementation of these newer standards are not being complied with by all schools across the board. We know the constraints both economical and 'related with the will to change', along with the wide Diaspora of cultural backgrounds our country is dealing with. Nevertheless we as teachers/educators should, I think, at least ask children their view point as to what kind of school they would want to be in. A school which has ‘no boundaries’, and a place where children are excited to be present everyday. Excitement is what children look for in their lives, it is an important ingredient in facilitating quicker learning. Our schools cater to anything but this emotion.

The teacher in a school-the vital link between children and society needs to play a very subtle role. The image of an ‘authoritarian’ instructor who expects ‘to tell’ children things is something of the past now. Children tire of being ‘told’ what to do, soon and school hours are full of such instructions. Children need to share a laugh with the teacher rather than at him/her. I for one advocate a lot of independence among children as in making them speak out as much as they want, don’t worry about the controlling bit, that comes slowly, they learn to understand their limits. I read a book recently called ‘The School that I’d Like’, edited by Edward Blishen. It is an ‘old-time’ book, published by Penguin Education in 1969. I shall post a few comments of children, for you to understand their view point and also decide whether the situation has changed, if so, how much. What could be the reasons if nothing much has been able to change up till now?

Comment By A 17 Year Old: “give me the school where discipline, regimentation and good manners are not everything. We would rather have a school where we can talk on equal terms with our teachers on sex, morals, ethics, royalty, religion etc. We want a school where teaching will be equated with a perpetual quest for truth, beauty, and integrity. A school where personality and brain-building come first and diplomas or certificates last. After all , a diploma or a degree is not a perfect vaccine against stupidity.”

By a 16 yr. old :” Our school is like a machine- churn, churn, churn- comes out a genius, a stuffed puppet, reeling off facts and dates and predigested ideas at the pull of a string, wondering if it was really worth it and if it is really intelligence.Boredom, so many pairs of vacant eyes regarding with a hollow stare the woman at the front of the room who does the churning. Minds too apathetic to think, bodies too lethargic to do anything but sprawl over desks and carve names, with infinite care, on the lids…..”

By an 18 yr. old : Above all, education should be exciting. No educated person can claim boredom amidst so much knowledge. School life should be crammed with interest-the buildings too. Yet nothing is more depressing than the average buff-colored classroom!! Revolution must break out, they must be invaded by novel color schemes and different architectural styles, taken over by paintings and sculptures. No two should look alike. The pupils should have more freedom in the planning and execution of form, room decoration and gardening. Excitement should be injected into school, so that one is completely surrounded by it.”

By a 15 yr old: “The fault with a lot of schools today is that teachers are not prepared to listen. There is a teacher at our school who is very keen on discussions until somebody makes a point which she is unable to explain, and she gets angry and tells us to sit down. I think that’s the attitude of most teachers today. They don’t mind discussing various topics as long as it ends up with them being able to prove a point to you and not the other way.”

By a 15 yr old: “Respect for the pupil is just as important as respect for the teacher, because after a young person’s opinion has been disregarded three or four times the child may never express an opinion again.”

By a 15 yr. old: “I see no point in separating the sexes- after all, they have to know the horrid truth about each other one day, so why not at secondary level? Anyway one-sex schools seem to be against the laws of nature.”

By a 16 yr. old: “What a bore school is, the same as it has been for hundreds of years. What we get is the same old thing – teacher, outdated books, and a class fed up to the teeth with the teacher and the school. What we need is one vast change in the education system of this country. Children do not want to be taught at, but to find out things for themselves. If a child is interested in the way a dogfish’s heart works, let him go and find out , by cutting one up.”

By a 13 yr. old; “If children are to be taught solely by stereotyped machines, are we not in grave danger of producing mechanical, stereotyped children? The place of the human, individual teacher must always remain secure to provide a contrast to machine teaching.”

By a 14 yr old: “I would use computers in my ideal school as I feel that this would cancel out any teachers errors and this would mean that no child’s education would be impeded by a teacher who is slow or not experienced.”

By a 17 yr. old: “ Modern equipment? To me. it’s sheer poppycock. We want intelligent teachers and not machines. It is the poor doctor who hides behind a whole gamut of patent drugs.”

By a 15 yr. old: “The first step must surely be to raise teachers’ salaries by at least fifty percent to recruit top class personnel to the profession. And the only means of doing this is by offering salaries commensurate with their responsibility in shaping the hopes of tomorrow and competitive with those offered by industry. Furthermore it is imperative that teaching staff be relieved of extra duties.”

Well, I leave you to ponder and mull over this. I am aware many issues several schools are considering. But that is for you to decide and see around you…HOW MANY?