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Teachit staffroom roundup--hot topics.

Every now and again, something happens in the staffroom. After weeks, even months, of calm, somebody comes along and posts a small message that sparks off a big debate. 'The Nword in Steinbeck' is just such a thread. What begins as a message about one teacher's unease at using the 'N' word while teaching Of Mice and Men very quickly turns into a flurry of discussion about censorship, racism within the text, authorial intent and whether or not Of Mice and Men should be taught in schools. If you like heated discussion, flared nostrils and gritted teeth, then this is the thread for you.

Another blood pressure raising thread (albeit for very different reasons), is 'Worst department ever?' in which an experienced teacher states that he's never worked in a 'less inspiring environment' and asks for advice on various issues. A discussion about how to tackle numerous tricky problems soon morphs into a debate on a Head of Department's role and whether age really matters.

The discussion 'Why does poetry have to be so serious?' draws attention to the fact that a lot of the anthology or 'collected' poetry for schools is serious, even grim in tone. Trevor Millum challenges the staffroom users to come up with some serious yet witty poets. Click on the thread to add your suggestions to the list.

One great thing about the Teachit staffroom is that it enables English teachers from here there and everywhere, with a wealth of experiences from a wide range of schools, to compare notes and sound one another out on issues affecting their professional and personal lives. 'Academy threat please, please, please advise', touches on what happens to the teaching staff when a school is converted to an academy and invites other academy teachers with experience of similar situations to post their comments. This thread is a gentle reminder (not that we necessarily need one) of the fact that when a school is transformed or 'improved', there's often a price to pay for those who've invested in it over the years.

Sometimes threads catch on for reasons that are unknown to us here at Teachit. 'Your favourite weepie moments?' is just such a thread. Staffroom users have leapt at the chance to reveal the literature they found most tear jerking or sob inducing. A wealth of suggestions emerge, including Private Peaceful, Death of a Salesman and Andrea Ashworth's fantastic poetic memoir, Once in a House on Fire.
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Title Annotation:Secondary
Author:Hewitt, Lucy
Publication:NATE Classroom
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 22, 2008
Previous Article:Telling stories: teachit's narrative poetry resources.
Next Article:Tackling the language of narrative poems.

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