Occasionally, actually quite often if you’re me, you say things in class which get far more of a reaction than you anticipated. One of those moments came recently, when I suggested that an engagement ring was a symbol of ownership, not so different from a brand on a cow, if you thought about it.
‘Silence invaded the room’, as Steinbeck might have said.
The students were either reappraising their world-views, or they were reappraising me. It’s never easy to tell which.
Sooner or later, it’s perhaps inevitable that readers of The Merchant of Venice confront one question:is this an anti-Semitic play?In fact, lots of people seem to have a view without having seen or read the play.
Occasionally, teacher good luck messages and the valedictories get a bit mawkish or twee (and wearing my heart on my sleeve, I’m probably as guilty of this as others). That said, I still want to write one for my Y13s.
Men in great place […] have no freedom; neither in their persons, nor in their actions, nor in their times. It is a strange desire, to seek power and to lose liberty: or to seek power over others, and to lose power over a man’s self. [a]
If beginnings feel tricky (until you read this, naturally), then signing off an essay can feel just as daunting, and it’s equally important. Faced with the time pressure of writing an additional half paragraph of analysis only to finish mid-
-sentence, or writing a strong conclusion, I know which one I’d choose every time.