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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Power showers and spot lights and not-green schools

Why are builders of new houses still installing power showers and spot lights? Aren't we all supposed to be saving energy? Isn't Tony Blair urging us all to turn our heating down a degree (assuming a day will come when it's cold enough to require the radiators on again)? I wonder why he doesn't tell them they have to behave themselves and act responsibly. And he should ban cheap flights. In fact, he should ban flights altogether.

While I'm on the subject -

I was just thinking about how un-green our school has become. Instead of "modelling good practice" (as they say in teacher training college) the primary school I work at is becoming more and more environmentally unfriendly.

Instead of blackboards we have "interactive white boards". These can only be written on and viewed when connected to a computer and projector. The classroom, which has two walls built almost entirely of windows, has had to have blinds installed and these are lowered virtually all day as the screen cannot be seen in the bright daylight.

There are insufficient text books, and photocopied sheets are used extensively. Photocopying is a major part of my job as teacher's assistant. Children are no longer expected to write out sentences in their workbooks - this is too arduous and boring for them. Rather, they fill in isolated words on their photocopied worksheets.

A great deal of display work is laminated. This means encapsulating sheets of A3 or A4 paper in a plastic envelope and heating it so the plastic melds together. The idea is to make the paper more durable, but it also makes it unrecyclable. Often the laminated document does not need to be durable, as it is lost by the time it is needed again the following year or it has become redundant.

Children waste huge amounts of paper in their excercise books by not being encouraged to work tidily (especially in maths) and not being chastised for starting a clean page every time they start a new lesson.

School trips never use public transport (even though our village is on the mainline railway). The children are taken on visits by coach - apparently to minimise walking along dangerous roads.

But they get lessons on how the environment is changing. A case of, "Don't do as I do, do as I say." Here endeth the rant for the day.


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