Negative Correlations in Teaching

November 2, 2009

Correlation 1

Correlation 2


Correlation 4


  1. Brilliant!

    I’ve begun to notice my own trend in teaching: the more sure of themselves a teacher is, the worse they actually are.

    Some of the best teachers I work with are very modest. Some of the worst are arrogant.

    Unfortunately, in teaching, it’s not substance or evidence that counts, but arrogance and bull. My last boss could talk till the cows came home in meetings, peppering her speech with buzz words like “APP”, “AFL” and “personalised learning”. At the end of every meeting we scratched our heads, none the wiser about what she had spoken to us about for 1 hour or what we were meant to do. SMT loved her.

  2. Love it!

  3. Very good- even better than your Venn diagram on in-service days.

    I agree completely with Dave Higgins’ comments: Bullish, arrogant teachers who are verbose about their qualities tend to be bad practitioners whereas those who go quietly about their business with a modest intensity are often the best amongst us.

    Our current headteacher could talk the talk all day long and always punctuates his conversations with the latest trendy buzz words yet is unable to do his job properly.

  4. Loved this. Have been quite astounded as to how much ‘bigging yourself up’ gets results promotion wise.

  5. circumfrence of maternal ear ring vs likely academic achievement of child.

    length of ludicrous and expansive mission statement vs quality of the school.

  6. Oh my god do you work in my school, all of this is so true, after 11 years am finally learning to ignore all the bullshit, self promotion and mind games, over-analysing, precious that’s not my jobbers and the I can create an issue out of nothing-ers…………phew feel so much better.
    Am adding your page to my favourites, love itx

  7. I’m not sure the slope is always this steep, but you certainly have the direction right.

    • Erm … there is no scale on the axes, dude.

  8. The last graph is most relevant to me. Our district flew in “experts” from the other side of the country and put them up in local hotels to train us in a new writing program.

    When we returned to our schools the supply barons refused to give us the materials we needed. More realistically, we were ignored until we finally stopped asking.

  9. The last one is particularly true. During my PGCE a lot of the lectures would be awful and often the best speakers came as a complete surprise. Meanwhile, some of the most fantastic advice came from guest speakers who’d volunteered to come in during their own spare time.

    As a general rule, if someone has time to spare, they probably aren’t heavily involved in teaching. The people with the most practical understanding of the situation are the ones who AREN’T getting regularly booked (and paid) for their advice.

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