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  • Writer's pictureTracey Lee

A Wigwam for a Goose's Bridle?

What in the prodifudulation is that? Something indecipherable and incomprehensible. Well for many teachers across Australia it’s report time. Either we are writing them or engaging in hard edits of our best efforts because what we have written does not quite meet the current paradigm of education-speak. We are now asked to write about outcomes, meeting criteria and expected say very little about what we know about our students. So I thought in the spirit of covfefe (thanks President Trump) I’d have a go at making up some words that would go well in a school report.

Conglaffigation, collywallyoxed, pollypoggiation, twankied, hagdonation! These are just a few that come to mind. Used thusly: Ralph’s conglaffigation of the discipline system continues to mystify most staff. Despite her collywallyoxed attempts at assignment work we are still know you are doing her homework. The pollypoggiation of her science experiment has left only half the class with injuries. He twankied his way through the final exam. Fleur should discontinue the hagdonation of her work books.

I’m suggesting that any random collection of letters that can be more or less pronounced should find their way into school reports. Despite their lack of definition, somehow the meaning just seems clear.

Or how about using common words in to expatiate our meaning? Boris’ essay was both kaftan and safari suit in nature. It covered many things but fooled no one about the substance beneath and used offensively outdated sources! Or popular culture: Leanne’s inability to master algebra was only surpassed by her attempts to Jedi-knight her way through a semester’s non-submission of homework. “You have my homework; you know I submitted my homework.”  Or a show-tune or two: Margaret has a Zip-a-dee-doo-dah approach to learning activities but she would be better served by a Bare Necessities grasp of language.

I could go on. There’s certainly room for a number of football or sporting metaphors. Popular culture references, super heroes, reality television shows? All might be used in the proliferation of the school report.

My favourite, however, would be…a bit of truth. One day I’d like to write a report that says:

Despite my best efforts I have not taught your child much this semester; however he continues to impress me with his untapped genius,

        his poet’s soul and his expansive kindness. I will try not to ruin that in my attempt to squeeze him through a system not suited to his gifts.

To teachers everywhere; write on and never ever give up!

PS Dear President Trump this blog is not using real words either; but to contribute to your covfefe presidency I hereby unreservedly give permission for you to use them all in you communications with the world. We all need a good laugh.

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