Touchline Experts

Please be aware and beware……..

Beware the armchair expert.

Beware the touchline expert.

Beware the backseat driver.

Beware the ivory tower commentator.

Beware of the blagger.

Beware of the self-branded, self-appointed and self-anointed experts.

Just watch out for these people. They pretend to be certain but seldom are.

What is certain is that schools and teachers are quite used to the ‘experts’ chipping in, chirping up and throwing in their two-penneth.

But these are normally from people that have never even worked in a classroom.

Very occasionally, someone does actually make a valid point but this tends to be once in a blue moon.

But the real experts are the people that work in frontline positions dealing with the coal-face on a daily basis.

We don’t know who said the following but it really does summarise what teachers are having to put up with at the moment…..the pandemic posturing.

“The beaver is very skilled at its craft. 

It knows exactly what to do to fix a dam.

The last thing it needs is someone on the bank shouting out dam instructions.” 

These bank bellowers are people who know what’s best for schools based pretty much on their own political leanings rather than what the science might be saying. I’m talking here about union leaders, especially the Corbynistas of the NEU. Their mission is only to disrupt the system for political gain.

I’ve written about dam experts before and I quote a little of my own work below again.

I mention the observations of Hywel Roberts (2012) in Oops! Helping Children Learn Accidentally. He says that we should give these ‘experts’ some sort of credibility litmus test.

Quite often we might encounter a so-called expert on the TV or radio. They are often being consulted over something they have limited knowledge and experience of. Yet, with a confident enough voice and the body language to match, they pull it off.

Roberts gives us 5 examples of experts that we need to be wary of and treat what they have to say with a pinch of salt:

  1. Greying academics
  2. Failed teachers
  3. Politicians
  4. Grown-ups
  5. Parents

Roberts advises us to steer clear of these folks and give them a wide berth. Why? Well, they will always have something to say and they will know better than you and more besdies….not.

Of course, we need to add Edu-Tweeters to the list because they are always sharing their expertise and have a need for doing so. They thrive on being right and telling you are wrong. They also thrive on turning their opinion into the only one that matters and recruit Twitter-attack dogs to eat you alive if you disagree.

Then there are Edu-journalists – now one or two of these have actually worked in a school but only for a few years and so that gives them no insight whatsoever.

And yes, who can forget the Edu-Consultants, a band of misfits who have all bailed from the frontline on grounds of insanity.

Experts are everywhere but none of them are actually in the places where the real action is taking place.

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