My publishers, Reedham & Wheap, who handled my bestseller ‘How to Break your Dependency on self-help Books in just 12 Weeks’, tell me that since the publication of The Battle Cry of the Tiger Teachers they have received a number of similar submissions, many critical of the Tiger Teachers’ approach. Their main criticism is that Katherine Birbalsingh and her colleagues are simply too wishy washy, too liberal and too progressive. Mr Wheap showed me the following, which he has slated for publication later in 2017. I print it here in summary form only. You will have to wait for the publication of the full 730 page volume. You will also note from the wrongly addressed letter that accompanied it, that this school also sent the manuscript to a number of other publishers in order to give it the best chance of being published.
Dear Mr Faber or Mr Faber (depending on who opens the post),
I enclose a treatment for the book we discussed. If you are happy with it I will get the staff to use our next training day to expand this into a full book.
Ms Faisisteach Bhurraidh Head Teacher, founder and holder of the Google-Translate Chair of Gaelic studies
The Yapping of the poodle teachers
(Or why you should do it our way)
Introduction by the head teacher.
From the day I arrived on the planet and, blinking, stepped into the sun I realised there’s more that progressive educationalists do wrong than can ever be seen, more for me to do to set them right than can ever be done. There are far too many wrong headed people to put right here. More to teach than can ever be taught. My traditional Gaelic upbringing gave me the strength to realise that one Faisisteach Bhurraidh was never going to be enough. If I was to make my mark on the world I was going to have to create many others in my own image…
As soon as I came into education 7 years ago I realised that everybody was doing everything wrong. By pointing this out at every opportunity I not only made lots of friends but also helped the schools I worked in to improve to such an extent that they felt they no longer needed my services, but I also soon found myself, through ruthlessly cultivating powerful political patronage, in a position to set up a school where everything is done the right way, and yes I am not afraid to say that there is only one right way,which I practise, and lots of wrong ways, which others practise. I have since gathered round me loud and outspoken young teachers who it has been my pleasure to tutor in the right things to be loud and outspoken about. I am pleased to report that they have all developed individual and personal visions of education which are identical to my own. Having spent 18 months working together we have amassed enough experience and expertise to tell everyone else how to run their schools. It is my pleasure to present their controversial, visionary and above all correct, blueprint for how education should work in every school in the nation. Though I should first explain how we overcame our first challenge together: What should we call this mould breaking institution. Then it came to me as a vision. The perfect name for the school that would revolutionise education. The rest of the team made their contribution by agreeing that it was a brilliant idea, and thus was forged from the fire and ice of our determination, the greatest school this nation, even this planet, has ever seen, the one school to find them, one school to guide them and in the darkness lead them. We had created the mighty Michehtaka School, the Free School to last for a thousand years!
Thus, after years of uninterrupted work, I have now been afforded for the first time an opportunity to embark on a task insisted upon by many and felt to be serviceable to the movement by myself. Therefore, I resolved not only to set forth, in two volumes, the object of our movement, but also to draw a picture of its development. From this more can be learned than from any purely doctrinary treatise. That also gave me the opportunity to describe my own development, as far as this is necessary for the understanding of the first as well as the second volume, and which may serve to destroy the evil legends created about my person by the progressive press.
With this work I do not address myself to strangers, but to those adherents of the movement who belong to it with their hearts and whose reason now seeks a more intimate enlightenment. I know that one is able to win people far more by the spoken than by the written word, and that every great movement on this globe owes its rise to the
great speakers and not to the great writers. Nevertheless, the basic elements of a doctrine must be set down in permanent form in order that it may be represented in the same way and in unity. In this connection these two volumes should serve as building stones which I add to our common work.
Ms Faisisteach Bhurraidh
Head Principal, Founder, Supreme Leader and Head of Gaelic/Google translate Studies
The Michehtaka School Approach to Managing Behaviour
Deputy Head Mr Ed Youkate
Unlike other schools we at Michehtaka want children to behave well. While others are content to allow children to riot round their classrooms, setting fire to the displays and ritually sacrificing the class hamster, our staff insist that children don’t do this. It may not be considered trendy in this politically correct era to have high expectations of behaviour, but we find it effective.
A typical day in my classroom:
9.00 registration, children answer without swearing, abusing each other, drinking alcohol, taking drugs or throwing items round the room
9.00 10.00 children sit and refrain from firebombing the resources cupboard.
10.30 Playtime. Nobody dies and unlike in so called progressive schools, no paramedics are required either!. We achieve this by using ideas other would do well to copy. We have teachers on ‘duty’ who enforce ‘rules’ that govern behaviour. They don’t just watch children commit crimes and encourage them to bully each other as happens in some other schools I could mention. These are dreadful places where you can rarely walk past playground fences without seeing a jeering bunch of teachers shouting ‘Fight! Fight! Fight!’ and placing bets on the outcome as they crowd round an unfortunate pair of grubby bare footed children with raised fists. And so the day continues, but not just in classrooms. Conduct in corridors is exemplary too. We pride ourselves that committing murder or robbery, assault and battery are against the rules in our corridors and, unlike in less enlightened schools these things only happen rarely.
How do I achieve this minor miracle? Quite simple really; I have been teaching 13 months and in this time I have picked up from our inspirational head all the techniques I’ll ever need to help manage poor behaviour. I use these and my hard earned experience to ‘control’ my class. I know a lot of progressive teachers will be shocked to hear me use the C word in this way, but I am not ashamed to say that I do control my class’s behaviour!
That is why I count my blessings that I work at an orderly school, like Michehtaka, rather than a school that does not believe children should be well behaved. Our approach is fully evidence based and builds on solid research papers including a very insightful and damning 1954 study by William Golding that shows that children don’t have any desire for order and that unless it is stamped into them they are capable of terrible acts. In spite of this and the terrible fate of one of the children in this study, simply referred to as Pigg, many progressive schools fail to comprehend the problem as well as we do, and continue to employ weak ineffective ‘child centred’ strategies. Many question whether Golding et al should have allowed their experiment to run to its full conclusion, but I for one am grateful for his determination to see it through and provide academic rigour to our policies. The Michehtaka solution to behaviour management is simple: If you want children to behave you just have to decide what you want them to do and just tell them to do it! And you know what? They do!
By Miss Thepoint
Junion Teacher in charge of teaching
At Michehtaka we don’t do ‘learning’ it is a weak and ineffective ‘progressive’ myth. At Michehtaka we do ‘Teaching’. Now I know that this is something that has gone out of fashion with modern progressive teachers, but we feel that it is an essential part of a teacher’s job.
So what do we teach children then? I hear you ask, and this is one of the big questions we wrestled with at Michehtaka for a long time until Ms Bhurraidh told us the simple answer. We then abandoned the failed policies of decades of ineffective progressive modern theory and teach children facts, just facts and nothing but facts. It’s as simple as that. The only other option would be to teach them no facts at all. But where would we be then? If you don’t teach facts how do they know where the dinner hall is*, or the playing fields? I remind my class of these facts every day, first thing in the morning, and they never go astray. Not like in so-called progressive schools where children can wander about for weeks failing to ‘discover’ where the dinner hall is. If only their teachers followed the Michehtaka way and realised they could just tell them. Studies have repeatedly shown that if you want to teach a child something you just have to decide what you want them to learn and just tell them to learn it! And you know what? They do!
*which is a truth progressive teachers can’t handle.
School Dinners at Michehtaka
We may be unique among schools in believing that children need to be fed, but recent research by Oliver et al has supported our view that without food children are in danger of starving to death. This is one thing that parents who send their children to other schools fail to take account of, and by not sending their children to Michehtaka school they put their children in danger of malnutrition and themselves in danger of being prosecuted for neglect. Now I’m not saying that it would be fair to do that, after all we only have 2000 places in the school. However those who are in our catchment and could send their children to Michehtaka but negligently choose to send them elsewhere should face the full force of the law.
If only the other schools could learn from us. The Michehtaka solution is simple! We find that if you want a child to eat dinner, decide what you want them to eat and then just tell them to eat it! And you know what? They do!
by Ms Sue C O Path
We believe there is no such thing as a troubled family, just families who have not yet been indoctrinated into the Michehtaka way. All families are welcome at our school but sadly some, having failed to live up to our high expectations, rather than change their ways choose to go to schools that don’t challenge them, and where their children will be ‘happy’ and develop that worst of afflictions, a lifelong love of learning, become hoodlums, socialists or other kinds of undesirables. The Michehtaka solution is simple: If you want families to mend their ways you need to give them a list of all they are doing wrong and what they need to do to be more acceptable to you and then just tell them to do it. And you know what? They do!
The Life Long Love of Learning Myth
By Deputy Head of Curriculum Mr Si Kho-path
Let’s be clear here, no one likes learning, it’s not fun and in fact it is pure drudgery. Even reading this is sheer torture for you, and writing it for me doubly so. Let’s face it no one reads books for pleasure. I don’t and I am pretty sure that you don’t either. Some people might pretend they do when lying on sun loungers in Lanzarote but really they are just pretentious so-called ‘intellectuals’ showing off. For most us this attitude was formed when we were children or even before birth, and it is our responsibility to ensure that this tradition should be kept up for every new child. At Michehtaka it is not our mission to instil in children a love of learning. While we do want children to learn and achieve while at the school and give us good data, what they do later is of no interest or concern to us, and frankly their problem, unless they make great successes of their lives and we can use it in publicity. If you ask our children if they are happy in school they will tell you they are and that they love school. They do this because they know that if they depart from the agreed forms of words then they are unlikely to remain ‘happy’ or ‘in school’ for very long. The Michehtaka solution is simple: If we want children to feel a particular way about our school we simply decide how we want them to feel, and just tell them to feel it! And you know what? They do!
by Ms Faisisteach Bhurraidh Head Teacher
The King James Bible, as kindly provided by the inestimable Mr Gove, describes ‘ visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me.’ At Michehtaka we consider that this would be a pretty despicable and unfair principle upon which to run a school and we would happily condemn all the schools who do, after all we are, above all, a humanitarian institution. At Michehtaka, unlike many other state schools, we utterly reject this unfair principle, we only visit the inequities of parents on one further generation. For example, if a parent does not pay for school dinners we merely display their child in the school stocks until they pay. We generously concede that there is no need to pay lunch money during this period as the child can get the required nutrition from the rotten food thrown at them. We are aware that this provides a loophole whereby children who are being brought up by grandparents can get away with not paying. We have engaged a team of lawyers at a very reasonable rate to rewrite the policy to find a way round this. The Michehtaka solution is simple: If we want to engender a culture in which parents pay for dinners on time all we have to do is find out how much they owe and tell them to pay it! And you know what? They do!
Staff car parking
Mr P Dantick
At Michehtaka we only recruit well organised teachers. Therefore, unlike in so called progressive schools, if you visit us you will find our cars neatly parked in bays in the car park, rather than abandoned randomly in the surrounding streets. This is an arrangement that my 8 months teaching at Michehtaka suggests that all schools should adopt. I know that less enlightened management teams will face opposition from so-called ‘progressive’ teachers in trying to implement this, but this is one area in which the traditional method really is the best. More importantly it brings you one step nearer to ‘being like Michehtaka’ which should be the ambitions of all schools. If a candidate interviewing for a job at our school parks untidily they should be shown the door before they even have time to take their coat off. In any case they’d probably just throw it on the floor, eat all the biscuits and urinate in the stationary cupboard. These are teachers our school can live without. At Michehtaka we have a simple solution to these kinds of teachers. If they need to leave we just tell them to leave! And you know what? They do!
Work life balance
Miss Tick-Megg teaching in charge of Futurologist department
We have to ensure that our staff are not over worked. They must have leisure to take part in health giving non school related activities such as writing books and defending the school on twitter. It is really important for their health, and the health of their children and pets who we have in a secure camp in South America, that they have time to do these things properly. That is why we make sure that the children and families that take up such a lot of their time are encouraged to attend other schools who are weak enough to put up with their nonsense. We only accept high achieving and photogenic SEN children. At Michehtaka we have a simple solution to work life balance. If we want staff to have a life we simply tell them to have it! And you know what? They do!
Miss Informed, assistant head in charge of media studies and advertising.
We have a strong blame culture at Michehtaka. It is part of who we are. It is part of our DNA, if you like part of what what makes us not just the greatest school in the uk, but in the whole world. On the staffroom wall we have what Ms Bhurraidh likes to call the ‘hierarchy of blame’. It’s not set in stone, but if anything does go wrong it guides us on where to look first for the blame. It’s something we recite at the start of every staff meeting. It goes like this: progressives, trade unions, education bloggers, education ‘experts’, parents, children, the government, our staff, Michael Gove.
When something goes wrong we just work out way down the list from the top until Ms Bhurraidh head recognises the culprit.
The most recent time we applied it was when the toilet hadn’t been flushed. We followed the hierarchy and only needed to get to the first group. Immediately we took action and banned all visits from teachers, citing safeguarding. The Michehtaka way of doing publicity is very straightforward. If we want the press to blame someone else for something that’s gone wrong then we just tell them to print it. And you know what? They do!
By Deputy Head of Curriculum Mr Si Cho-path
But what about marking, you may ask. How much marking do we do? The answer will blow your socks off. Quite literally! Here it comes! Are you ready for this? We don’t do any! Can you believe that? I’ll say it again but louder this time. At MICHEHTAKA WE DON’T DO ANY MARKING. It’s hard to believe I know, but it is the simple truth. Other than in the children’s books, worksheets and homework we do absolutely no marking at all! Isn’t that great, don’t you just want to join us? Think of all the saved time, think of all the progressive teachers across the country wasting their time slaving into the night when they could be on twitter. We have done extensive research, based the work of Hattie and her seminal study with Eric Sykes, which strongly suggests we are right to adopt this approach. In the time saved we gather together to write hymns in praise of our glorious leader which we sing in assembly. We don’t have to do this, but the Michehtaka solution is simple. Ms. Bhurraidh just tells us to compose them. And do you know what? We do!
Mr F. Renchfries who has refused to write his piece on this subject will be in permanent lunchtime exclusion until he submits it, or his family pay his fees, or ransom as we call it at Michehtaka. Any further individuality displayed on his behalf will lead to further trips in the school field, like the one that has currently laid him up with a broken leg. Meanwhile Ms Bhurraidh says ‘This may be an unfashionably traditional attitude but I think it is important to bring back the same number of children, and ideally the same ones, that we left with. So called progressive schools may abandon children to their fates, but at Michehtaka we hold ourselves to a higher standard.’
By Ms Faisisteach Bhurraidh head teacher etc etc
This book will help fund our support for pupil premium pupils in two ways. Firstly it funds our teachers going on home visits to familiarise themselves with the kinds of homes we don’t want to draw children from, and secondly the printing costs of the pamphlet they take with them on these visits entitled ‘Why you child might be better suited to the school down the road’.
by deputy head of publishing Mr Ed Youkata
I have asked round the staff and no one knows what this means, so it’s safe to assume it’s not an important idea. It seems there are only two types of teachers, those who know what false dichotomy means and those who have not wasted their time on irrelevant left wing theoretical nonsense.I have been teaching nearly 3 years and as such have learnt all there is to know about education and I have never heard this expression. I fervently believe that anything I have not heard of is not worth knowing so that is all I have to say on the subject of false dichotomies. I now see it as my mission to pass on all I have learnt, to become a teacher of teachers a guru who will bring enlightenment where there was previously only progressive chaos. Our Michehtaka solution is simple. So when our staff hear irrelevant expression like false dichotomy, creativity or child centred learning I just tell them to ignore them. And do you know what? They do!
Being a Governor at Michehtaka
By Miss Elfpublizizt
It is my pleasure to be a governor at Michehtaka school and be surrounded on a day to day basis by enthusiastic and brave teachers who, though I have never met them due to being extremely busy running my celebrity advertising agency and writing my daily Mail column, I am told, love working in the school and are totally dedicated to the children’s data. Unlike the rabble of lazy teachers in so-called progressive schools our staff want the children to succeed in useful academic subjects, rather than just picking up socialistic Trotskyite anti
-establishment attitudes which will make companies such as mine have to pay them minimum wage in future. The Michehtaka way is simple and right! If we want our pupils to grow up to become compliant citizens we just tell them to do what they’re told. And do you know what? They do!
An afterword by the Head Teacher
So there you have it. Written by a group of experts in the field with a combined teaching experience of nearly 25 years, you have in your hands a manual for how all schools should be run. Our staff came to Michehtaka with disparate ideas and visions of how education should work, but through my rigorous induction process they have now seen the light, and all unswervingly share my one true path to educational enlightenment. I can think of no better way to end this glorious book than with a burst of our wonderful school song:
Tomorrow Belongs To Michehtaka
The sun on Michehtaka is summery warm
The poodle in the forest runs free
But gathered together to lead the storm
Tomorrow belongs to Michehtaka
The branch on the linden is leafy and green
The head shines her gold on the sea (Gold on the sea)
But somewhere a glory awaits unseen
Tomorrow belongs to Michehtaka
Now Michehtaka, Michehtaka, show us the sign
Your children have waited to see
Tomorrow belongs to Michehtaka
The morning will come
When the world is Michehtaka’s
Tomorrow belongs to Michehtaka
Tomorrow belongs to Michehtaka
Tomorrow belongs to Michehtaka
Tomorrow belongs to Michehtaka
The Lion King, The Circle of Life – lyrics by Tim Rice
The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
Mein Kampf (introduction) A Hitler
The Lord of the Flies By William Golding
A Few Good Men screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Jamie’s Dinners By Jamie Oliver
King James Bible, Deuteronomy 5:9
Forrest Gump script by Eric Roth
Cabaret soundtrack Tomorrow Belongs to Me: writers John Cander/Fred Ebb