Last night I noticed a few folk on Twitter were guffawing at the antics of the Department of Education's twitterfeed (@educationgovuk), so I went to have a look. I've seldom been so astonished! It was churning out Orwellian epithets like besmirched, fetid sausages, one after the other, a constant flurry of grim tidings. 'Teachers participating in the NUT/NASUWT action are likely to be in breach of their contracts.' it opined, followed swiftly by the even more irrelevant 'Setting out a long list of activities that teachers should refuse to do doesn't empower teachers as professionals.' Indeed, I thought...and nor does berating us over the internet like a deranged troll. Then came the real doozy. This actually made me smile, so banal and parody-friendly was the tone: 'We will support any school that takes appropriate sanctions against this irresponsible industrial action.'
So says Mumra, arch nemesis of the Thundercats. Honestly, who on Earth do they think they're talking to? Just about every teacher I follow on Twitter (must be nearly a thousand now) seems to be a dedicated, hard-working, imaginative and clever individual. As such, what's the purpose of haranguing them over Twitter, the very tool they are using to improve their practice? Absolute madness. Obviously I accept that they worded it in such a way as to try and gain support from hard-working teachers, and yes, there are some in the profession who don't really help the situation much, but still: using Twitter in this way was misguided and ultimately foolish. It also made the Department for Education sound like it was run by daleks. (Thanks to @Wonderacademy for that one...) People tend not to enjoy being talked down to, and a Twitterfeed that could have been used to share good ideas and connect us to the government has now lost many teachers' respect.
So where now? Now that Big Brother has warned us all, and scared us back into Victory Mansions, what will happen next? I daren't even guess.