Every year he moans

I see Rory Barrett is moaning again:

Teachers say the NCEA maths exams that thousands of students have just completed were riddled with mistakes and contradictions.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my life before,” said Rory Barrett, a maths teacher at Auckland’s Macleans College and former head of maths at one of the country’s top schools, Auckland Grammar.

He said he had trawled through each maths exam across NCEA levels 1, 2 and 3 and said there were contradictions and mistakes in at least five papers. He has made an official complaint with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), which adds to the pile it has received in the past two weeks.

Rory Barrett does this every year. He moans. But let me tell you about the Rory Barrett I was inflicted with as a maths teacher at Auckland Grammar.

I had Rory Barrett as my maths techers for a year. Well he was only the teacher of our class in name only. You see he only attended about a quarter of classes, almost never arranged a reliever and when he did attend he would sit up the front with his feet on teh desk and bellow at us that we were to do the exercises on page x and y in textbook b, in silence.

If there was something that you didn’t understand then you only ever asked for assistance once. That was because he would mock you mercilessly in front of the class. It was so bad that by the end of the year there were more of us wagging his classes that attending. But because he only rarely attended class you were really wagging just by being there.

Oh yes we were all told how lucky we were to have such an eminent teacher sharing his pearls of wisdom about maths. The reality was Rory Barrett was inept, lazy, and a bully.

He was more interesting in coaching sweaty boys in weightlifting and wrestling than attending classes. He did tell us all the time, when he bothered to turn up about his skills at weightlifting. Whooppee, all we really wanted was a teacher.

I wasn’t the only one who thought that a teacher reliving his past glories as a weightlifter and showing off his thighs to a class full of boys was just a little bit creepy.

People often ask me about my abiding loathing of the teaching profession and ask why. Rory Barrett is just but one reason.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.