It's 48 years ago this month that I had a letter published in the Times Educational Supplement. I was a PGCE student at the time and on school placement (teaching practice), and I hoped that no one at my comprehensive school would notice. They didn't; or if they did, they kept stumm.
I wrote in response to a letter defending corporal punishment in schools. The writer had both mis-attributed a quote and got hold of the wrong end of the stick completely – something a teacher beating a child would never do.
The quote was: "Pale Ebernezer thought it wrong to fight, but Roaring Bill (who killed him) thought it right."
It's obviously a critique of pacifism, and it's by Belloc. I just pointed this out whilst getting in a few well chosen points about the scandal that corporal punishment still existed in schools.
Almost 50 years on, I'm published again in the TES – now in quite a different format. This is an article written at the behest of Teach the Future to mark their parliamentary reception to persuade parliamentarians that we need a Climate Emergency Education Plan, so that students can learn to lead more sustainably than the current generation has been. You'll find it here. Even the somewhat clichéd image that went with it was apt as it was International Polar Bear Day on Thursday.
Unlike my letter in 1972, this article didn't survive the editors intact. But, no matter, the major points are there and I hope will help the students' cause – as it is everyone's interests.