Jokes about literacy and numeracy: Or why I’d rather be a numeracy person.

I’m fortunate to work in what is possibly the least funny profession in the world. This is, of course, the field of adult literacy and numeracy education.

I know that literacy and numeracy education is the least funny profession in the world because when I asked google to search for “literacy” and “jokes” it came back with…

  • a definition for what a joke it.

Further proof supporting my hypothesis that literacy and numeracy education is the least funny profession in the world was confirmed today when I attended day one of the Literacy and Numeracy Symposium which is my industry’s annual event. I arrived late to catch part of the keynote speaker’s address.

Turns out he was being beamed in by YouTube clip from Canada. I’m afraid that he lost me on the first slide. It was  was projected 15 metres tall, and still had such small words that I could not read them.

Perhaps I should have Skyped in. Sorry, I had to leave. Life’s too short to listen to bad presentations.

Further proof of the fact that literacy and numeracy education is the least funny profession was evident later in the day, when I kicked off my presentation. Here was my first slide:

  • Literacy workshop in progress: Do not distrub

The room was packed. But no one got the joke. However, several people did laugh when I explained it to them.

Literacy and numeracy professional development with me for an hour. Yes. it’s the most legal fun you can have. And yes IASIA (I always speak in acronyms).

How to kill a conversation with anyone: Hi there! Working in literacy and numeracy isn’t nearly as dull as it sounds. Let me tell you in more detail about my work…

I’ve decided that literacy professionals are like customs officers. No jokes please: We’re working. At least custom officers have cute beagles. I didn’t see any cute Beagles at the conference.

Numeracy people on the other hand are much funnier. Evidence for this: the many websites of maths jokes. Just google “maths” and “jokes” My problem: can’t understand them.

But it’s possible that there are three kinds of literacy professionals. Those who can do numeracy and those who can’t.

Seriously though… Some of my best friends are literate and numerate. Well literate anyway.

It’s not that I’m not numerate it’s just that when I see all those numbers my brain just #^,*~>~e #@&$()?!…

How to lose friends and alienate people. Talk about your work in literacy and numeracy. That will terrify them for sure.

My parents don’t understand my work in literacy. I can’t explain what I do either. I tell them I work for the government. They think I’m a spy.

My clients don’t understand my work in literacy & numeracy. One recent group thought they were there to literacise. Another for numeracy. There you have it. Literacize and numberacy. Thanks guys.

How do you clear a room of literacy people? I asked this on Facebook. My brother suggested that I should run into the room and shout “Fire!” and run out. I had a better idea. I thought I’d run into the room and shout “there’s no funding for that”.

Or I could just open a maths book.

We need to make literacy and numeracy education sexy. I’ve been working on strategies for this. Try this one at home:
  • Honey, tell me again about decoding strategies for Latinate vocabulary such as botanical nomenclature (for e.g)? 

Ok. Literacy and numeracy may not be sexy but the adult learning progressions are quite explicit about oral text types

We literacy professionals. We do think we’re kind of special. It’s because we can read and write. We can’t explain how we do this but we’re happy to share our expertise anyway. You know what I mean.

I’m just thankful I don’t have a PhD. Having a PhD means you’re kind of autistic. If you know someone with a PhD you’ll know what I mean. Basically it’s like being retarded. I do speak NZQA as a second language though and that’s quite similar.

Anyway, I managed to get into the conference dinner for free tonight. Who ever said there’s no such thing as a free lunch. The literacy people have all gone home, but the maths and numeracy people are still there.

From what I can make out they’re all Irish. And drunk. Now they’re singing and they won’t stop.

Need a literacy professional? Phoneme on 0800-ALEC-1-2

Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

4 thoughts

  1. O M G
    W O T
    L O L
    Y E S ……
    It’s not that I’m not numerate it’s just that when I see all those numbers my brain just #^,*~>~e #@&$()?!…

  2. Could you possibly imagine working in literacy and numeracy and homeschooling!!!! Talk about the perfect storm.

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