As we move into the third millennium, Three Theory, which started out as a simple seminar paper given at the University of Aretxabaleta (a small town in the heart of The Basque Country), continues its relentless march up through Europe and into Asia . . .
The central tenet of Three Theory states that, "People, and teachers in particular, tend to think in threes", as is borne out by empirical observation. If you can't be bothered with "empirical observation", just have a look at the facts . . .
- Most schools divide their year into 3 terms.
- School terms are about 3 months long.
- School staff form 3 natural groups: bosses, teachers and admin.
- There are 3 kinds of bosses: the good, the bad and the ugly.
- There are 3 kinds of teachers: the good, the bad and the hopeless.
- There are 3 kinds of administrators: the good, the bad and the petty.
- There are 3 kinds of students: swots, skivers and survivors.
- Most classes have 3 parts: a beginning, a middle and an end.
- Time is divided into 3: past, present and future.
- You can say the same thing in English in at least 3 ways. (Really? Oh yeah? Can you?)
- Teaching is 3 times more stressful than any other profession.
- Teachers are 3 times more irritable than "normal" people.
- Most teenage classes contain 3 giggling girls and 3 goggling boys.
- Teachers usually have to repeat their instructions 3 times.
- Students need at least 3 attempts before they get it right.
- The average teacher sleeps just 3 hours every night.
- Most teachers' cars have 3 pedals: accelerator, brake and clutch.
- There are 3 meals in a day. Most teachers consider themselves lucky if they get 2.
- Most lists end with 3 et ceteras and/or 3 points, etc, etc, etc . . .
By way of an afterthought, you might be interested to hear that the founder of Three Theory, who first presented his findings at the age of 33, is one Terry O'Heeth, a name which, by an even more remarkable stroke of fate, is a perfect anagram of Three Theory.