Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Why do teachers not make for better TV?

Asks the Guardian blog:
"Coming to your TV screen later this month - a glitzy new TV drama on BBC 1 from the makers of Footballers' Wives and Bad Girls - this time featuring the intertwining lives of the staff and pupils at a failing comprehensive school."
Remind me not to watch that; I always end up shouting at the telly and raising my blood-pressure...
"The key creator and writer of Waterloo Road is a former English teacher - Ann McManus - who taught in some of the toughest comprehensives in Glasgow and who believed that motivated and inspirational teachers are the key to raising educational standards."
Yeah, she has all the answers - that'll be why she's chucked teaching. The thrust of the piece is with such potentially good dramatic material, why aren't there more TV dramas about schools that are funky and sexy like ER or, er, Holby City. (Have to say I never watch hospital dramas. I used to work in one - a hospital, that is. It was full of sick people - not sexy at all.)
"Is it because blood and guts and romances between doctors and nurses ultimately make more fascinating viewing than disruptive kids and shenanigans in the staff room?"
Yup - sex and death, that's what it's all about, and there isn't much of that going on in schools. Plus the fact with hospital dramas is you've got doctors swishing about in white coats and stethoscopes, saving people's lives, being nice to tearful kids and having personal crises of various kinds. Women love that shit - either that or firemen. Sexist generalisation? Away you go and talk to someone who isn't your mother, why don't you? And what is there for the men, you might ask? Oh, think about it - I'm not spelling it out.

We teachers on the other hand don't save anyone's lives and we look like shit for the most part. There is no economic reason for this so I've concluded that most teachers, on average the shabbiest professionals on the face of the planet, think like me: what's the point in dressing up for this madness? Bit like breaking out the tux when you're on the Titantic after it's hit the iceberg. Plus if you wear a good suit it'll be completely fucked in a fortnight. I've worn ties that have lasted a single day.

Anyway, teacher's dramas shouldn't be attempted. I've only ever seen one I recognised. Certainly don't recognise anything from the 'Dead Poets Society' genre. If you've ever watched anything like that and thought it was reasonably intelligent or even meaningful, understand this: they're just Rambo movies for the Guardian/Radio 4 fraternity, they really are.

As for 'Teachers' that was good fun but nothing like a school. I'm happy to say that one of the main reasons for this is the average teacher of my acquaintance isn't as stupid as most of the characters on that show.

Nah, you need Julie Walters in that one where she took over from the guy who got stabbed to death in London (can't remember what it was called). The only thing I have ever recognised on TV that even resembled the truth. She didn't got to the bullshit Head Teacher's schmooze-fests conferences, she stayed in school, painted a yellow line down the corridor and said, "You keep to the left, you do not cross the line. End of Story". That's what's needed. And don't go getting your liberal knickers in a twist - the yellow line's one of those metaphor thingies, ok?

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