Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Careers advice, anyone?

I reckoned that my seven-year-old son would be able to dispense as good advice as anyone else so I asked him what I should do instead of teaching.

He suggested ballet lessons - so maybe not, then.

It's just that - apart from anything else - I'm running out of schools in this part of the world that I'm prepared to go to. Glasgow has twenty-nine schools and I recently worked out that I've been in eighteen of them - along with about half a dozen shitholes in Lanarkshire. Most of them would be improved by aerial bombardment, in my view. I now regularly win games of shit-school top trumps that those of us who are widely traveled sometimes play. (I see your St Asda and raise you Govan!)

Perhaps I could move to England and gain the benefits of the government's latest wheeze:
"Teachers are to be given "golden handcuffs" of £10,000 to stay in secondary schools in deprived areas as part of a package to improve social mobility announced by ministers today."
A bit kinky-sounding and extra money; sounds like my sort of deal. As I understand it, this is to overcome the problem of the average teacher's career in inner-city schools in London lasting about as long as a fruit pastel. To go through with it, though, for me they'd have to drop the culture of compulsory euphemism. For example, the schools in question are described as 'challenging'. In fact, they're to form part of a National Challenge, which will involve skills and 'vision' and that sort of thing. I hate that shit. If you want to keep your sanity in teaching, you have to be able to call a spade a spade and a fuckwit a fuckwit. There are some people who would disagree with this - but they all either have jobs in Ed Balls' department or in teacher training colleges, which brings me to the source of this story. I followed it from here - and was rather amused by one of the comments:
"I'd happily take up a job in a 'bog standard comprehensive'"...
Bit mental - but we'll persevere...
"In the middle of my teacher training, however, I interrupted my course because I simply got too angry with those in charge of it."
Much more rational - and one of the reasons...
"We had classes where the lecturers had us acting like children, doing children's tasks as though somehow this will make us understand what it is like to be on the other side of the classroom."
Bit of a failure of imagination on his part, don't you think? He could have had a lot of fun with that. Why didn't he throw stuff around the room, fart, incessantly demand to go to the toilet, complain that he doesn't have a pencil, then on being given one say he can't write with a pencil, feign various illnesses (Sore head? That'll be the lobotomy...) and then finally tell his lecturers to fuck off? That might have reminded them what it's like to be in a classroom, which would be good because most have forgotten, if they ever knew in the first place. And that is one of the biggest problems with teacher training colleges right there.

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