Response: A Teacher’s Tale


I just read this on my friend’s facebook status and decided that from the other side of the world I should write about it.  As usual, this will be a stream of consciousness so hopefully will make sense! 

 

“So… Some of you will be aware that, between Acting jobs, I work as a Supply Teacher. This past week I’ve been back at a school I regularly work in – no names – teaching a variety of subjects. Wednesday it was PE. Now, PE is a strange one to cover because the kids are not used to me being in anything but a suit and tie however, at least when I teach PE they get to have a practical lesson rather than just sit in a classroom.

“Lesson 3 was a Yr11 (5th year in old money!) lesson in which a number of boys were playing football. Still more boys had “not got kit” (for which they were not reprimanded at all!) but spent the lesson leaning against a wall. At one point, noticing movement out of the corner of my eye, I turned to see the non-participants clustered over at the fence (a tall steel affair with a spiked top – to keep the paedos out! …or, in truth, to keep the kids IN!) One of the boys – a ruddy-cheeked, pretty-boy – had climbed up the fence and as I watched, hawked a great mouthful of phlegm which he then spat at a woman walking past!

“As you can imagine, she was disgusted – as was I! I ushered the boys away from the fence and apologized profusely to the woman – who spoke no English – while the boys jeered and made racist remarks! On taking them “in” I spoke to the Head of PE who had me point out the spitter, who – to my face – refuted the accusation with “He’s a fucking liar, Sir!”
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The Eighteen Year Old Blues


I’m feeling low down, I’m 18, and I don’t know what to do with my future: I’ve got the blues, man.

I’ve googled teenage songs and come across this lyric from the Eighteen Year Old Blues by Steve Carl from 1958 in a list on the Guardian website.  Apparently the song ponders the options available to him.  

I’ve been thinking about what my options were when I was 18.  This morning I’ve been talking to the year 13 students at my old school. (Hello if any of you are reading this!)  Teenagers generally get a bad press.  Most articles or pieces about teenagers in newspapers or on the news focus on antisocial behaviours, how they are illiterate or lack numeracy skills, how many are NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training – over a million at the latest estimate) etc.  It’s not a positive picture being painted.

What options are there for teenagers now?  Adults with different levels of experience are struggling to work, there is a push on volunteering to get a foot in the door but many companies and organisations are reaching saturation.  How many companies faced with an experienced out of work adult or a teenager are likely to pick the teenager?  It’s an economically unstable world, there are few jobs for life anymore and it’s hard to find part time work.  I’m not sure I’d like to be 18 now.

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