I had a couple of days where the body had just decided to give up. Even the eye lashes were hurting and I was quite frankly pathetic. I have the loveliest of friends who realised that something wasn’t quite right and I was visited with fruit, croissants and chat (and the hugs) Then There is the pal that we all have. The one that gives you a boot to the derrière and says you better be ready for 730 and you better be in heels. ( and says if you have kankles, get your trousers on, yes, a proper ray of pitch black)
Going to be honest, I was more frightened of not turning up than worrying about the pain. ( in the best possible way)
Waiting at the train station was an experience. The combination of the sunshine and the long weekend had rendered some of my fellow city dwellers somewhat red, tapsaff and fully paid up member end of the ministry of funny walks.
We wandered to the restaurant and as we sat down, the table beside us started talking about us. In French.
Nothing offensive but were commenting on the dresses and heels and the glam for a Friday night.
You see, apparently no one in the city speaks other languages. My pal decided she was going to regarder le menu and started her nonsense.
The table next to us clicked.
A bit of Bonsoir and see and eat up yer at yer aunties and they were suitably mortified.
Yes, the very fact I had my knickers on the right way and hadn’t gone siouxie sioux with the eyeliner was nothing short of a miracle.But speaking French?? Zut alors!
It did make me laugh that people just assumed that no one would understand them, never mind speak French.
I enjoyed listening to their chat about politics, Macron and of course, black pudding.
It was perhaps a safer conversation than they might have had……
They say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
Hell hath no fury like a French teacher mistaken for anything else.
You can always tell when the experts or the important people are coming. The toilets stink of bleach and the good cakes come out.
Recently I was part of a group invited to hear some “experts” talk about education and languages in particular.
Now, I always try to have an open mind. I mean it, I do try.
The experts arrived with haunners….an entourage that would put Beyoncé to shame. They were the ones that had done the research, written the speeches and looked like they were holding their breath as their boss delivered the speech.
I may have been a tad underwhelmed but I enjoyed the cakes. Figured I had earned it by sitting on my hands and not saying a word.
We were recently gifted some advice in the world of education. To be honest, it was a bit like hoping for a bike at Christmas and being given a unicycle.
Nice, shiny but not much use to the masses. I wonder if the experts that wrote it had the good cakes and bleach treatment. Or was it the crowd of hingers on that had dreamt it up?
To be fair, When I looked at some of it, it only confirmed what some of us realists had said a few years ago and had already been working with. However, I have to hope that they did get some experts in. Teachers. Aye, the people that actually do the job. The ones that should get the bleach and good cake treatment.
scottish education is at a point of change, so it would appear the bleach and good cakes were brought out for a team of international experts.
I find it hard to believe that international experts can accurately give a true picture of the next steps we need to take to make our education system better.
Perhaps I need to give them the benefit of the doubt? Our home-grown experts need to cast aside the hingers on and engage with and talk with the people who actually make the educational world turn. The brave ones, the inspiring ones, the leaders who know what is best for the wee people in front of them.
They don’t need cakes and bleach treatment. And now we know we don’t need to do any paperwork that doesn’t directly impact on the learner journey, perhaps they’ll have more time to deliver for children.
Mammy points -8 ( I reckon)
Manolos ( not great this week…all flats)
Methodology – 7/8 taking me a wee bit longer to get my groove…..
In response to your column “in loco parents? in loco magister”
I’d like to write on behalf of all the fabulous parents I know that are teachers. I bet Kezia and her Dad are having a giggle.
I challenge you to ask all the weans that have teachers as parents of it really is that bad? How you surmised “the teacher parent’s typical staccato sting” in less that 140 characters on a tweet is good going. Good thing you had good teachers.
The notion that teacher parents have no boundaries between the school room and sitting room is a sweeping generalisation that would get a lovely red pen taken to it with ” eh??” Written beside it.
When I get home, all I can think about is my wee lady ( 6 years old) and switching off from what has been an exhausting day physically and mentally.
I love being a teacher and every child I meet is treated as I would treat my daughter. But let’s be clear, I love being a mum and that will always be totally different. On this blog I have written about e challenges I face as a mum and a teacher and trying to get everything right, and do you know what, it’s bloody hard.
A teacher can very often be the only parent that some of the pupils have and it’s a privilege to work with young people.
When I sit on interview panels the biggest question for me is “would I trust you with my daughter?”and if the answer is no then I wouldn’t trust them with anyone else’s daughter.
The same way there are tiger parents, there are tiger teachers. I have been on the receiving end of such tiger teacher parents at parents night with opening lines such as ” you do know I am a teacher?” Aye, very good. Do you know I am Xena the warrior princess? Here’s my box of jots I give. Yep,none.
I, and a whole lot of the fabulous teacher parents who are my friends would never dream of treating teachers of our children like that.
Dont tar us all with the same manky brush.
In response to your article : I don’t give a jot about cool, I don’t give a jot about points scoring.I care about my daughter, I care that she knows she is loved and nurtured.
When I am at work, I love, care for and nurture the children I teach, as I might be the only one that does so that day.
I would never use my ” teacher wit that cuts to the quick” as you say it on my weans in school or on my daughter.
To suggest that teacher parents have little empathy for the children they have “bred” makes us sound like some sub species.
If it wasn’t for the brilliant teachers who give everything they have every day to make a difference to children, you might not be writing.
Shame on you Catriona. It’s a pity that perhaps you have experienced something similar but please, gies a break, pop your manky tar brush away and take it from one who knows, the majority of teacher parents go home every night and hold their own precious little people a wee bit tighter after having dealt with trauma during the day for other children.
Humiliating them, pressuring them and using them to point score is NEVER on our agenda. With our pupils or our children.
Yesterday was world teacher day and it got me thinking about my own journey as a teacher.
I must admit I had some of the most inspirational women as teachers both in primary and secondary.
We had formidable ladies in primary who wore high heel shoes, had the biggest buns in their hair without the use of a donut I may add, and were some of the most creative people I have ever met. I learned about plants from Mrs.Forde,music from Mrs.Devine, art from Mrs.Gaddis and how to write a good story from Mrs.Duffield. Primary was a joy and each of these ladies had a profound influence on me.
Secondary school was the first time I had seen a male teacher! I found most of them cold and all of a sudden I was out my wee primary bubble. Without a doubt the two teachers that really shaped how I now teach were Mrs.Benson and Mrs.Flynn. Both were my languages teachers and totally different in style but one thing the both had in common was their ability to nurture and inspire.
University brought even more teachers, totally different and again I found myself out my secondary bubble in a different one where again, I found to a wee bit cold and not very personal. Then as we progressed through uni we got to know the lecturers and yes, I am still in touch with some of them.
There are always two camps when it comes to the take on teachers- those who criticise and are keen to point out ” those who can, can, those who can’t, teach” and those that know just what it is to be in the privileged position of being a teacher. To have the joy of working with young people- to inspire, nurture, guide and even love.
Being a leader in a dept is a tough role, well for me. You want to keep all the rubbish away from your team, keep the workload even but also have high standards while allowing for teacher autonomy.
I don’t likes to micro manage my team and have never had to. I’m lucky.
So to all your teachers out there, happy teacher day. I hope you realise that no matter where you teach, every teacher matters.