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A quick story that I heard last night.

A friend of mine recently moved to London. He’s a teacher, though looking for something different in his life. He’s not sure what that something different is, and we’re not sure if somethings different don’t keep presenting themselves in glorious flashing neon, but I digress. He is essentially fed up with education. This friend is a biology teacher but is working for a cover agency whilst he tries to decide what decision to make next. Make of that what you will, but here’s the story.

A couple of weeks ago he was covering an English lesson when the new head, a ‘super head’, as he put it, came marching in. The head looked at the books, asked the students for their levels and targets, asked the teacher for the same, and then promptly hauled him outside when he responded blankly.

Before he could get a word in, the head had told him that this was a  disgraceful situation, that the reason the school was performing so badly was because of staff like him not taking time to understand the curriculum and its assessment criteria, that it was appalling that he didn’t know his students’ names, that by the end of the day he would be on capabilities and that he’d better start looking for a new job, preferably not in teaching.

I very much wish I’d been there to witness the response.

‘Hang on a second, mate. Number one, I’ve been in your school for precisely forty-three minutes and I work for x-cover agency. Number two, I’m a science teacher. Three, I’ve never met these children before today so how I could know a thing about them is beyond me. Four, this is exactly why I stopped teaching full time. And lastly, isn’t it rather embarrassing that you have a go at me for not knowing these children when you don’t even know who their actual class teacher is?’

Oh, to be a passing colleague. And lo! How knowledge really is power.

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