Thursday, 28 August 2014

Is It Just Me: Or Has There Been a Serious Shift in Power Between Kids and Their Teachers?

Did anyone watch BBC One last night? 

No, I'm not talking about Bake Off and the Baked Alaska scandal that swept Twitter last night with fury only Britain can manage over a baked good.

I'm talking about the show which followed it (when no doubt half the UK was bemoaning said Baked Alaska Sabotage).

It was a Panorama documentary called "Last Chance Academy"  which  centred on a school in a deprived area of Birmingham.

The kids of the small Pupil Referral style unit were, as the title suggests, on their last chance to get an education of any kind. I believe what the school and programme makers hoped to do was to make us all feel sorry for these kids and to anoint the staff with sainthoods.

Well, I watched it but I didn't feel sorry for the majority of them at all. I felt that this £6,000 per pupil was, in the most part, a gigantic waste of money.

I also felt sorry, in actual fact, for the kids in the school- the majority who turned up, in their uniform, on time, with their homework.  You know, like you were meant to and like I should imagine the majority of you reading did in those days when you were at school.

I felt the Head of the "Leap" as it was called was being walked all over and came across as a bit of dick head. I can see most of the kids- as it was filmed- showing no respect at all for this so called maverick.

From pupils turning up when they could be bothered, to telling this Head that they wouldn't sit through 3 classes, they would only do two, while he rolled over to them, I was left completely shocked that the local authority let it be shown.

The thing is I may be slightly biased but I went to a school in a deprived area where we were not seen as having much hope beyond 16. I worked my arse off through little reprobates like those shown in the programme to get my grades. I did it with respect for my elders whether they were right or wrong.

See, when I was at school, that's how it went- you sat up straight, you said yes sir or no mam, you had respect and you did as you were told. The Teachers and the Heads ran things, not us. And no matter how many little buggers tried it on, they never got far further than detention. However, there was a newer breed of teacher who felt they needed to nurture these kids who couldn't be bothered to behave, meaning people like me faded into the background and were left to fend for ourselves. Hence, when I found it cripplingly hard to comprehend even basic maths, because I behaved and turned up on time without a bad attitude, no extra help or consideration was given.

Most of these kids talked over- if not shouted over- their teachers, You would not have dared in my day. Yet these teachers kept bending over backwards regardless.

Even though they supposedly had this extra help, all that money being spent, it was not until the end of her school life that it came out one child had a below par reading age. How the hell did they miss that? What are they being paid for?

I'm sorry, but it's time for Teachers (not all, as I know some great teachers who do a great job) to take back the power from these kids who show no respect yet get all the help and guidance in the world.

Or else I wouldn't like to be them when they find themselves in work having to bow down to a boss.

1 comment:

  1. Students definitely need to learn respect. Part of that responsibility rests with the parents to instil in them a respect for authority and to support the teachers in carrying out punishments like detentions. I've seen too many parents excusing their children's behaviour and not seeming to care that they swear at their teachers and complete the minimum work. But, as you say, head teachers and other staff members also need to step up and support this structure. At the moment it seems that kids are threatened with punishment and nothing is followed through. They know that if a teacher tells them off they can accuse them of picking on them and the school will likely side with the child. But they need to know they will be held accountable for their actions. Like you say, in the real world they'll have to learn to work with respect for their employers.


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