Having read this mornings Telegraph, I feel the need to stand up and be counted on a particular issue which isn’t to do with parking enforcement. The remarks of the ex – CBI Chief, Sir Digby Jones placed the blame for underachievement in schools squarely on the Teachers. Read the article text here
Now I’m not a Teacher, nor ever have been; but it seems unfair to blame them for all societies ills when the odds are stacked against them. Over the years, various organisations have stripped them of every protection they ever had. Petty little pressure groups have robbed them of effective sanction. Incidentally – I got caned when I was at school – mainly for behaving stupidly. Not only that but my Dad informed me that if I did wrong and got caned, he’d give me a clip round the ear himself to remind me of my folly.
The lure of easy money from vexatious litigation has also played its part. Schools, and Education departments (Now ‘Child services’) seem to have about as much backbone as a Sea Slug, allowing the compensation chasers an almost unfettered ride. No wonder some Head teachers will refuse to stump up for the extortionate insurance costs for School trips.
My information was gleaned in a long conversation with one of my neighbours, who is about to ‘retire’ from teaching after only six years work post qualification. From all accounts he’s very good at his job, but heartily sick and tired of being shunted from pillar to post by all the nitpicking and never ending inspections and policy changes from on high. After listening to him talk for almost a solid half hour as we walked our respective dogs I genuinely felt sorry for the guy. He has an hour or so a day per class to instil discipline, teach a subject and generally do the parents job for them.
Whose job is this ‘parenting’ lark anyway? Er, excuse me for being a thickie jobsworth
, but isn’t it the parents of the children themselves? I personally came late to this parenting game and have had a steep learning curve to negotiate. Nevertheless, our two seem to be turning out okay. I could probably write a book on the subject, but I’m not going to; on the grounds that I’m writing two at the moment and prefer not to spread myself too thinly. Put it this way; Mrs S and I have the ‘Good cop, bad cop’ routine down pat. We work as a team and try to keep our two very feisty charges from going off the rails. It’s difficult, but a lot of effort went into their upbringing and we understand that a couple of good kids with their heads screwed on will do well in the world. Hell, they’re not even mine biologically, but I love them anyway. All we can do is get them ready for the world and leave them with a mental toolkit to do the best they can.
That nails my colours to the mast. Parenting is best done by parents – so long as they can be bothered. Teachers are there to pass on knowledge and technical skills – the social and emotional aspects should not be their concern. Just look at the kids who have good, ‘hands on’ parents. They are motivated, they achieve and they succeed in what they choose to do. These are the families with ‘traditional’ values of hard graft and good behaviour. Their children may well be ‘repressed’ according to some left leaners, but a little repression is good for society as a whole, especially if these poor ‘repressed’ kids go on to be productive and successful people in later life.
The alternative is the ‘loser’ mindset so prevalent, where the kids grow up thinking that adults are their servants and they just don’t have to do anything. Not being motivated to improve themselves except perhaps by winning the lottery, all they have is self gratification via alcohol, drugs, lowest common denominator peer group and meaningless sex. Hollow, empty people with no desire to improve their lot. Of such is a growing section of the electorate built.
Politicians are at fault for pandering to the minority groups
who campaigned to strip Teachers sanctions from them. Labour and leftist Politicians of whatever party are at fault for using Education as a tool in their ‘Class War’. Leftist Teachers who tried to use their job to ‘reform’ the ‘system’ from within. Ambulance chaser lawyers who have pandered to the greed of their clients who believe that money can buy them happiness. For all of the aforementioned, education has been the soft target; the source of easy money and votes. Finally, I’d like to lay the blame very firmly on the doorstep of the voters. Yes, the silly sods who got conned into voting each successive bunch of bumbling fools into office.
Perhaps we need to take a good hard look at democracy. Maybe the idea of the universal franchise isn’t such a good one after all. Here’s my thoughts on the matter; if you want to have a say, have a vote; then the right to vote should not be automatic upon attaining majority as at the moment. Excuse me for mooting this, but I’m coming to believe that if you don’t have to work for something – maybe it has no real value.
Here’s a suggestion; maybe there should be some form of public service you have to perform for a couple of years, nothing too easy, to gain the right to vote. Not the army, but something like charity work; community activity; something like that, followed up by a standardised test to see if you have the intelligence to understand the issues put in front of you as a voter. Those with the will and nous to do this get the vote. Those who are content not to have a say don’t have to do it, there should be no compulsion; no coercion. If you can prove you want a say, you should be allowed to, but you have to jump through a few hoops first. Even convicted felons should be allowed to prove themselves this way after their release. My experience tells me that if you want something badly enough, you will
change for the better. Perhaps knowing that you have to earn your right to have a say might just be the saving of England.
Just don’t blame the Teachers – okay?