RICHARD ORD: The Polytechnic of Grazed Knees

Richard Ord

Richard Ord

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I HATE teachers. Did you know they get 16 weeks holiday a year? Six weeks in the summer! That’s not fair, is it?

All that holiday for sitting around all day telling kids stuff we all know like the Battle of Hastings was in 1066 … and they have the audacity to go on strike! They want to try living in the real world.

Erm, what else ...ah yes, training days. Why can’t they come in during the school holidays to do the training days instead of doing them in term time?

Anything else? Did I mention the holidays? Yes, I did. Honestly, they want to try living in the real world. Ah, done that one too.

That’s it. Run out of anti-teacher rant. No I haven’t, almost forgot ... they get good pensions. That’s not fair either, is it?

Now I’m finished.

I don’t hate teachers (I was being facetious) but listening to the attacks on them for going on strike, you’d think they were plotting to kidnap our children rather than protesting at Government plans to reduce their pensions, change their pay structure, while failing to address their working conditions.

The one-day strike action was, presumably, the teachers’ way of letting us and the Government know that they’re unhappy with the treatment they are receiving.

The next day they went back to work to continue trying to give our children the best start in life possible (or plan their long summer holidays, depending on your point of view) while we in the so-called real world continued to moan about them because they get more holidays than us.

My brother is a teacher. A surprise given our dad, throughout our youth, finished any discussion on school teachers with the mantra “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”

He was all for a School of Hard Knocks kind of education. I went a slightly easier route, getting a 2.1 from the Polytechnic of Grazed Knees.

Instead of criticising teachers for fighting for their working lives, would it be too much trouble to support them?

Teachers are responsible for our children’s education and day-to-day welfare during school time.

We should be sitting up and listening to their concerns, not bleating about the amount of holiday they get.

And before you stick the boot in, complaining that I’ve been brainwashed by my brother, we don’t talk much about his job. In fact, our communication on the subject is minimal.

At the start of every school holiday, he sends me a text to say he’s sitting in the back garden with a gin and tonic contemplating what to do with the long six weeks holiday stretching out before him.

After about four weeks of his holidays, he texts me to say how bored he is.

“Six weeks is far too long,” he’ll say. “Still, what can you do? Apart from pour another gin of course, ha ha ...”

Scrub that. I do hate teachers.