A Little Learning: Broodings from the back of the class by Libby Purves

By Libby Purves

This energetic choice brings jointly journalist and broadcaster Libby Purves’ reviews as journalist, guardian, governor and previous student of part a dozen various colleges from Bangkok to Tunbridge Wells, exhibiting her eclectic and provocative reviews and concepts on instructing and studying. This selection of the simplest of her writing within the instances academic complement covers - occasionally thoughtfully, occasionally paradoxically - every little thing from nationwide coverage to the oddities of headteachers and the constraints of IT. schooling pros through the years have acquired her outsider view with enthusiasm, laughter, idea and coffee fury. From ministerial insanity to the pitfalls of uniform and the vagaries of youngsters, this e-book is devoted to the entertainment of a cadre of execs Libby as soon as deliberate to hitch, until eventually she misplaced her nerve. it truly is committed, with thank you and admiration, to all academics.

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Apple for the teacher, bananas for the head 27 SEPTEMBER 14 2001 Thoughts for worms on the turn THE worm is turning. Teachers are fed up with being insulted and regimented and made to do government paperwork. But teachers are a scarce commodity. We hear daily wither-wringing tales about schools fighting over the precious few pedagogues left, with the losers unwillingly forced to settle for knuckle-dragging, inadequates fresh from the hulks and sewers. In Britain today, properly-qualified teachers are gold-dust.

In a war like this every new weapon provokes a new defence. Some girls will wear the trousers buttockhuggingly tight, so that nervous young teachers will never dare ask them to wipe the whiteboard in mixed company. Others will buy them two sizes too big and drape them from their hipbones just skimming the pubes, with sweaters stopping above the navel and puce thongs peeping out the back. Others will compensate for the cruel obscuring of their legs by unbuttoning still more of the front of their blouses or shrinking their school sweaters till they look like Jayne Mansfield.

Ultra-wets will say that the children are ‘troubled’ and must be gently taught not be ‘inappropriate’. Tough nuts will say that teachers should cope. Naive optimists will imagine that juvenile sexual aggression is too jejune to bother with. But all, I think, are wrong. Certainly a physically attractive, domestically secure teacher will find it easier to handle; but if you suffer the slightest private unease, disappointment or insecurity the effect of suggestive harassment from nasty teenagers must be devastating: a source of real unhappiness, if not professional disaster.

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