When I was young I used to be told not to speak to strangers in particular ‘strange men.’ Now for my own safety and that of others, I generally avoid talking to yummie mummies eating non gluten scones in organic coffee shops, and anyone who says they are a school teacher.
Sometimes I listen in to the conversation of teachers, but then the temptation to say something is just too strong. In class in the old days, when I was at school, no talking was allowed, we certainly didn’t interrupt teacher in full flow and that still remains advisable.
Last night in a local pub I got into conversation with a neighbour who told me she is ‘head teacher,’ of a primary school. I thought that sounded interesting and it was, she described a very diverse population coming into her school, but we quickly hit choppy waters.
I mentioned that I once taught African men in HMP Wormwood Scrubs and couldn’t help mentioning how bright they were (not bright enough not to get caught drug smuggling and committing fraud of course) and well educated compared to the English lads inside, mostly there for affray and violent crimes committed when drunk. White middle class men were usually paedophiles.
‘I suppose you mean the Africans could do sums,’ she said, so scornfully that I was taken aback. It sounded as if being able to do ‘sums’ was the last thing any British teacher should aim for.
Despite sharing the usual politics of the modern teacher, extreme left and in favour of mass migration, this one also had bitter contempt for foreign parents. She told me at present Chinese children are pouring into her school, some with very little English. But the problem is the parents, especially those ‘tiger Mums.’
‘They expect so much.’ She said angrily. I nearly said, ‘learning sums?’ but held back.
‘They come from a totally different culture,’ she sighed dismissively, sounding like someone from UKIP.
‘They want their children to have a formal style education, and they want them to learn things by rote. Chanting, I ask you, they want them to sit there in rows, chanting.’
I went to the bar and bought a bottle of wine to show my good nature, but also to drown my sorrows. I expect many of those foreign parents, new to the British education system were doing the same. Forget Academies and Free Schools, little has changed.