Magic stars, climate change and primary school teachers

If there was ever a day where I woke up knowing I did not want to become a teacher, it was today.

This is not to say it was something I was considering yesterday. I wasn’t. I just merely spent a few hours learning about the challenges of becoming a teacher with a dear friend and her housemate. Two lovely ladies with hearts of gold and whose bookshelves suggest an average (median I suppose) reading age of 6.

Now, the last time I listened to a conversation between trainee teachers was on a late night train in the North-West of England, and the drunken conversation I followed was enough to put any woman off ever ever ever having children. Like ever.

(Guess the CD in the car.)

Last night’s conversation was also in the North-West of England, and certainly demonstrated that there was hope as well and horror in primary education.

After dinner, I collapsed in the corner of the sofa in a flat so clean you could take photos for a magazine shoot. I clutched a cup of tea, munched through my home-made Jaffa Cake bun and watched as packed lunches were made, flowers were propped up in water and presents were diligently wrapped. No hesitation. No procrastination. No moaning about having to do the washing-up.

Thirty packets of magic stars, ordered over the Internet because you can’t get the big bags at the local supermarket, tumbled into a gift bag.

“The kids are all my magic stars.”

I read a book about cow farts and global warming. The illustrations were gorgeous. Disappointingly though, climate change isn’t on the curriculum for the children in these ladies’ classes. Physics next term is stars. They’re all going to dress up as astronauts. I think they should study droughts, floods and hurricanes.

Shouldn’t stars come second to the Earth?

The cuddly elephant interrupted with a song and a chorus erupted around me.

They’re insane, I concluded. They’ve taken on the characters of the children they teach.

But they really do care. And that’s rather reassuring.

2 Comments
  • Clare Pooley
    Sunday 14 February 2016

    I could never have been a teacher. I would have hated every minute – and now, when teachers have no say at all in what or how they teach I am surprised that anyone wants the job!

    • Catherine Oughtibridge
      Monday 15 February 2016

      The risk is that the only people who stay in teaching are the people who don’t care about what it is they teach.