Thursday, February 01, 2007

Attacks on Teachers

But when I read this I knew they had been reading my book. The comments at the end are worth a look too.

Every SMT and Teaching Union should be up in arms and taking action about this sort of stuff. Instead they simply engage in endless debate.

We will read the same story next year and the year after. We are simply on a countdown to the first teacher to be killed at school in the UK.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Two teachers were attacked by the same child,on the same day at our school.What happened to the 'little darling' you may ask.He sat in a room to calm down then was given a cup of tea!
The teachers?Well,one is now off sick and the other is escorted to his car every night just in case the pupil comes back to have another go!

lilyofthefield said...

Philip Lawrence?

dearieme said...

The only worthwhile lesson from the Bolsheviks is how to deal with feral children.

Sir Henry Morgan said...

dearieme

The Spartans knew a thing or two about educating kids as well.

Charlie D said...

I've been saying for years now that it is only a matter of time until a teacher is killed in a school... But this IS Britain, so it will actually have to happen before anyone believes it....

And even then, it'll probably be excused by a poor upbringing, and 'there's nothing to do around here anyway'...

Let's have a national drive to give teachers self defense lessons...that'd be a better use of those 5 crappy inset days...

alanorei said...

Note the NASUWT caveat:

"But she warned there was a need to keep the issue in perspective as most teachers said the biggest challenge they faced was low level disruption in class."

I think this means that nothing will be done, no matter how 'intolerable' the situation becomes.

My reference to Lt. Col. Applegate's book Kill or Get Killed in an earlier post was intended to be slightly ironic.

I'm not sure now.

The Philip Lawrence tragedy is a case in point. And things certainly appear to be heading that way on a bigger scale.

The question is, who is there to support teachers, who find themselves in a St Jude's environment (or worse) rather than that of (blessed) St John's?

Not the parents, who seem to be part of the problem and a big part at that.

Not the SMTs. They have allowed the chaos to ensue in the first place.

Not the unions. See the get-out clause quoted above. The unions' track record so far in protecting teachers doesn't seem to be exactly scintillating, to judge by Mr Chalk's and other comments.

Not the professional education 'experts.' All the comments I've seen here and in Mr Chalk's book indicate that they live in a parallel universe and only occasionally visit this one via a Stargate connection.

Not the politicians. Goes without saying.

Not the news media. They only 'report.'

And with all due respect, not the Police, who can only intervene on a specific case-by-case basis and probably have insufficient resources to actually 'police' school grounds, which tactic even if it was feasible, can't resolve the major underlying causes of the current mess.

I can only think of two main options for the teaching profession as a whole, neither of which are likely to be palatable to many contributors and neither of which will resolve the situation overnight.

But I can't think of anything else to suggest.

1. Teachers en masse refuse to conduct classes for 'problem' pupils on their own. They insist that one or more of their colleagues be present, depending on the degree of likely 'problems' to be encountered. Teachers also 'network' to ensure their own safety at all times, by any and all of the means already suggested on this blog.

All of which amounts to a form of industrial action coupled with vigilante-ism, which may or may not be feasible.

2. Elect BNP councillors and MPs. For starters, Party policy has pledged a return to old-style, disciplined, teaching methods.

If neither of the above is acceptable, then hopefully minds can thereby be concentrated to devise an effective alternative strategy to prevent further tragedies like that of Philip Lawrence.

It's one thing to have the usual whinge and moan on a blog.

It's another when actual life and limb are increasingly at risk, through irresponsible leadership/management/
government, as appears to be the case.

Anonymous said...

Can this behavioural anarchy be traced back to the introduction of 'child centered education',advocated by well meaning lefty old duffers in the 60's?.I think we are overdue a definitive history of this subject.Anyone know of such a work?

Anonymous said...

The Unions have fully suported the policies that have eroded discipline in schools(yes I said discipline;sorry to upset the faint hearted).Why would they want to reverse this process?

Anonymous said...

Can this behavioural anarchy be traced back to the introduction of 'child centered education',advocated by well meaning lefty old duffers in the 60's?.I think we are overdue a definitive history of this subject.Anyone know of such a work?

Wouldn't that be "All Must Have Prizes" by Melanie Phillips? Or were you looking for something more recent?

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of a history by an esteemed academic,not a well known rightwinger where it could be said, 'well she would say that anyway'.Given that the majority of our academics seem to be left of centre,I will not hold my breathe, as they would not want to expose any shortcomings in a leftwing agenda.I suppose I will have to be satisfied with Melanie Phillips,so thanks for that.

Sir Henry Morgan said...

My take on it comes from personal experience.

When I was a kid I once set off a 'Jumping Jack' firework inside the school. I never did it twice. It wasn't that I didn't want to do it again, but my sore lacerated arse wouldn't let me.

Kids are not angels to be gently raised - they are animals to be tamed.

Like I said earlier, the Spartans knew a thing or two about it. They used to place one man in overall charge of the boys. He wasn't known as the 'Headmaster', but the 'HERDmaster'. All adults were responsible for, and had disciplinary power over, all boys. When an adult started a conversation with a boy, the boy had to look to the ground and keep his hands tucked away out of sight. Any cheek received a beating on the spot, wherever on the spot happened to be. If the boy's father saw this happening he would never intervene, on the assumption he must have deserved it.

All boys had a mentor. If the boy misbehaved, the shame was on the mentor.

They turned out good, well-integrated and well-disciplined adults.

In Sparta the women ruled.

Ok, for the modern-day this is all probably a bit too far, but it gives a flavour of the direction to go.

lilyofthefield said...

Kids have never liked getting up early, having to sit still and concentrate or do anything remotely mentally challenging. Some have wanted, at various times, as I did myself, to punch their teacher or a classmate or cause an unnecessary diversion by swearing, farting or throwing something.

For the most part they didn't. They learned to patiently endure because the alternative was physical pain.

Kids haven't changed. The incentives and disincentives have.

bilbo said...

Sir Henry Morgan said...
All boys had a mentor. If the boy misbehaved, the shame was on the mentor.
They turned out good, well-integrated and well-disciplined adults.


You seem to have left out the bit about buggering the boys Sir Henry.
As a non trade unionist why do you feel, Mr. Chalk, that your views on what trade unions should be doing are of any value?

Anonymous said...

bilbo said...
As a non trade unionist....

As a member of the NASUWT I am sick to death of listening to the President stating what the members do or do not believe.
I have NEVER been asked what I feel about Grammer schools, streaming, discipline, pay or work loads.
The union seems to have the idea that I am there to serve them not the other way round.
Mr. Chalk says what too many of us are chicken to say (me included).

Sir Henry Morgan said...

Bilbo

Historians - that's proper historians not people like Tom Holland who have books to sell; and sensation and sex both sell - are divided on that. Many think the relationships were chaste, many don't.

Make your own choice, it's as good as anyone else's.

bilbo said...

Anonymous said...
bilbo said...
As a non trade unionist....
As a member of the NASUWT I am sick to death of listening to the President stating what the members do or do not believe.
I have NEVER been asked what I feel about Grammer schools, streaming, discipline, pay or work loads.
Mr. Chalk says what too many of us are chicken to say (me included).
23:06

Try going to a branch meeting and telling them although your last sentence rather gives the game away.

Sir Henry Morgan said...
Bilbo
Historians -
Many think the relationships were chaste, many don't.
23:41

Bettany Hughes definitely says buggery. I don't know how good a historian she is but she is easy on the eye.

Nick said...

According to latest figures, my local authority (Fife) has reducing exclusion figures because the behaviour is improving. Read more here.

Anonymous said...

If the government acts as governments do, whatever their political complexion, then it will indeed take a teacher being killed in their classroom, by a pupil in their class, not a stray from outside the school, for any action to be taken over indiscipline in schools. If the situation is anything like Dunblane and guns, or dangerous dogs, then the day after it happens there will be a sudden clamp-down, the reintroduction of effective sanctions, whatever those are deemed to be, and an easing of the situation for all the living teachers. But you're right, Mr Chalk. It will take a death to do that. And, though I hate to say it, if the victim is youngish, female and a mother, then that will make it even more certain, because it wil be good tabloid fodder, cf PCs Sharon Beshianevsky and Yvonne Fletcher.