A quick phonecall has established that the last post should have been about 'Hats' and not 'Cats'. Frankly it doesn't really matter as I can't listen to that sort of stuff for more than 10 seconds without screaming. A whole industry has grown up around the idea of churning out guff to captive audiences and I want to be part of it.
For a modest fee, a representative of Chalk Enterprises will come to your school, talk rubbish for a couple of hours and get you playing some simple games. We will offer a cast iron guarantee that the day will be no use to you whatsoever, but it will all be very warm, safe and comforting and you will feel like you are eight years old again.
Actually, thinking about it, an even better idea would be for me to turn up personally, so that you could shout at me, tear up a few exercise books and generally vent your frustrations. I could say patronising things like 'Let's get into small groups and investigate different methods of learning' and you could all scream abuse. I would also provide you with a liberal supply of eggs, rotten fruit and tennis balls. I reckon I might be on to something here...
Enough of that; it's NUT conference time and they are balloting about strike action. Not effective strike action, ie get together with the other 57 Unions and have every teacher in the land downing tools and not coming back until they get a pay rise, some decent working conditions and a few brats expelled; goodness me no, a one day strike which can be safely ignored by the Government.
They are also up in arms about the military recruiting in schools and are outraged that they only tell the kids about the best bits (skiing, windsurfing and shooting people) I believe that is called advertising. The Accountancy company that visited Mrs Chalk's school also forgot to show people working through the night at the end of the Tax Year in their presentation. Let's face it; the teachers who attend these conferences are invariably beardy weirdies (of both sexes) with no hobbies to persue in the holidays. They hate the military with a vengance, because it opposes the things they stand for (beards, dangly earrings and facial ironmongery)
Here's my take on it (from last year) which will doubtless prove unpopular:
If you are born into the Underclass, doomed to attend a dustbin of a school, then a career in the Army might well be your only ticket out of the slums. Yes, if you are unlucky you might be shot by some toerag in Iraq or Afghanistan; but if you manage to avoid that unfortunate outcome, then you can pick up a decent pension after 22 years or look for another employer who will snap you up, knowing that unlike most applicants; a) you will actually turn up to work and b) you will get on with things that you might not want to do without moaning too much.
Alternatively you could of course just remain in the Estate from Hell, where there are no employers and you stand a good chance of being shot by a rival drugs dealer or ending up behind bars for most of your life. The NUT would like to remove your only hope of escape.