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The miscellaneous writings of Mark Bridgeman

Dumbing Down, Schoolteachers and the Vatican can’t spell ‘Jesus’

Teachers are scum!

I don’t know about you, but if you are anything like me you’ll more than likely f**king hate teachers.  Going back to my school days most teachers were scruffy bastards, with poor personal hygiene and superiority complexes who for the most part were actually incapable of teaching.  

 

No Dress Sense

Most teachers back then wore the same clothes every day for months on end.  Which was only fair I suppose as we were all forced to wear the same sh*tty uniform everyday for terms on end.  Ours was sh*t brown for the under thirteens, for fourteens and over it was black.  black as dark as the most starless night. Darker than the head master’s soul!   The girls were practically in burkas.

 

Thing is though the uniform was compulsory for us, our teachers actually had a choice, despite having the freedom to wear anything my history teacher wore blue corduroys with a light blue shirt and tie replete with a blue corduroy jumper with patches over the elbows.  He actually chose to wear this get up, every single day for years on end.  He must have had whole wardrobes full of identical replacements or worse yet just wore the same items day in day out.   His washing machine was left probably left untouched, pristine like a virgin…

 

Give us a fag and you’ll avoid detention!

They were also highly stressed individuals who enjoyed a fag or two, Indeed the staff room would be so thick with smoke that you could cut a hole in it!  Also many a good teacher had a bottle of whiskey in his desk and spare fags.  We also had the poorer teachers cajoling fags from the bigger kids.  

 

Crap Welsh!

Our welsh teacher was just an old lady from the village who could speak welsh. She didn’t have a clue how to teach it though, needless to say I didn’t do very well with welsh.  I would have been better off trying to learn f**king sanskrit than Welsh from that old b*tch.  Our chemistry and Physics teachers were failed scientists that couldn’t get a job in a lab so they decided to go into teaching.  They were both shit.  I knew less about physics and chemistry after leaving their lessons than I did when I went in!   

 

Computers

Though to be fair back in the late seventies and early eighties when I was a teenager, teaching methods just involved ‘chalk and talk’ and the computer rooms was permanently locked.  I had to wait to the sixth form (remember that) before I saw one switched on.  The end result was that one of the boys in class wrote a line of code that basically printed ‘Timmy is Gay!’ on the screen and we’d all sit back and laugh as it scrolled on forever.

 

Sausage Fest

On the subject of Timmy he put a notice on the sixth form wall inviting all of the girls to a ‘Mars Bar Party!’  It turned out to be a complete sausage fest as not a single girl turned up.  He waited all night apparently, mars bars at the ready!

 

Mitching

Then there was the careers teacher who used to ring my mother every week to say that I wasn’t in school and was ‘mitching’ despite the fact that I was actually there.  Whilst I fully admit that I was not being educated by their cabal of chain smoking psychopaths I did actually turn up for lessons.  After several weeks and several rows from my mum she decided to check this out herself and I had the humiliation of being put in the school gates by my mum at the ripe old age of fifteen.   She did this relentlessly for a week and then the following week the Careers guys rang up again.

 

Wuthering Heights

My mother has over the years matured in a beautiful old battleaxe who doesn’t take sh*t of anyone.  I can see where that started.  She politely enquired if the careers teacher was ‘in love with the sound of her voice,’  because she had verified that I was in school and the only possible reason for his continued calling was that he desperately needed to hear her speak again!

 

He never rang back!

We were a secular state run school but oddly enough we began each day with an assembly.

 

You Will Love God!

For those of you too young to remember an assembly was when every pupil was forced to stand up in the main hall for half an hour first thing in the morning.  The headmaster or one of the senior teachers would make us all sing churchy hymns miserably whilst the music teacher banged away at the school piano simultaneously draining the joy from any single note.  Then we would have announcements and a preachy sermon from the appointed minister before we were forced to recite the Lord’s Prayer and sent to our lessons for the day.   I blame this as being the number one reason today why people of my generation do not attend church.

 

Unending Joy!

I remember one big announcement telling us kids that the music teacher had composed her own notes and from now on we would singing the lords prayer and that we were the only school in the country to have done this*.   

 

Needless to say we had to have a couple of practice runs as she cautiously and soullessly banged away at that rotten old grand piano whilst we all groaned our way through the Lord’s Pray : The Musical!

 

India!

One thing they all had in common though was that they f**king hated kids, they hated their jobs, hated their lives and were socially maladjusted.  One geography teacher had been stationed in India during his time in the forces.  He f**king loved the place, wouldn’t shut up about it. I learned a lot about Indian trains (steam engines) that he really loved.   There was a map of India permanently etched on to the board with lines representing the main railways.  We learned fuck all else about the rest of the planet though, so much for geography!

 

Can’t Listen, Won’t Listen

I was so glad to leave school you wouldn’t believe how relieved I was when I didn’t have to go there again.  Like a lot of young people I bumbled about in life for a bit before I got a job in sales.  I could always tell who the teachers were.  It didn’t matter how much you genuinely tried to help them they had made up their singular and arrogant minds before they even met you.  They could not be told, because they knew everything.  In short society has engineered a class of citizens that are incapable of listening, but that’s because they f**king talk all day and are so used to the sound of their own voices that there’s no room for anyone else to get a word in edgeways.   

 

We’re at the bottom or is the league table upside down?

So it comes as no surprise to me that in a recent study we’re nearly at the bottom of the developed world for English and Math.  On the subject of English.  We invented the f**king language.  It belongs to us, yet everybody else on planet Earth is better than us at it.  That’s quality teaching for you.  These joyless arrogant twats can even get their own language right.  No wonder Welsh is going down the p*sser as are foreign languages like french and german, spanish etc.  To be fair this is a British trait, think of all of the sports that we invented that we’re all sh*t at on the world stage.

 

I was an Insider

Now then lets cast some light on to the above.  I did actually work in education for a while for a local college in fact.  I used to be involved in workplace training and as such had to train for my teaching qualification whilst on the job.  This meant interacting with the ‘academic staff’.  They all used to seethe on inset days when outside training providers would come in and teach us new stuff like how to get the best out of our students with proven techniques.  

 

‘Disrespec’ man innit!

They wouldn’t listen and bitched all day long, making life hard for these poor folk that had been sent in to teach old dogs new tricks.  Popular moans included but were not limited to ‘how they should have been given the day off’ and ‘requiring them to do training on an inset day was the principal’s way of being really disrespectful to the staff’.  More moderate members of the faculty thought that twelve o’clock was enough for training and wanted to have half day on a f**king inset day!   

 

WTF?

Given that they had shit loads of holidays and very short working days, plus teaching assistants to do all of the donkey work for them, I’m still baffled as to why inset days have to take place on a school day.  Get the f**kers in on a saturday or after school or one of their many holidays.  Also I was left wondering…  What the fuck do they actually do?

 

There be three…

Bone Idle bastards, all of them!  So it’s no surprise that we’re doing shit in the world league table of English and Maths, because most teachers, hate kids, can’t stand students and would rather be doing other things instead.  They like the paycheck though.  I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of outstanding teachers I had in school and still have room to cut off two fingers.  

 

Born To Teach.

There was the english teacher that would have all doing the parts of different plays, reading them out aloud to the rest of the class in his lessons making the plays come alive for us with a detailed and breathtaking synopsis of the plot and subtext.  He also had us reading Charles Dickens and told us all about the social norms of those times, what life would be like for the poor that swelled the streets of London and the reasons why they were there. To this very day I look back fondly on his rather engaging and thought provoking lessons.  In a sense he taught us about history too.   

 

A Brilliant Mind.

He was a great man and also a committed atheist, you never saw him at assembly and in the course of his lessons on english language we would delve into spirituality and the afterlife every now and again.  He always made a point of telling us that we should make up our own mind that we shouldn’t be influenced by his beliefs and that he had formed his opinion on the basis that he’d examined the evidence and found it lacking.  Other people had looked at the evidence too and found god he’d explain, but not for him.  He also told us that children were a form of immortality which is why he had a big family with lots of kids.  

 

He was the exact opposite of all of the crap teachers, a man who loved children, a talented educator and a man passionate about his subject.

 

A Commander of Men.

Then there was the maths teacher, utterly brilliant at teaching, his style was a bit different, he was firm and a disciplinarian in the sense that he could control a room with his mere presence, never once having to throw board rubbers or cane kids.  He had natural grace and authority.  Nobody messed around in his lessons.  He was also mindful of the future and reduced every mathematical formula or piece of arithmetic to a real life situation.

 

Fiscal Responsibility

He’d brilliantly explain how we could check our gas bill or electric bill was accurate and be sure that we were not being overcharged.  How we could check the interest on a loan and make sure that the rate was fair.  He explained how loans were based around simple interest and credit cards were compound interest and that compound interest could be a mugs game if it got out of control.

 

He had imagination and could deliver really interesting lessons that showed us kids that maths was the most important skill you could master as it was needed in every aspect of life.  I had my best ever maths grades in his class.

 

Educators Not Teachers

Professionals like this are heroes and despite being low in numbers hold up the entire educational system correcting the mistakes of others and crafting minds in a way that teaching for tests can never achieve.  Grade inflation didn’t matter to these guys because they didn’t care about grades, all they cared about was shaping young minds and preparing them for the world ahead.  These people are educators, not teachers.  To recap I f**king love educators, but f**king hate teachers for the reasons outlined above.

 

Racist Ending

Still it’s not like we’re the worst though, I found out yesterday that the vatican have commissioned some celebratory medals and got the inscription wrong. They issued them with a spelling mistake and got the name of ‘Jesus’ wrong.  I mean for f**ks sake.  How can the vatican get the name of Jesus wrong.  It’s not like he’s important for any reason is it?

 

It also makes you wonder where the medals were struck.  I mean the only place on earth where ‘Jesus’ can become ‘Lesus’ has got to be China!

 

*This later turned out to be complete bullshit.  I have come to understand that around about the same time every school started doing this and they all sounded the same, so it was hardly original or fair of the music teacher to claim that she was the composer.  Lying bitch!

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