Saturday, May 18, 2024
HomeNewsOdd man out – life as a sensible teacher

Odd man out – life as a sensible teacher


I HAD an alarming discussion with teaching colleagues at a state comprehensive about men’s versus women’s sport. As usual, me on one side, the entire department on the other.

Apparently, it’s ‘biological determinism’ (a major crime) to claim that the England men’s football team would soundly beat the women’s team. My prediction was ‘not evidence-based’ and even if the men did win, it would not be due to them being any better at football. If that happened, it was due to society, funding, a ‘culture of low expectations’, prejudice – take your pick from the issues teachers spend every minute discussing.

In the matter of a 100m sprint contest between the fastest man and the fastest woman, I was told the obvious winner was ‘just due to biology’ – surely the very definition of hated biological determinism?

I pleaded guilty to believing that men and women are different biologically and that in a physical sport the best men would always beat the best women. If they disliked this, it made no difference to its veracity. If they argued that winning in sport didn’t mean you were better at it, they were asserting nonsense – and they knew it.

Quite why my position seemed remarkable and disturbing to them was itself remarkable and disturbing. More so was their zeal, competing to attack my position; as if anxiously aware that the angrier their denials of reality, the more safely ‘progressive’ it made them.

One of the teachers assured me: ‘I don’t think you’re sexist – I won’t be cancelling you.’ I thanked her for this wonderful news, asking how this threat fitted with the insistence that culture wars are an invention of the privileged few?

Alarmed by this flat-earth dogmatism, I posted a disguised account of the conversation on Facebook. Not disguised enough: I was threatened with disciplinary action for bringing ‘the school and profession into disrepute’. I replied that surely it was only what I exposed that could do so – were they themselves saying those views were disreputable?

The absurd doublethink, claiming to be scrupulously ‘evidence-based’ whilst proudly denying reality, is characteristic of the Remainer/Lockdown nexus dominating teaching. I know from friends in the private sector that similar things happen there.

I provide this as an insight for those who don’t know the teaching profession. I’d say people with my views make up fewer than 10 per cent of teachers, probably fewer than 5 per cent. I’ve taught for many years in the state system. It has always been dominated by Left-leaning teachers, many of whom never worry about the professional obligation to provide balance. But more recent ‘woke’ messaging is tipping this into outright indoctrination, as seen in the uproar over Critical Race Theory spoon-feeding in Brighton junior schools.

I’ve seen the effects on my own daughter. Luckily, she has parents who won’t allow this to go unchallenged. Anyone reading this who isn’t similarly vigilant needs to be.

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Eric Blair
Eric Blair
Eric Blair (pseudonym) is a teacher at a large comprehensive school.

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