Monday, July 15, 2024
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Why are teachers such weirdos?


IT can’t have escaped your attention that teachers are amongst the oddest members of society. Parents are often baffled when they meet them, especially by the clinically managerial language and absence of humour, if not humanity. Sure, they’ll put up blue and yellow ribbons for Ukraine and emote over George Floyd. But something about these people sets the teeth on edge – perhaps the uneasy mix of neediness and bullish defensiveness. 

I speak from decades’ experience, notably as a lonely opponent of prejudice against working-class boys by female teachers. This is now rampant in our schools, where masculinity is pathologised as sexist or ‘toxic’, and set texts are purged of anything that doesn’t thunder against ‘the patriarchy’. In truth, there are far too few male teachers – people who’ve experienced life as a pubescent lad – as opposed to bossy Guardian readers obsessed with revenge and self-promotion. 

All pupils suffer from the assumed moral licence of these fanatics. A tyranny of those whom C S Lewis said are ‘more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth.’ I’d suggest that some use ‘progressive causes’ to provide cover for their cruelty, teaching being the ideal profession for bullies. 

A Year 8 boy makes little effort in an English assessment. His twenty-something teacher, a woke stickler for policing every word uttered by her pupils, announces: ‘If you fail GCSE English, you won’t be able to feed your children when you’re older.’ An incredible statement, like something from Charles Dickens. Even more staggering is the indifference of other teachers when this is mentioned.

In the same class, a girl hands scissors to another pupil, innocently saying ‘Happy Christmas’. She’s hauled out of the lesson and warned to be more careful ‘because not everybody celebrates Christmas’.

A female teacher I know once boasted to a lunchtime meeting of colleagues discussing a difficult Year 9 pupil: ‘His attitude to women is appalling, like something from the Dark Ages. I’m going to make him cry this afternoon.’

I’ve fought all this for years and done my bit. I’m reporting it so that others are aware, to make sure people complain whenever they hear of such horrors. Teachers live in a world of constant anxiety and complaints are always noted.

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

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