A diverse offering twixt the interesting, the unusual, and the amusing.
Monday, 3 August 2020
I know there are several ex-teachers who read this page, and I salute them. Teaching isn't easy, and most teachers show extreme dedication to their profession.
I would never call myself a 'teacher', but I have taught in two schools and acted as visiting lecturer on a few other occasions.
My first teaching position, in a girl's private school, was a total waste of time. They wasted my time, I wasted the pupils time, and the whole department could have closed down and no-one would have noticed.
The fault lay with the head of department. A woman of retirement age, who considered cleanliness and tidiness to be far more important than quality of work. My hands were tied, and I became no more than a 'child-minder'. At the end of the year, the headmistress asked (almost begged) me to stay on, which I was prepared to do as long as the incumbent head of dep't retired, and I could totally transform it into something of which the school could be proud. The elderly spinster refused to quit; so I left.
The school was very well known, and many of the girls came from famous backgrounds; one was the daughter of the then Irish Prime Minister. It was St Trinians without the bad behaviour. Lacrosse, Hockey, and Greek dancing seemed to be the school's obsessions. There was even an outdoor amphitheater where the girls would prance about in 'ancient Greek pleated dresses' (imitating illustrations on an Etruscan vase) for the benefit of bored parents. It was all so old-fashioned, it was laughable.
My next position was a totally different affair. A co-ed Prep' school that after 'Dragon' was reputed to be the best in Britain. The whole atmosphere was one of relaxed gentility. The children were all charming, my fellow teachers all dedicated, and the all-round quality of education and extra-mural activities was without flaws. I loved being there, but my position was only for one year, to replace the regular teacher who'd taken a year off to attain the same qualifications that I already held.
During the Easter holidays I drove down through France, and bought a big old farm. My teaching career thus came to an end.
The difference between an optimist and a pessimist, is that the optimist enjoys himself whilst waiting for the inevitable! I AM that optimist!
This is a daily, optimistic, 'photos and comments' blog. I make no judgements (only occasionally), just notes. If you wish to comment in any way at all, please feel free. Everything and everyone (except the obdurate and dictatorial) is very welcome.
I was born just south of London, but for the past 46 years I've lived in S W France. I am a painter by profession, and writer by desire. Lady Magnon and I live in an ancient cottage, in a tiny village, in perfectly tranquil countryside. We have a vegetable garden called 'Haddock's' (this may crop up from time to time), plenty of fruit trees, and a view that takes the breath away; we also have a Border Collie called Billy. I try to treat our planet with respect, and encourage others to do likewise (without preaching).
Contentment is a glass of red, a plate of charcuterie, and a slice of good country bread. Perfect!