Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Teaching the Teacher

Teachers are wonderful. I admire teachers, I admire anyone who actively chooses to spend a large majority of their time with children and young adults. I couldn't do it. I wouldn't do it.

But however wonderful a human being a teacher is, a teacher is STILL only a human being and something in the education system breaks just a tiny, little bit when a pupil finds this out.

When I was at school, it was when my English teacher marked a spelling wrong when I KNEW it was right and when I pointed it out, DIDN'T BELIEVE ME. She had to in the end of course, when I showed her it in the dictionary. Not the biggest teaching crime in the world ever, I admit, but over 30 years later and I haven't forgotten.

Because it's quite an unnerving moment when the teacher turns out to be the one who needs to be taught. TeenTwin 1 discovered that when, as part of preparation work for the Design and Technology GCSE, she was asked to design a charity box.

She designed one for Breast Cancer Awareness, a pink bra with the straps as handles and slots on the cups for donations. Sounds great?

Well, TeenTwin 1's teacher couldn't see the relevance of the bra, worried that it was pink and, all in all, they would have to discuss it because it wasn't, and I quote, "morally correct."

TeenTwin 1 has, at the age of 16, mastered the withering look of contempt and no doubt employed it fully as she explained the significance of the colour pink and the good old bra to Breast Cancer Awareness, but she was entirely baffled - as am I to be honest - why a pink bra collecting box would be morally wrong.

And so the DT teacher has sunk just that little bit lower in TeenTwin 1's estimation and with it her opinion of all her teachers (even the one who was on Britain's Top Model *sigh*) because, she's rather sadly realised, they don't know everything and they're not always right.

*sends Ms DT Teacher a Breast Cancer Awareness pack*


  1. Blimey, how unaware of the world do you have to be to not get the relevance. I suppose that like with anyone else, if a teacher is able to deal with being corrected with humility, then things are much more likely to return to 'normal'.

  2. Hmmm. apart from utter disbelief that someone wouldn't know about the significance of pink and bra's and breast cancer, you would think that a teacher of a 16 year old would actually engage in some kind of discussion about why or why not something might or might not be appropriate, not just state that it is 'morally wrong'! - Bizarre! P.S. I think it sounds like a fab design.

  3. Good post - I came across from Brit-mums interested to read this. It really resonated...I've come across so many teachers who leave a lot to be desired in their behaviour, let alone what they know, to have ended up home educating ours! As you say it's a hard job and so much political paper shuffling makes it even worse. But I do wonder how some people who don't even seem to like children end up in the profession!

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