Feed, Clothe, Care for, Educate….

A teacher’s remit is wider than people realise. Pretty much every teacher I know has worked with kids who come to school hungry – sometimes because there’s no food at home, some times because there is no one at home to make sure they have breakfast. I remember a kid who’d be given £1 to get breakfast on the way to school – and who’d turn up in form time with a massive slab of chocolate, pretty much every day for the whole year.

We’ve all taught kids with holey clothes, flappy shoes, no lunch, grimy faces, constant lice…. We do everything we can to plug the gaps. These are children not of ‘scroungers’ or ‘layabouts’ but of people who work so called ‘minimum wage’ jobs, on zero hours contracts, who don’t get tax credits any more. These people are part of the governments ’employment statistics’. Just because they are employed, it DOES NOT equate to improved standards of living – in fact quite the reverse. Parents working shifts, leaving kids to look after themselves, still not able to afford things like school uniforms, or the ever increasing price of the laundrette and prepaid electricity.

Meanwhile, the government bang on that teachers need to do more about this and more about that – if we weren’t so busy worrying about the welfare of the children in front of us and the increasingly poor circumstances many of them find themselves in, if schools weren’t being used as social catcalls for the poverty and deprivation in this country, required to: provide hot meals, after-school babysitting (sorry cross-curricula enrichment), social care and guidance, and prevent terrorism, then maybe we could focus on education but as it is, some things are more important.

It scares me how quickly the government seem to have undone our social welfare system and begun returning us to a Victorian morality – the rich get rich, the poor get cholera….. Anyway, enough ranting. The brass tacks are basically that more and more kids are being picked up at school because they need social care and because there’s no one else to do it, the teachers are.



An Article To Parents

Interesting article, by a father of 3 who is also the husband of an elementary school teacher. It’s very direct and an interesting reminder to parents that they need to think about what messages they are giving to their child by the way they treat or speak about their teachers. It comes down to one simple fact. It’s a parent’s job to teach children to respect learning and teachers,  the teachers can take care of the rest.

Parents, It’s Time To Stop Undermining your Child’s Teacher

Insult of The Week

I’m starting a new series.

Being an SEBD teacher, I hear A LOT of insults every week. Most of them are not very inventive and involve either the F word or the C word. However, occasionally there’s a gem…for instance: ‘

“Where did you get your f***ing hair cut? Lidl?”


“If you don’t shut the f*** up I’ll skin you and use your skin as a towel”

Every week, I’m going to post the funniest or most creative insult I hear. So here’s the first one. This was shouted at me by a year 8 who thought I was being stupid because I didn’t realise he’d started on the wrong question.

“Oh my f***ing god! Have you only got 7 chromosomes or something?”


I am the teacher, I am

Inspired by the brilliant poem  I am the vicar, I am by Kevin Lewis

Although I couldn’t stop this one being progressively more bitter…. but that may just be a sign of the times.

I am the teacher, I am
I am the educator, the nurturer, the planner and assessor
I am the scolder, and the praiser
I am the counsellor, the role-model, the writer of grammatically correct reports.
I am the negotiator, the enforcer, the mediator
I am the champion of the weak, the giver of homework
I am your greatest fan, and your harshest critics
I am the teacher, I am

I am the teacher, I am
I am an expert in my chosen subject
and educational principals
and bloom’s taxonomy
and maslow’s heirarchy
basic psychology
everything on the news
resource management
social care
computer maintenance
fixing the photocopier, the projector, my broken chair
fixing your pencil case
the zip on your bag
your trousers
the wall display
your calculator
the problem you are having with the girls you thought were your friends
because I am the teacher, I am

I am the teacher I am,
The asker of questions,
What’s three and four?
When was world war 2?
Who was Queen Victoria?
What do you think?
Why does this work?
Where is your homework?
Who said you could?
Was that a good idea?
Why are you crying?
Where’s your jumper?
When did you go to bed?
Who’s at home at the moment?
Every answer is precious to me, even if its wrong, or blatantly a lie,
because I am the teacher, I am.

I am the giver of answers
Start at the top
It’s under your chair
Yes you can go to the toilet
No you can’t open the window
Yes you do have to do it
No, homework is due on a tuesday
Yes I do have a husband
No I don’t watch X factor
Yes I do believe in god
No, start a new page
Yes I do think it’s important
No I don’t agree with your dad
Yes I understand international politics, and also that you don’t yet.
No I don’t think your stupid
Yes I really do care
I am the teacher, I am

I am the teacher, I am,
I am the investor in the future 
I see potential in everybody
I see individuals, and their needs, and I account for every single one
I see spreadsheets of data
I see past the nonsense
I see smiles, scowls, emails demanding data
I see head lice
I see suspicious bruises, unwashed shirts
I see penises drawn in the all sorts of places
I have to look beyond, data, levels and labels so that I can see children.
Because I am the teacher, I am.

I am the teacher I am,
I make complex things simple
I help you take on the world
I credit you with my successes
and myself with your failures.
I am proud of your work
I buy pencils and sweets
I notice tiny changes that can’t be recorded
I am the teacher,
I have many different names
Miss, Sir, Mum, bitch
I am the subject of whining
the receiver of notes
the distributor of forms
the nagger
say please
wipe your feet
don’t run
use the bin
capital letter
use a ruler
sit properly
2 minutes
use a pencil
sit down
stand up
be quiet
what’s the answer?

I am the teacher, I am
I am an upstanding member of society
with ink on my hands
dust on my knees
and a pocket full of tissues
a drawer full of stickers
and snoopy on my tie
I am trusted with:
signing passports
giving references
expensive equipment
confidential information
thirty two in a class
moral standards
British values
other peoples children
the future
I am the teacher, I am

I am the teacher, I am.
I am the one that always understands
I am the one who is magic
I am the one that feels guilty when ill
I am the one that is always to blame
I am the one not allowed to make mistakes
I am the one that’s easily replaced
I am the one only here for the money
I am the one that finishes at three
I am the one that doesn’t work all year
I am the one that can’t be tired
I am the one not allowed to cry
I am the teacher, I am

I am not perfect
I am not magic
I am just human
I wouldn’t dream of being anything else, so
I am the teacher, I am