.... with a little help from T S Eliot and Charles Dickens
We have all been to school and think we are experts on the subject of teaching. How can it be that tricky? And the holidays are SO long!
In my novel ‘Make a Joyful Noise’, the heroine Lucy struggles with her class music teaching even though she is an accomplished musician, playing the piano and singing to a high level. She finds out the hard way that being good at something doesn’t mean you are automatically a good teacher.
Controlling and teaching a class of teenagers is a very difficult task and those who do this well don’t get the respect they deserve from the public. In fact, they get a pretty bad press, often being branded as unable to do anything else and taking a full time salary for part time work.
T S Eliot knew what it was about when he said:
“I have never worked in a coal mine, or a uranium mine, or in a herring trawler: but I know from experience that working in a bank from 9.15 to 5.30, and once in four weeks the whole of Saturday, with two weeks holiday a year, was a rest cure compared to teaching in a school.”
Teachers need special gifts of communication, a real presence and personality that they are not afraid to show and of course good health to survive all those winter bugs that the kids bring into the classroom and cough all over them. It isn’t just a question of keeping discipline either; Julia Hughes’ wonderful creation Miss Geraty in ‘The Griffin Cryer’ has iron discipline but is not an ideal teacher in other ways...oops, I mustn’t give the plot away. You will have to read it for yourself!
So, let’s have a round of applause for all the dedicated teachers out there, the unsung heroes and heroines of our time, who battle away through the years helping our teenagers to develop lifelong skills and interests.
God bless them, every one! (Thank you, Tiny Tim).
Jenny's debut novel, "Make A Joyful Noise" is free to download from today, until midnight 3rd January
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