Saturday, 25 September 2010

The whores hustle and hustlers whore


Ah well another academic year hoves glumly into early autumn view, ho hum. I shoudn’t be too ungrateful so Mrs B keeps telling me,  for I have a post which I grabbed on to far too eagerly fearing lack of work as  I had been away, far away, blissfully distant  from the mithering UK working for several amusing and overly compensated years in various education and civilian jobs in nice hot countries with  wonderful hot swimming pools, long cocktails,  short hours and low tax and high factor smugness...

On return last Easter, the disbelieving and even more suspicious immigration officers, followed by friends and incoherent new neighbours and colleagues spat out in incredulous unison:
Why in the name of Darwin have you come back  Blackheart you blithering fool?  Especially to this damp depressive dank dull dire dump mess of a low-paid joyless land...and, what...!!? You’re gonna take up teaching again...where...? The St Ritalin Academy for the gifted and differently- abled in a gloomy backwater of a depressed town in the inbred gingerish hick part of the county. (Mission Statement: ‘Special kids means special measures’ )....but according to Ofsted: ‘Rather brilliant and outstanding - well, you know...we suppose it kind of is, all things considered’  (Oftoss 2009)

OMG FFS LOL Mr Blackheart- came forth the ridiculing chorus of muttered youth speak inflected spume as they shook their heads in slow and mocking disbelief. Most wise and well-informed people, especially my new hearty colleagues, slapped themselves in much the same way as the over made up supply agency madam did to me after picking herself up from the floor and giving a few well-earned double backhand slaps across my dribbling chops for stupidity.


I put in  a few weeks at the end of last term got on rather well as I didn't leave/ get pushed/ leave in a flood of girlie tears after a week as my predecessors all had. So, I was offered a full-time post which I didn't really want until Mrs B came at my testicles with the bread knife. Backwards, onwards and sideways as they say.

Of course I had no intention of coming back from Expatland...ever. Well, why would you? Unless of course you were an economic migrant looking for the chance to get a low-paid job that most low skilled Brits wouldn’t be offered. Anyway, were it not for the irritatingly predictable annoying ageing and consequent Alzheimer fragranced fraility of the laws and in-laws, we would still be sitting self-satisfied far far away from the Sceptic Isle enjoying all the self-indulgent joys that ex-pat life has to offer.

Never mind - duty, like death, beckons far quicker than I had ever imagined when Mrs B and I skipped our merry way out of the ragged end of the era that was never Cool Britannia. Just in time really as the Messiah Blair morphed into murdering lying cockmonkey Bliar and got in with the Big Bad Boys of the renegade criminal Bush - Cheney gang. Remember those merry men of morality, honour and integrity? Yes, those happy days when New Labour ejaculated on heartily about education education education  giving many of us once leftish progressive folk in Educationland foolish heart.


We should have known better. 


We didn’t expect to have to have below inflation pay-rises based on the ability to jump through a threshold of hoops. Nor did I somewhat naively believe that educational apartheid through post-codes, or the feigning of silly childish  beliefs would be extended and encouraged. Nor did I ever think that fulsome encouragement would be given to the setting up of schools based on delusion and fairy tales from Bronze Age goat herds - the antithesis of education and learning to my simple mind. 

Had I expected  MFL to be gracelessly removed from the compulsory post-14 curriculum? Nope. Had I foreseen the extension of teaching by numbers for SATS? Hell no. Increased target setting and the continuing tenure of the creepy little Smeagal -  little Chrissy Woodhead (who might be on a special interest list these days given his dalliance with a much younger woman...). Double hell no. 

There was also a succession of at best mediocre Education Ministers (see humourous yet flattering photo) led by the double blind fool Blunkett, the unfeasibly uni-browed unlovely uniquely useless god-botherer Ruth Kelly in charge of education for a while which coincided with the rise of the charmless Chav. At the same time immigration rose to make good the lack of skills of  the ill-educated, poorly paid workforce not really needed in our dishevelled country that doesn’t make much anymore or appear to require too much in the way of skills for an underpaid globalised service based economy.  Worst of all a government fraudulently going by the Labour brand, albeit New, beat the perennially foul and sleazy Tories to the all important highly progressive and well-informed mythical  Middle England Daily Mail readers - folk  who should not really be allowed to vote anyway - and alienated their remnants of their traditional core who went off to get  a lobotomy via reality TV or an unconvincing dalliance with the BNP (RIP). 

What great Blair opportunities had and lost.

Other things happened  that were good for education... possibly... but they didn’t include my then vertigo inducing rise to the dizzying heights of HoD after only a year's teaching in wonderful smelly old London.  Colleagues and the kids are of course what makes the job but after a few years I was unable to get rid of the vision that what I was doing was about as value free as the cliche so beloved by imagination challenged teacher trainers everywhere - I was simply going around in circles reinventing the wheel but getting my holiday money every month whilst tramping down the damp alleyways of my increasingly mouldering once optimistic idealistic soul. Futile indeed it then seemed. So off I buggered for ten happy and contended, sun-kissed, lucrative, fulfilling  years - a bit of teaching and then reinvented myself as a consultant for even more money and fewer hours still and then at Easter got painfully broken back down to supply teacher. Obviously, I must have done something right...well apart from being available, and Mrs B desperate to get me out of the house and back onto the hustling treadmill of life in the Motherland, for I was offered a vague post with a contract and job description I have yet to see - which is how I like it.

So, dragged back now with a few kids of my own, reluctantly older and occasionally wiser with a hollow ringing feeling of  emptiness that I am marooned and not heading away again for a while. I resume the role I have never quite managed to escape from ...and even when I had, I always suspected in a cold sweaty way that I would be reeled back in like a returning flailing salmon going the wrong way up the fast flowing sewer stream of life but feel more like a hustled old whore returning to the kebab and vomit laden streets from whence she thought she had escaped.

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