Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone..

Last week was 'trips week' which for me meant going with 14 other teachers and 193 first years up near Aberfoyle to an adventure centre for a week. Last year I had taken, along with three other teachers, about 30 second years away for a week to a different adventure centre which was great but this was an adventure on a bigger scale. It was an amazing week even though on day two 1 billion midges turned up for a feast and stayed with us for the rest of the week. We built rafts, climbed tall trees, walked up hills and generally had an amazing time. The students in fairness to them kept their spirits and energy levels up for the entire week and despite being eaten alive and having to live in midgey nets had a great time too. What stood out for me was how the different up bringing of boys and girls from much the same area and basically in the same socio economic group can produce such different characters. The vast majority are extremely polite, fun loving children who will give anything a go, trusted in their friends and were there to support each other. A small minority had obviously never heard the word 'no' before or if they had they were unsure of the meaning. A few were obviously spoilt at home and it was clear that Mammy, Daddy or even Jeeves did most of the picking up after them. I wonder do parents fully understand the burden they are placing on their children by spoiling them? How will Little Johnny cope if he ever has to leave the home fire and go off travelling or off to Uni. By giving them more dining options than a Michelin star restaurant at home do they think they are preparing for student life when you need to cook Bolognese on a budget on £4 so you can pay the rent and afford a six pack of Danish Gold for the social engagement round at Dave's place?? Some of these children could not find there own suitcase if they were sitting on it, how by packing for them, running after them and picking up for them are they ever going to learn any responsibility for themselves? The Scottish government provides all they need in School, Mammy and Daddy give all they need at home and if anything is lost or broken, be it jotter, book or phone a new one is quickly supplied. I can't help but feel that we are letting them down in this respect. (Insert 'back in my day' story here!) It looks like the children of today will have to learn responsibility the hard way but then maybe everybody does.

 On a positive note it was an amazing week, it was great to get to know the students on a different level and to get to know some of the staff who I had never really talked to before. The craic was great and the banter was mighty especially when one poor teacher who will rename nameless managed to let the fire alarm off at midnight because it was in the spot where the light switch should be! That's his excuse and he is sticking to it! I will also never forget 190 kids singing the chorus to Nikki Minaj's song Starships, its not a fantastic choice for a kids disco but to hear a room full of kids roar out 'you're higher than a motherfuk@r' six times throughout that song was very funny, when we first heard it your just thinking it can't be that but it it dawns on you! Needless to say when the DJ tried to play it again as the students roared out 'one more tune' the boss stepped it and sorted it out. It was a great week and one I will remember for a while.

Now back to reality of looking for a job for next year. I have applied for seven different full time jobs in the Edinburgh area so fingers crossed one will go my way. I applied for one at a Catholic school which was fine as I am a Catholic but it turns out you need proof that you are in fact a good Catholic! You must seek approval from the Bishop in the Diocese that you live in. I had not realised that this was how it had to be done but you learn something new everyday. To become 'approved' you have to write a religious belief and character statements. I also had to get my priest from home to write a reference. I can't help but think to myself that if you have to tell everyone how good a person you are does it not contradict what one learns at mass that you should be humble? It's even more frustrating than going into an interview and telling people that your the bee's knees! Fear not though I am now a certified good Catholic and have a letter that proves it, I will be first in at the pearly gates when the time comes unless the letter has an expiry date! Anyways I have one interview Friday, though a friend of mine does have a temporary job there and would be considered favourite, so maybe we should consider that one a practice and another one on Monday. Onwards and upwards...

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