Somebody’s Child

This articulates very well the feelings I had a couple of years ago when a friend’s child was being drummed out of his Secondary school for his ‘bad’ behaviour. It always seemed to me that while he was certainly not completely innocent of any wrong-doing that his behaviour wasn’t quite so bad as the repeated suspensions and finally expulsion meted out would suggest. I felt that the school were making an example of him, possibly to the benefit of many, but at the cost of one individual boy – that they had lost sight of the fact that this boy was a CHILD.

Freeing the Angel

One of the most striking differences for me between teaching in primary, and teaching in secondary, is the depth of the relationship that we can develop with each child. This is not to apportion blame: it is a simple fact of mathematics. In primary, those 30 children very quickly became ‘my class’. In secondary, those 250 children very quickly became ‘that tricky Year 9’ or ‘my favourite Year 7 group’. In secondary you get a flavour of what it is like for primary teachers, when you work with a GCSE or A Level class, or when you have your own form group. But it is still not quite the same. In primary you get to meet the parents each day, as they wait to pick up their children: there is no escaping the fact that they come from a family. In secondary, your first contact might be at a parents’…

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