Nice work if you can get it


Next student to see the teacher please!

Ah, do come in. Now what can I do for you today?

Well I was wondering if you had got my test results back yet?

Let me see now. Ah Yes. Here they are. Hmm. You better take a seat and prepare yourself for some very bad news. I’m afraid you’ve only got a predicted D grade in GCSE Chemistry, and I’m sorry to inform you that only have six months left to revise in before you reach your terminal examination.

Oh dear. That’s terrible. There must be something you can do for me?

Well I could put you on a long-term series of personalised ChemoTheory sessions, but I’m afraid that’s only available in fee-paying schools, so unless you’ve got private school care insurance I’m afraid you won’t be able to afford it.

However, instead I am allowed to prescribe you a course of new scientifically unproven Govicol, but I should warn you it’s rather indigestible and you will have to be spoon-fed it. And what’s more it not only has a nasty taste but has a whole range of unpleasant educational side-effects.

But what about the new more modern methods that have been developed?

Ah, well I’m sorry to say that the government has informed us that they have been proved to be quite unreliable, so we’re now we’re having to go back and use more traditional 19th century methods. I could probably let you have a slate and some chalk if you want?

Err, no thanks. Haven’t you got anything a bit more progressive, like a tablet of some sort?

I’ll tell you what I can do. Here, take these. They are a set of standard government approved exercises you can self-administer three times a day. But do be careful when you download them – make sure you don’t end up with a nasty virus as well.

Government approved? But you’re a highly qualified and experienced teacher, can’t you tell me what specific exercises would be best for me?

Good heavens, no! What do you think this is – the NHS? We don’t have anything nearly as NICE. While they might have a professional body that guides doctors and nurses and advises on best practice and quality standards, we teachers have to rely on government ministers who know absolutely nothing about education, except of course they went to school once, or at least I’ve been told some of them have.

But I thought the Government was about to announce a Royal College of Teaching. Won’t that make a difference?

Yes, curious that, isn’t it? Just a few weeks before the General Election, and all those teachers’ votes to go for. Unfortunately the proposed college only covers teacher training and defining professional standards for teachers – not what they should teach. And also as a government quango it will probably be overseen by a bureaucratic body that won’t be independent or include any teachers – because of course apparently teachers don’t know anything about teaching, despite the fact they went to school once too, just like the politicians.

So is there nothing else you can do for me?

Well, no, it’s up to you really. Just make sure you keep taking the five-subjects-a-day you need to achieve the required levels of EBaccteria. And keep reading the textbooks until you’ve finished the full course of treatment.

Well, time’s up. Don’t forget to drop off another specimen of your work next week.

And shut all the doors to your future as you leave please.



Image credit: Flickr/Rusty Ferguson

One comment on “Nice work if you can get it

  1. Oh dear, a nice twist on the realities of it all. Sad but true.

    With such a poor rate of patient (student) and nurse (teacher) support, survival and recovery (let alone making anything better!), this Gove-rnment’s draconian surgical interventions just made matters worse as they irrationally butchered everything to pieces rather than holistically aid and provide support in practical ways where it was actually needed.

    The Nurses and Care Workers (Teachers and Educators) on the work-face once again ignored, belittled and worked into the ground as they try to fulfil impossible and pointless targets instead of doing the job they’re best at; helping those in need of teaching.

    Unfortunately, like the doctors of old that didn’t really know what they were doing, Dr Gove et al have in effect applied leeches, sawn off vital limbs and tried to use (M)organ replacement therapy in the vain hope some good may come of it all.

    Sadly however, the damage is already (and still being) done with no clear prognosis or way forward for recovery. With a rich supply of placebos, selling off vital organs to private enterprise and ignoring all good advice and evidence, this past few years has been an unmitigated disaster seeing a few minor injuries turned into a huge accident and emergency motorway pile-up.

    With unknown waiting times and limited bed spaces in an overstretched underfunded system, there will still then need to be long recovery periods and then again major rehabilitation required while the nurses (the teachers) and patients (the kids) adjust to their new crippling circumstances, the facts and outcomes of which are still not clear.

    Keep taking the tablets, use a crutch or two, lick and bandage the wounds and try to ignore the hypocritical oafs that think they know how to make things better.

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