Part 8.5: Sex! Lies, Toads, Fate…
Warning: this episode is written as a sex blog. If you are likely to be offended, please read on. This work of so-called fiction includes a satirical portrait of the writer, so if you have been offended by previous episodes you will imagine you have had your revenge. Well it’s worth a try. Please don’t sue me while I’m alive. Or I’ll haunt your ass.
ALERT: Webmaster: this blog has just overstepped the bounds of Taste and Decency. Moderate the language or I’ll close you down.
Ok ok! Whatever you say. ((Psst: Dear reader: From now on in this piece, always replace the word ‘work’ with the word ‘wank’, in your mind and this will help you to put the life of the teacher into a context. And prevent me getting into Big Trouble with Big Brother.))
Reboot: Reducing the Workload. A non-pornographic story which, based on facts, will illumine your life…
Introducing the hero of this tale: Jonas Egghorn (which is the name he insists Starbucks write on his cup of tall dry cappuccino without chocolate). A teacher on the good ship FaitchEss for many years, he survived somehow by pretending to teach Business Studies, aka Not Brain Surgery. Or Not Rocket Science. What he was actually doing was using the pupils to make shitloads of money via a variety of convoluted scams including the Great Financial Crash of 2008, which netted him and his pupils around 20bn Rupees. He referred to this as “Enterprise” and funded several awards for himself, as he has a stonking great ego.
One of the awards necessitated a visit to Downing Street to meet the Cameron himself, a former ruler of the realm, quite forgotten now of course. And the Toad Gove. Of whom more anon. This grand bash at No 10 cost his Young Enterprise company an arm and a leg, both of which were necessary for a transplant so that the Coalition, as it was then called, would have a Leg to Stand on.
(Incidentally, Jonas’ sexuality has long been a subject of gossip in the tiny cupboards scattered over the school, referred to as “the Staffroom”. He calls himself an “Ex-sexual” and when asked what brand he replies “No idea. So long ago I have quite forgotten.” It is probable that he is lying as several mongrel dogs may attest if they could speak or walk straight.)
Jonas was also a bit of a Martial Artist, or Nerd. His Nerdism, which is a serious illness which infects many of those people who have had a broken childhood, expressed itself regularly in miming dealing out extreme violence to others. Nobody thought to close down his school club because those pupils who attended were much safer off the streets. And the blood could be cleared up by professionals. And several Bad Boys were in fact repaired of their badness by their development of the ability to murder each other, and went on to brilliant careers as hitmen.
Hrrrrrragh! Was what he called his “keai” which is what he would yell whenever miming an especially lethal move, or was emotionally engaged, or had a particularly good -uh- work.
On with the story.
But before that happens, a bit more sex. Here we have to (for our Straight readers, ie those who are not teachers) give just a little more background, and describe the Effect of the Little Fucker, and how Govination brought the whole of education to the brink of extinction.
‘Twas brillig, and the Slimy Gove/ Did gyre and gimble in the wabe’, as Lewis Carroll would have said if he was born a hundred years later.
The appointment of the Little Fucker as Ed Sec was the most dire of days for pupils and teachers ever since the birth of Lewis Carroll in 1832. (Ok pedant YOU Google him.) This priapic toad, equipped with a large scythe, was empowered by PM Cameron to Deal With the Education Question in whatsoever way he thought appropriate to increase the Tory Majority in the next election.
If you want to know how this barrage of bullshit (working) happens, read and study Part 3 – Dix’s Last Stand, in which I explain the dreadful DofE, the Toad Gove and his minions, the Inspectocrats of OFSTED and HMI and the whole panoply of the Evil Empire of Amateur “Educationalists” who run the teaching and learning from the Government – without, of course, the foggiest idea as to what happens in classrooms, as they last saw the interior of a school (Eton) in 1977. Mind you a few of the Inspectors themselves are humans. I know some personally who have a genuine mission to improve schools, to remove inequality, to help teachers to do their job better. They do a great job. A pity the government doesn’t make more use of their small human contingent. Or ask them. Or listen to them.
Teachers are the victims of politics. It’s simple: parents need someone to blame for their children being out of control, or not performing academically, or having spots, or having sex – anyone but themselves. So they love to blame schools and teachers. Politicians therefore only have to promise to change schools or education in some way in order to garner shitloads of votes. All change please! At last! Parents cry, At last! Something is being done to take the blame off us for our kids being out of control. And teachers make great victims! Listen: many politicians and parents have an image of the teacher as Someone Who Made Me Do Things I Didn’t Want to do when I was a kid, i.e purveyors of misery. Older people remember being beaten by some sadistic pedant with a cane or, in my case, a knuckleduster. So making changes in school or in curriculums or in funding or bureaucracy is hugely popular. So as soon as any political party sees it’s slipping in the polls it smacks the teachers.
After all those bastards have those loooong holidays! Easy lives! They’re always going on strike! They have short days long nights and are always moaning! Give them more to do! More!
One day Jonas realised that there was just far too much – uh – work. He saw that as a Lead Teacher (they used to call the role Head of Department. This was changed by the Gove in order to irritate and annoy.) he could just no longer manage the pile of paper the volume of emails (work!) the clatter of crap onto his desk the deadlines the lifelines the demands the (work) requests the appeals the PLANNING the producing the displaying the presenting the (work!) pastoraling the rescuing the wiping of tears of himself and others the spelling the grammar the punctuation and worst of all, the POLICIES the parents the (work!) four p’s which are now seven, the MARKING the motivating the REPORTING the statisticing the grovelling the lying the BTEC ing the Blasted BTEC the horrible BTEC the MARKING (again and again) the DISCIPLINING the mentoring the INSPECTION the hours the days the nights the minutes the stomach the stress the stress the stress the stress the work work work all the working all the people…(keeping up?) –
When you have 181% required of you in 100% of the time, you have to choose precisely what to do. So you skip those things you think you can get away with skipping. Which is fine, until Management decides not to like you and starts looking at what you haven’t done. Jonas had decided to put pupils first. A dangerous idea. To test this, he put random swearwords in the Department Development Plan, speckled and sprinkled throughout as if written by a Tourette’s sufferer. No reaction. Patently, his Line Manager regarded reading the damn thing as beyond his 100%, so it was safe just to fill the document up with short stories copied and pasted from the net.
In other words, Workload. (Are you pronouncing it correctly?)
So he resigned as Lead Teacher. No longer a TLR 2b, it was as if the entire weight of the world had fallen on the IRA!
Clarification: the poor innocent landed with the job was not, nor has ever been a member of the Irish Republican Army, Real or illusory, even though he was a Catholic from Belfast. Landed by his parents with the name Ian Reginald Adams, the poor lad was extremely fluffy-tailed but because his ancestors had made their living hiding from the British, he had circumspection in his genes. Continuously in terror at being found out, he always wore a balaclava and when one wasn’t available, a full niqab. Thus attired, he proceeded to work his ass off building the department into a Beautiful Thing.
Jonas was not the only one to notice that job was no longer possible, desirable, manageable or fun.
Saturation! Totally fed up with having to do all this working teachers began leaving the profession in droves, in swarms, in cohorts, in carriages cars busses on horseback, in a huff. The collective noun for teachers is a Frustration of Teachers. No more no more! They cried. The sound of educators cracking up echoed across the land.
Even the bright young things entering the job all dewy eyed and embroiled in their cute little desire to “give something back”, or “do something for the community” or “help those less fortunate than myself” managed at best three years and then, crack! Exit! A job at Tesco’s. Or sectioned under the Mental Health Act. Or booked into the Priory to be disabused of extreme substances. Or all twelve.
The Old Stagers were heading for the earliest retirement their pensions allowed.
And then finally on a sunny morning, we woke up to Gove Gone! Gove was a Was Gove! A Had it Gove! A hand-in Gove! Fired!!! Dave the Rave Cameron had finally realised how hated the Toad was, how he had finally irrevocably and utterly fucked the education system…
(Where’s the sex, I hear you ask. This was sold as a sex blog! There isn’t time for sex. Which is why most teachers are exsexuals. Ok I admit there’s a bit of groping in the Head’s office but that’s just the SLT meetings. Actually I’ve drawn you in on false premises. But now you’ve read this far you may as well continue)
And then, behold: with Gove gone (Nov 2014) the new edsec was and is Nicky Fata Mogana who, being a new broom, contemplated the shattered remains of the ruin of education the Toad had wrought and was instructed to sweep up. “The voters are beginning to notice,” Dick Cameron said, “for heavens sake Nicky, appear to do something! An erection approaches. A Pubic Erection, no less. Make nice with the teachers. The smell of the corpses is putting voters off “
It was at this point Jonas decided that despair was not enough, only action would satisfy – and he wrote his famous email to the Secretary of State, explaining, summarising, and baring his soul. And basically, (the worm) begging for help and understanding.(the fooll).
And she replied. Click here for the correspondence. If you are too lazy, I sum it up
((DARN! No-one has taught me how to hyperlink to a word doc. I uploaded it to the website but can’t find how to link it. Tuff. Sorry. Will find out and do it for you NEXT TIME. It’s bloody good, promise.))
Jonas: now da little fucker is gone, fix this broken thing and here’s how
Nicky Fata Morgana: I’m on it!
…and thus was born the ‘Workload Challenge’! Well, Jonas can’t actually claim the credit for initiating this devastatingly wonderful idea. They have Civil Servants for that. But maybe…a little seed planted grows into a Work Tree.
NEXT EXCITING EPISODE: More sex! Really!…and maybe finally we get to GOING NUTS.