‘Treat others as you would like to be treated’ – a classic rule that was told to a class of 28 starry-eyed innocents 4 years ago in one of my year’s initial RE lessons. It’s tacky, it’s cheesy, but it’s also a tactful way of saying ‘stop being so conceited you egotistical little fuck’.
But is it always relevant? Two loosely related events today made me consider this.
I have that cold bug that’s going around, on top of some other underlying headache-inducing nastyness, so I have felt pretty under the weather for the past few days. Whilst txting my mother in ‘tutor-time’ (a sort of doss session where you can catch up on work, which is officially described as either ‘a time to socialize with your peers’ or ‘a time for silent work’ depending on the teacher’s mood), my personal tutor decided it would be a good idea to steal my phone.
‘Tutor groups’ at LFC are ‘vertical’ – that is, they contain on average 4 students from each year group.Â Apparently this is good for peer mentoring and building confidence; I personally quite like it… apart from the cheeky-shit year 7s and 8s.Â They are the people who would really do well to follow by example, but as it turns out they are the most self-important, egotistical and anally retentive people in the school.Â They’re cheeky to you, they presume that everyone else exists purely for their pleasure, and they think cheekyness equates to power.
Phil and I generally make a point of putting any cheeky-shit year 7 or 8 back in his or her – but invariably ‘his’ – place. I usually do this fairly passively by gradually mocking them, reducing their egos and bringing them down off their pedestals.Â Phil takes the more direct route of throwing nearby objects at them and screaming at them to stop being such a bunch of twats.Â Today, though, when I noticed one year 7 mocking and provoking another, already pissed off that I had had my phone temporarily stolen, I lashed out and gave the offending year 7 a quick sharp twat round the head.Â He looked initially pained, and then angry, and then looked me in the eye and took on a sort of respectful expression.Â He said something like ‘I could take [the other year 7] down in one hit, but no-one messes with Foy’.
At the end of the day I stood outside the maths workroom to retrieve my stolen phone at 3.15 as told.Â At 3.20 I asked a passing maths teacher if she had seen Mrs Pioli, but she hadn’t.Â At 3.25 I asked for the time and asked again.Â At 3.30 I emptied my locker and went in search of her – at what I guess must’ve been 3.35 I found her reading emails in a science room.Â No real apology, just a sort of indifferent ‘oh, sorry, I forgot’, followed by having to endure her moaning at me and telling me to open doors with a forced calm that evaporated once I’d freed my mobile.
All Pioli cares about is how well I am doing in maths – doing DiDA annoys her and I don’t think I’ve ever even heard her talk about Science, Geography or Business – which is perhaps indirectly linked to her position as director of studies for maths. If I follow the Frankenburg route and become a teacher after earning my fortune in the public sector, should I force my tutees to ‘inhreit’ my interests?Â If I arrange to have a student see me, should I actually bother to turn up?
The year 7 I mentioned earlier won’t bother me again, or bother others in my presence.Â But he might go on to hit a younger student when he is a little older for his own gains.
To what extent are people influenced?