Teaching: the easy life
RECENTLY, one of my many unemployed banker friends announced that he was thinking of retraining as a teacher.
"It'll be a lot less stressful than working in a bank," he said.
"AND he'll get to leave work at 3 pm instead of 3 am," his wife added.
In fact, he revealed that several of his colleagues plan to abandon the nerve-jangling, dog-eat-dog world of finance and go into education: a slow, cushy occupation characterised by long, paid holidays.
What an excellent idea! However, it's vital that we give these smart people some understanding of what is required before they cough up the funds to retrain as teachers.
The easiest way to do this en masse, I reckon, would be to organise a reality show like "Survivor," but with an education theme.
It would go like this. Twelve people from the business world would be air-dropped into a school for six weeks.
They will have no mobile phones, secretaries, Blackberrys or Starbucks.
The will have an expired whiteboard marker, a register of names they cannot pronounce, and an 80 percent pay cut.
Each will be locked in a room containing 40 students, of which five have hyperactivity disorders, four are learning-disabled, six speak no English, seven have severe behavioural problems and three are borderline insane.
There will be one teaching assistant, who has locked herself in the sewing closet for her own safety.
Task one: Get all the students all off the ceiling and into their chairs without touching them.
Task two: Get them all to stop screaming without traumatising them by raising your voice.
Task three: Remove all guns, knives, transmitters and explosives from their persons without weapons of your own.
After they have mastered the above, contestants move onto the REAL challenges. Each contestant must get 40 children to learn all the material on the curriculum. To add realism, the curriculum will be entirely rewritten twice a week.
In the middle of each day, there will be a one-hour lunch break, during which time contestants will not be able to eat anything, because they are double-booked, on playground duty and chess club supervision.
While teaching full-time, contestants will simultaneously be required to:
Attend three faculty meetings; take a course in teaching technology; have a 20-minute session with the parents of each child, during which they will be required to pretend they can differentiate one brat from 1,300 others; write six college application referral letters; organise one fund-raiser; fill in 17 forms; write a five-page report on each child, including nine they have never met; and do a Masters in Education.
Every night, they will take home 40 essays, most of which consist of random lists of miss-spelt nouns. Armed with a red pen and a splitting headache, they will decipher each of them and write out corrected versions.
Every weekend will be filled with extra-mural activities, which will consist of shivering in sports fields, while a thousand children sneeze viruses at them.
Contestants' only break will be a single bank holiday. However, since everyone connected with schools has the same day off, they will find that every possible relaxation activity is fully booked by the people they need to get away from.
Now, banker friends, when would you like the retraining to begin?
Oh, you want to think about it a bit more, do you?
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