Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Bad teachers to be sacked shock

It seems that Irish teachers are about to have a belated introduction to the hire-and-fire aspect of the world of work – but at least they’ll still have their holidays, counted in months, to recover from the trauma. This follows a revolutionary agreement forged between Department of Education, and school and teacher representatives.

And isn’t it about time? Gombeen Man remembers his schooldays with no fondness whatever. The happiest days of your life? Don’t think so - unless you were some kind of embryonic masochist.

And part of the reason was the fact that people who should never have been let near of a bunch of kids, where somehow qualified, in Ireland, to become teachers. And what kind of teachers, in Gombeen Man’s experience, were the most dysfunctional? You guessed it: Irish language teachers.

Many of these teachers were, at best, mediocre in every other respect (or subject), and would not have come within a flying blackboard-duster’s range of a classroom but for Gaelic. Only for it, in its State-sponsored Frankenstein manifestation, they would never have been teachers.

GM can only speak from his own experience, but it’s an experience that was terrifyingly real. We had one Irish language teacher who claimed he was a financial adviser to C.J. Haughey. He also claimed he had a helicopter (in the 70s) and drove a Bentley (very British, I thought), until one eagle-eyed pupil saw him running for the number 18 bus during lunch hour, and raised the issue during class.

This clown, who would not have been employed as a teacher in any other country, used to sit at the top of his class, cover this face with his hands, and mutter something; before quizzing some unsuspecting sod to repeat what he said.

Another was a bit more touchy-feely, but not in the liberal sense. The guy had a habit of addressing certain favoured pupils as “lovely boys”. He never did anything untoward, if you know what I mean, but there was a creepiness there. He ranked the class according to a farmyard hierarchy, whereby the most proficient in Irish were “livestock”, and those less gifted in the Noble Tongue of the True Gael, were “poultry”. You might be surprised to hear that Gombeen Man was poultry, until he got fed up with the farmyard bullshit and stopped going to the class altogether – compulsory or not.

But at least that particular one was not violent. Unlike another specimen who carried with him a threat of simmering menace, which found expression on occasion. A big ex Gah player with a big ignornant lump of a turnip head on him, he - like so many Irish language enthusiasts / careerists - did more to discredit his supposed cause than he would ever have the intelligence to imagine.

There were other teachers, of course, and many of them were incompetent. But at least they weren’t stark, raving mad. And they weren’t knuckle dragging cultural supremacists. They were just shit.

So isn’t it about time that bad teachers can get sacked? Is it not reasonable that people placed in postions of trust with children, in their most vulnerable, formative years, should be somehow accountable?

Gombeen Man thinks so. And he hopes, that in the coming economic depression, he bumps into a few of those excuses for teachers who made his young life a misery, at the dole office.

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Pgibson said...

With good teachers Irish school kids will emerge from National School being able to speak Irish, and they will have learned not throw litter around like confetti.

Start sacking!

The Gombeen Man said...

Well, as you might have gathered from this blog, PG, proficiency in Irish would not be a Gombeen Nation priority.

But whatever about that, the State has a responsibility to provide a good all-round education to all children, and sacking bad, incompetent teachers can only be a good start towards that goal.

It's taken so long for the issue to even be raised, that it's truly mind-boggling.

Better late than never, though. I could nominate a few of them for the chop, from my experiences. It boils my blood even now, to be honest!

Netgeek said...

"Bad teachers to be sacked shock "

I'll believe it when I see it.

The Gombeen Man said...

Fingers crossed, Netgeek, eh? ;-)

cólz said...

Love the pic!

The Gombeen Man said...

Awww... thanks colz. It's from memory!!!!