Thursday, 6 October 2011

Schooldays revisited

I've finally got around to watching Educating Essex on Channel four tonight. Yes, yet another programme on Essex. Watching it has just made me think of school, wow scary thought, I started secondary school 18 years ago. Oh. My. God.

Watching this school at first I started to think how mouthy these kids are. But to be honest looking at some of them they are reminding me of some characters from my schooldays. Not me of course, no I was a good girl at school. In fact when I first started secondary school I was so quiet, like a mouse. I hardly spoke and at first this got me a reputation for being posh. I know it doesn't make sense, but hey we were only eleven, and we were in Essex...

Whenever I tell people what school I went to, if they are from the local area I am met with "oh the posh one?" or similar. Er, no. Yes, it is situated in a more well-off area, but that's about it. Before I started my education at said school it was deemed a 'good' school and although it was not my first choice my parents and me decided it was a good place to attend.

Ha. Not when I went there and some of the lovely people who joined me...I won't name any names, but these were just some of the characters:

The pupil who sat stoned in an English lesson, falling asleep
The student was a known drug dealer
The schoolkid who stole credit cards from teachers and stood in a music lesson swinging a keyboard charger round his head like a lasoo injuring people
Oh and did I mention after I left our headmaster was thrown out for stealing school money?...

Hm doesn't sound so 'posh' now does it?

I was a shy person when at secondary school, I worked hard and I'd say I was in the middle. I wasn't in the group of 'hard' people, but I wasn't a nerd. I wasn't the most popular, best looking girl, but neither was I the ugliest or without friends.

Just watching this programme now, our teachers had to put up with a lot, but nowadays there are so many obstacles in just everyday life that clearly infringe on learning. For example all schoolchildren have mobile phones and what about the internet, schools now have this readily and use it in lessons from what I can see. How do they handle dodgy downloads or social media use instead of researching as is intended?

At the end of the day I believe that if you want to achieve you'll do well regardless of what sort of school you go to. Should children have private education, is it better to go to single sex schools? If anything I think these more sheltered types of school lead to more problems. Sorry to be judgmental, but those who went to all girls schools tended to be more focussed on boys and be the ones sleeping around more. Or the private school kids - more into drugs? This is just a general overview of things I'd seen or heard and I of course am not suggesting this is the case everywhere and for everyone.

For me, secondary school wasn't enjoyable, I much preferred college as more confidence grew and I could focus more on what I was truly interested in. You can see how individuals have grown up and become their own people when you go on Facebook. I always found it interesting how people on Facebook would add you and want to talk, yet when at school they had no time for you. Many people ended up as young or teenage parents, some have sadly been killed and others have been in prison. That wasc years ago and just makes me wonder for kids nowadays. I grew up in an Essex town, not some dodgy ghetto, as that rundown would suggest.

You know what tends to baffle me the most though about school? How did those teachers seem so old at school and past it? I know a number of friends who went on to teach - brave souls - and they are much too young and cool to be teachers surely?...

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