Birth of unease

27th December 1996 at 00:00
From Alan Millard

"They're little charmers and the performance is always a winner, whatever happens" writes Luke Arlington (Thank God it's Friday, TES, December 13). Those were my sentiments, too, as I sat on a hard chair in the infant school hall at this year's Nativity play, completely captivated by the whole heavenly host and, in particular, by the one special five-year-old angel in the back row whose proud grin and "see-me" wave was my main reason for being there.

It was only when I looked around at the rest of the audience who, like me, were all doe-eyed and soppy-faced that I began to feel just a little uneasy and wondered what it was all about.

As a teacher I had always questioned the value of the annual Nativity and had wondered if it was nothing more than a sop to the parents - a parrot-like performance for their cameras and camcorders which was meaningless to the children who could hardly pronounce the Biblical phrases or begin to understand the virgin birth. And here I was, retired from teaching but still perpetuating the tradition simply by being there. Was it right? It was only after the final bows when that special angel in the back row smiled with all the wickedness which only an angel could muster that I finally decided it was.

ALAN MILLARD 8 Medina Court, Marine Parade West, Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now