Discovering the child within;Letter;News amp; Opinion

3rd December 1999 at 00:00
I HASTEN to disagree with Libby Purves (TES, November 19). Far from being,"compelled to be an adult 24 hour a day", I find the classroom is one place in which I can behave childishly in front of a sympathetic audience.

A typical day will start with my fifth-form tutor group showing incredible fortitude in the face of my bad moods during our "early morning" registration periods. I will then proceed to teach, and enjoy teaching, some incredibly childish books, such as Conrad's War, which commonly have more than an element of the lavatory about them.

This theme is continued into the afternoon when I teach Chaucer to the sixth-form (I'm doing The Miller's Tale at the moment). Throughout the day, I will laugh if anyone farts and throw my chalk about and call people names if things go wrong.

When the bell goes, I usually rush to the staff room to scoff all the cakes before my hungry-looking colleagues walk through the door. Adult behaviour? I think not.All in all, Ms Purves would find a dose of youthful enthusiasm a more than effective antidote to the ills she describes.

Alexander Smith

Longdon Wood



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