Judge not;Talkback

24th April 1998 at 01:00
I was offended by Steve Devrell's comments about the fellow teachers he observed at the Education Show ("Dog-eared and down at heel", Talkback, March 20), and felt they revealed much about his attitudes to people.

I don't see how being a Metro owner makes me "quirky" or "unfashionable". It just reflects my salary. And, yes, I do have a sticker on my car. It reads "I love life" and exhorts people to donate blood. Am I being "dictatorial"?

Then there's the grumbling. I also recently attended an education exhibition and, yes, I grumbled about the bad organisation. I felt that, instead of having to join long queues outside the building, trying to fill in registration forms, we could have been sent the forms in advance.

Mr Devrell says that the male teachers at the NEC took their seats in the bar at lunch time. At my exhibition, there were so few seats that I had lunch on the floor. It was fortunate that I was wearing "ill-fitting jeans".

Does Mr Devrell judge pupils by their appearance, too? Does he assume that any boy with very short hair is a vandal, and that any girl in a too-short skirt cannot be interested in working hard?

I believe that most people do not judge others by the clothes they wear or the cars they drive. I prefer to believe that teachers are judged by the values they instil in their pupils, by their success in helping them to fulfil their potential and by the well-rounded, caring, non-judgmental adults that result from this care.

Sally Smith is a part-time learningsupport teacher in West Sussex

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