In your own time - Lefties are loathsome, but maggots a re like kiddies

10th September 2010 at 01:00
Political name-calling, dirty housemates - and Inset days - fire up the forums

Political debate is alive and well on the TES forums, and coming under particular scrutiny is the stereotype of the left-wing teacher. Blazer argues that the number of left-leaning teachers is restricted to a small but vocal minority, and most in the profession are either apolitical or bend to the right.

But gowiththeflow is not so sure and claims "the loony left still exist in teaching", before adding an apparently consoling thought: "Thankfully most socialists are dead or dying out."

Lilyofthefield resents her colleagues making assumptions about her leanings. "I am considered right-wing," she says. And the reason? "I don't march round with an 'is Thatcher not dead yet?' badge on." Having considered the matter carefully and weighed up the arguments, blackpepper has the last word: "This is a tired debate and not relevant." That's us told, then.

Moving swiftly on... Inset is a perennial bugbear for many teachers and never more so than at the start of a new school year. Eileen_davies chides whiners who make jokes at the expense of those running the courses, but hers is a minority voice.

Voodoo child derides the content of most training courses and is fed up with ridiculous acronyms and pointless fads: "It's the waste of time and opportunity to do something constructive that is so galling."

Catfordbetty declares herself "rather looking forward to sitting at the back and making jokes" while airy prefers "tutting over the misplaced apostrophes and playing bullshit bingo".

Bingo seems to be a popular way to while away the time, along with pelvic floor exercises and the Murray Mint challenge, where he who sucks longest wins. But just when it seems the anti-Inset brigade has won the day, up pops ArthurDent to defend school leaders for organising it. "Teaching teachers is harder than teaching students," he says, while ilovesooty is a pragmatist: "Look on the bright side: you have a job and you're bloody well paid for being bored."

It is easy to let it all go during the summer, and nowhere is this as obvious as in the kitchen. The results, as Captain_oats found, can be grim: "I was cleaning the floor, moved my bin and to my horror I saw a big group of disgusting crawling things!"

This admission prompted others to come forward with their own reports of maggot infestations. While Captain_oats admits the rubbish may not have been taken out as promptly as it could have been, for ian60 it was a dirty co-habitee to blame. "My housemate left a roast chicken in the oven for the entire summer and then insisted I take care of it, assuring me she would puke," he says.

Henriettawasp is a veteran of such invasions and clean-up operations, so is refreshingly enlightened on the subject. "I used to be queasy about the process," she says, "but I'm starting to think of maggots as our friends. All hail the mighty maggot!" Willowisp takes a philosophical view: "Yes, they wriggle, but so do small children. Maggots are useful for anglers and people with infected open wounds. Not so, small children."

Well, you can't argue with that.

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