Thursday, 21 May 2015

Those Who Can, Do on 101 Short Stories!

Did you ever get told that 'Those who can do and those who can't teach'?

I heard it a lot when I was in my late teens and it's kind of haunted me since then and even more so since I took up teaching a few decades ago! It always wound me up because there are so many brilliant teachers out there who devote their lives to chivvying reluctant youths through a very limiting and limited education system, trying to get them to see that they are super creative individuals who are bursting with potential if they can only learn to channel that energy in the right direction. There are also so many kids who struggle with the system's clear biases and rebel and lose out just because they can't be judged by the standards through which 'education' operates.

'Those Who Can, Do' (101 version) describes the awful (possible) consequences of when this system fails not only the student but the teachers too. There is a longer version in which it is clearer that the teacher goads the child to breaking point in an attempt to set them both free in a kind of ritual sacrifice. This story will perhaps one day see the light of day too.

(Note: I don't endorse the actions of the kid or the teacher in this story but I understand how they could develop in any school at any time.)