Sunday, 12 June 2011

Paris and I ~ 'Other People's Kids'

iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Other People's Kids ~

Other People's Kids, originally uploaded by Paris Set Me Free.

BONUS: For Street Photography Fans!

This is the inside story, a double-spread headline which says: "Teacher, the job that no-one dreams of any more".

The front page title of the same newspaper is "Devenir prof, l'effet bof", which roughly translates as 'Becoming a teacher, the "What else (is there)?" effect'.

French education is in a mess. They have a stupid and onerous competitive exam system called the CAPES which tests a lot of things apart from true teaching skills and aptitude. The figures speak for themselves; the once desirable and cushy number of working in the French national education system is now so unpopular that the number of applicants is rapidly approaching the number of places available. In other words: apply; you'll probably pass the thing anyway. How's that for competitive?

And why all this angst? Err, how can I put this... French school kids. Although not in and of themselves FUNDAMENTALLY bad, get a group of them together in, oh, a classroom, say, with an inexperienced teacher, and you'd be right in wishing that if only hell existed you'd be first in line for a one-way ticket...

Hell is other people (or even other people's kids), somewag once said, but in this case it's other pupils.

I stepped inside a classroom for one day this month, and that was more than enough.

Teaching's a funny thing. But so is society. Kids can be wonderful, but they can be not. Something's gone wrong somewhere, that's for sure. Teachers used to be up there with the doctor, the vicar (God forbid) and the Mayor.

How the mighty have fallen. And the teacher too, possibly the mightiest of all.

When the teacher's no longer respected, the end of civilisation as we know it isn't far behind.

Do you think I'm exaggerating? Why? What's the 'true' role of a teacher..?

© 2011
Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

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