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The ‘Old Skool’ Way Of Dealing With Students Is Over - An Excerpt

Howdy Folks!

It's Karl speaking! I hope that you are all well during Lockdown 2 - stay strong!

As you may know, I have been extremely fortunate to write blogs for other platforms which I am extremely grateful for!

In this week's blog, I'm going to post an extract from a post I wrote for Social Performance Network founded by the hugely inspirational Dr Javeria Shah - the Equality & Inclusion Specialist for Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and University of London.

For more info on her, check out her page:

Details for the full blogpost is shown below! Enjoy!


I hated school. Scratch that.

I really, really hated school. And let me tell you a little secret:

Part of me still hates it. And I’m a teacher now. You see, schooling hasn’t really changed much since the 80s & our kids are paying for it now.

Now before you guys judge me and chase me down the road with your pitchforks, let me gave you a bit of background:

I was raised in a place called Barking, the love child of the gritty mean streets of East London and the roguish charm of Essex – think Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels with a dash of Only Fools and Horses and you get the idea.

Apart from being (allegedly) the site of the UK’s first psychiatric institution (hence the term ‘Barking Mad’), Barking was known for being a town of hustlers.

The town was set-up as roman trading outpost because of it’s proximity to the River Thames around 55BCE & it has that in its DNA ever since.

I grew up surrounded by wide boys, drug dealers, hustlers, market traders and chancers and you had to think fast to navigate the tricky street politics – the town kept you on your toes.

The lessons I learnt from my East London town were visceral and urgent – and have never left me since.

But that’s not the Education that my parents wanted me to learn. Concerned about me being corrupted by ‘the streets,’ my mother sent me away to a fancy independent school in a nearby town just after I started Secondary. This is where my hatred for Education really harden.

The school was incredibly boring. Compared to the vibrant primary school that encouraged us to wonder, explore and question, I was confronted with grey uniform, school crests and complex trigonometry. We sat in rows looking at overhead projectors beaming subjects that looked more Klingon than human.

Being the suave charming student that I was, I became disruptive, often trying to get my self ejected from the class as quickly as humanly possible. I constantly tried to break my own records like 2012 Usain Bolt in being freed from talking about which of Henry VIII’s wives were beheaded & divorced.

I honestly felt that school did not understand me nor wanted to get to know what made me tick. The teachers’, who were often from a very different background to me, looked down condescendingly at the way that I spoke & the way that I looked at the world.

As a black child, this was even more acute. In my school, there were not many black kids so we naturally ended up banding together because we felt a sense of belonging. But we were called a ‘gang’ & treated as one – being harassed & under constant suspicion, despite doing nothing wrong.


That's the end of this extract! If you want to read the rest of the blog, click the link below!

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