Election year is always a time to reflect on where we are as a country and on the things that really matter to us. What do we care about? And what can be done to make things better. As a sportsman and now as a father, I have always believed passionately in the power of sport to improve the lives of young people. I know from my own personal experience and from the achievements of the thousands of youngsters I have encountered throughout my professional tennis career, that sport has transformative qualities.
Now, I have a sneaking suspicion that what I have done is state the glaringly obvious for people who have been teaching for a long time, and I apologise if that is the case. I'm new to teaching, however, and I'm pretty horrified. It's a job I want to do, I see it as more of a vocation, and I've been told I'm very good at it, 'outstanding', in fact.
Whilst education cannot directly and of itself address the underlying causes of economic/social inequality and injustice, it can offer young people a chance to fulfil their potential, to open eyes and minds to opportunities without limit, and to prepare them for a balanced life as confident and active citizens.
Come on, you've got to get up. Did you have any homework? No I don't know where your blazer is. I promise we'll buy some shoes that fit tonight. Can you eat some breakfast & clean your teeth - now. No you haven't got melon in your packed lunch. Yes you do have to clean off that tattoo. No, you can't wear a loom band round your ankle. GET UP NOW! Shouldn't you have left by now?
Most don't. I'm not surprised as it seems a no brainer right? To tell kids age-appropriate information so they can prepare for certain life events in advance and handle them better. There's been a time for all of us looking back when we would think 'I wish I had known this or that before it happened'...
'You're so gay' used to be the worst thing to be called. Thankfully, a lot has changed since I was a kid at school. The acceptance of the gay community has greatly improved but using 'gay' as a slagging for someone still persists. Recently, I got asked if I was gay by a few different people and it got me thinking...
Britain has indeed produced some of the world's best literature, but to presume that we have done so alone and prescribe a romp through literature that assumes as much ignores the world outside of our shores. If you want to inspire a love of literature, by all means select politically diverse works, gorgeously written, intellectually challenging pieces. But do not pick and choose a whole curriculum in accordance with a narrow, personal political vision.