Sunday, 24 May 2009

Class Warfare

My work as an Educational Advisor certainly has its interesting moments. I've been invigilating exams all week and last week I dutifully turned up to a Grade 8 Science exam. There was already a teacher in the room as I expected - we greeted and just got on with the business of handing out papers. Then something happened - can't quite tell you what, but that doesn't matter too much, except there was some name calling, some shouting and then a fight. Not a student fight. They, as I've just said, were already seated in class. The fight (yep - fists rolled back, chests puffed out) was between two members of staff, the teacher already in class and the school social worker.
I had to wedge myself in between and push them apart. When that didn't work I had to pull them back. The kids stared on - quite amused I guess, whilst the three of us looked like clowns at the front of the class. Fortunately, a passing teacher rushed in and grabbed the social worker, whilst I pulled the teacher away.

Tensions can run high in schools from time to time, but this is a first for me. Teacher M is Palestinian-Jordanian, Social Worker A is Egyptian. I didn't quite get to the bottom of it, and needless to say, this is a very poor professional example to set in front of a whole class audience. I'm just reminded on occasions like this, how so far away from home, I am.

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