This is today’s Post-a-day question…and here is my answer with a little help from some friends “Are you sick of highly paid teachers? Teachers’ hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or 10 months a year! It’s time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do – babysit! We can get that for less than minimum wage. That’s right. Let’s give them £5.93 an hour and only the hours they work; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after …………school. That would be £ 41.51 a day (8.30 am to 3:30 PM with 60 min. off for lunch and plan– that equals 7 1/2 hours). Each parent should pay £ 41.51 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day…maybe 90? So that’s £ 41.51 x 90 = £ 3735.90 a day. However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any holidays . LET’S SEE…. That’s £ 3735.90 X 180= £ 672462.00 per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries). What about those special education teachers and the ones with Master’s degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage (£ 6.90), and just to be fair, round it off to £ 7.00 an hour. That would be £ 7.00 X 71/2 hours X 90 children X 180 days = £ 850500.00 per year. Wait a minute — there’s something wrong here! There sure is! The average teacher’s salary (nation wide) is £ 25000.00/180 days = £ 138.90 per day/ 90 students = £ 1.54 / 7 1/2 hours = £ 0.20 per hour per student–a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!) WHAT A DEAL!!!! Make a teacher smile (or cry!);pass this on this to show appreciation for all educators.”

My mate CM posted this on face book yesterday and it made me laugh and cry. Sadly the maths is a bit squiffy as you might teach 500 kids in a week but only 30 at a time, so the babysitting fee would only work out at 30 x £41      = about  £1,200 a day multiplied by 180 days is £221,400 a year…then take a way the rent for the school ( say 50%) a teacher would actually only earn £120,00 a year instead of £25,ooo…so still a big difference and laughable to look at it like this.

For the first four years I was a secondary teacher in an inner-London school I taught music to  500 students a week – 11-15 year olds – 30 at a  time. I planned until midnight most nights, and wrote 500 reports a year ( I knew all their names).  I am surprised my hearing is still intact as 30 kids smashing metallophones (very loud metal xylophones…) and all sorts of percussion for 26 hours a week must have some effect on the old ear drums. I taught in a freezing cold classroom room, the last in the school boiler chain of warmth ( the science labs were the warmest places) with an asbestos ceiling, and a bully of  collegue, who was possibly a signed up sociopath,  on a salary that would never even pay the rent on a  real flat in London let alone buy one ( morgages  repayments were 10% interest at the time and my first full time  monthly salary was £750 a month) I lost a whole octave of my singing voice and at the end of 4 years I was a black hole of my former self as I had given all  these kids proper care and attention ( and boy were some of them sadly lacking in that area) and a good musical education. Any possibility of me ever becoming a biological mother had been knocked on the head..

a) because I was too tired and had parented about 2000 kids and had no parenting left ( have parented that number since…and many more

b) because using the 2  working brain cells in my head I came to the conclusion there were waaaaay too many children in the world already. And I seemed to have taught most of them!

I cried every Saturday morning, in tantrum-like volumes ( usually in the supermarket) as I had held it together all week – Poor Mr. P.  I don’t know how he put up with me. Most teachers I know in London have no lives to speak of. It is hard to see them in term time unless you happen to drink in the same pub as them, or work in the same school as them. Their ‘best ‘ friends ( until they get a job at another school and then they never see them again) are usually their teaching  comrades, as no-one else understands what they go through, and the reward they get for their toils, like someone aptly put it after I finished my first Ofsted report ‘ will be in heaven as it definately won’t be here’.

So some say, it is a vocation, or calling – is that just a way of saying you have a gift but we are not going to pay you much for it? I watched a bit of Educating Essex on the tv with a magnificent bunch of educators and the teacher on it said that he knew people watching on the tv, the educators would understand what a great job they were doing and no-one else would really understands. Perhaps if parents had to pay ‘child care’ for 18 years they might think twice about having child number 3, 4, 5 ( sorry, but it is true).

Most people do not understand. They just moan about what long holidays teachers get….they should try it sometime, or perhaps try home educating their children for a couple of terms.

Bless you ….all you educators….Next time you meet a teacher, give them a big hug and some money to buy a drink, car, flat…particularly if you have brought kids into the world yourself.

And I don’t want anyone EVER moaning about the long holidays that teachers have…or I shall send 8C round, before school  with their metallophones.

SONG OF THE DAY – What I Go to School For -Busted

Many people have a gift for inspiring young people, everyone remembers their favourite teachers ( and their least favourite), and believe you me kids spend  a huge amount of time talking about their teachers, who is good and who is not ( just sit next to a couple of kids on the bus). So when this song came out we laughed….it is very funny!

I found this article in the Asian News. Today is the anniversary of Ghandi’s birthday. I must walk around with some sort of bag over my head as I did not know about this day at all. Perhaps it is not given much focus in this part of the world which seems a bit of a shame. I am taking a quote from the article  by Anthony Charanghat for me to reflect upon today

“today, when we are engulfed by the dark forces of corruption, consumerism and carnage in our country, we need the courage, character and charisma of Mahatma Gandhi who dared to speak the truth, was ready for sacrifice to purify his character, and relied on non-violence to overcome violence, so that he could lead our nation to freedom from the bondage of oppression and evil.

On the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary, as we reflect on his principles of satya (truth), tyaag (sacrifice) and ahimsa (non-violence), we get a glimpse of a genuine Gandhian which is a far cry from the claims of our netas(political leaders).”

So if anyone annoys me today I shall try hard not to  punch then in the gob -ha ha, as if I would.

Song of the Day – Cat Stevens  – Peace Train

This live version is lovely…great to hear him introduce the song too, sounds like a lovely London geezer. I have his songbook and sing a few. Love the man and all he stands for musically and spiritually.

Knebworth 1976..I am not sure how I got out of the house, as my parents were very strict. Me and the broke, hippy boyfriend went up the night before and for some reason he brought no sleeping bag. We shared mine ( a bit of a tight squeeze) and slept in what seemed to be a car park. In  the middle of the night some jokers thought it would be really funny  to pour a pint of milk all over us, so as the next day dragged on we got stinkier and stinkier, as the toilet were facilities were not up to much. As there was just the two of us, and how ever thousands of people, we never moved from our spot for about 15 hours, apart from an occasional individual clamber to one of the toilets ( every time we did, our spot in the crowd got smaller). I think we only had a box of smarties  to eat all day and night…There were lots of problems with the sound, so by the time the Rolling Stones came on, and did their longest set ever -which was really really  late, I was writhing  on the ground with abdominal  pain (no sympathy from the boyfriend) due to lack of food, sunstroke and  sour milk fumes  It got really cold and I had only a thin checked shirt and a bright yellow cadillac sweat shirt and nearly froze getting out of the festival which took about 2 hours…the crowds…yuk… ’til the wee small hours …like about 3am then we  hitched back to Watford. You would have thought I would have been put off music for life….

The year after, I went with 3 friends  a tent, enough food to sink a battleship and a change of clothes, and no milk.

SONG OF THE DAY Todd Rungren -I Saw the Light

I seem to remember Todd Rungren was one of the highlights of an amazing line up on that day in  the summer of 1976…but all I can still remember is the smell of sour milk.