Tempora, mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis.
(Times change, and we change with them.) Or as Bob Dylan said in 1964 "The times they are a'changing". Change is often subtle, almost imperceptible, not to be judged in the short term. I taught in a very average secondary school for many years. I read my diary from 1985 and the memories come flooding back.
Friday 22nd March 1985
Slightly unusual day, teaching wise. CSE Orals, an examination whereby fifth-years talk individually on a subject of their choice. Their choice of subject gives food for thought; my own pupils chose the following. My garden, karate, canaries. Aswad (a Pop Group), Derby County, fishing, computers; pistol shooting (this from a female pupil), athletics, jazz bands, judo. Pandas, hairdressing, dolls; CB's, Germany, a child study, dogs, football.
The expertise of children not considered academic is interesting. The girl athlete is rated number 24 at her age in the country. A boy showed a grasp of computers that was truly remarkable yet has a reading score bordering on the illiterate. A Sikh girl waxed lyrical on India yet has never volunteered one single sentence in two years whilst in a classroom situation. One girl spoke at length on the problems of a physically handicapped child, illustrating her talk with drawings and photographs. Whilst she talked (we were in a small office provided for the occasion) her nephew aged two played quietly on the floor. The girl in question is in charge of this child whilst mother is in hospital and has attended school today especially to take the oral examination. What is the saying, 'To hide your light under a bushel'. Some of our pupils seemingly do just that!
They say 'Time waits for no man'. What has changed since those less than halcyon days, I wonder? A teacher, aged forty five, now seventy. We know where he is! But children, fifteen, now forty, where are you now. Did you achieve your dreams, your aspirations. I sincerely hope so.