Magazine article New Internationalist

Being the Best

Magazine article New Internationalist

Being the Best

Article excerpt

Do you ever get that 'I wish I'd been a teacher' moment?

I get it, sometimes - usually at my seven-year-old son's 'sharing assemblies'. Hundreds of children fill the school hall, which is decorated by supersized creations - paintings, mobiles, 3-D shapes. Parents squeeze in at the back, teachers line the sides, using emphatic sign language, fingers to lips, to keep this jiggling, fidgety mass quiet and seated.

The headteacher welcomes everyone and cracks a few jokes. On stage, Year 2 pass around a microphone with excruciating slowness, making mostly inaudible statements about a recent school trip, to parents' collective, ill-concealed delight.

The older children are gracious. They are used to this. Everyone gets a turn here - it's built in the fabric of the school. The assemblies are all delivered under the motto over the stage that reads 'Live, love, learn and be happy'. …

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