Those Who Can, Teach

The London Paper  –  13 Mar 2009

‘Those who can, do. Those who can’t teach.’ That tedious old adage rears its ugly head every time some joker talks about the teaching profession, which is generally perceived as a cushy little number by outsiders. That viewpoint is even more firmly held by Cityboys who jabber on endlessly about how stressful their jobs are. That’s why I’ll be looking on with great interest to see if any ex-bankers take up the government’s offer (announced this week) that will allow such professionals to be ‘fast-tracked’ to become teachers after a mere six month training course. I think Cityboys who take up this option are gonna get more than they bargained for.

They’re gonna find that teaching in some inner city comprehensive is a shed load more stressful than the horse crap I used to engage in day in day out as a stockbroker. Whilst I admit talking gibberish to arrogant clients and being hassled by aggressive traders was not always a barrel of laughs I also spent a reasonable amount of ‘work time’ noshing one grand meals, tucking twenties into strippers’ G strings and drinking endless magnums of shampoo at my employers’ expense. Now, call me old fashioned, but whilst those pastimes may have been a little harmful to the old heart and liver I suspect that trying to keep order in a classroom full of hormonal adolescents might be a tad trickier!

Still, maybe there aren’t that many differences between a City career and that of a teacher. First of all, many City boys have to present day in day out to bored, uninterested clients who would prefer to be out chasing skirt. Secondly, the trading floor is essentially just a playground full of over-grown teenagers sitting around flicking paper balls at each other, sniffing Tip-ex and remorselessly taking the mick out of one another. Thirdly, City boys compete with each other endlessly about who has got the biggest boner … sorry, I mean bonus. This is surely the same kind of competitive nonsense that school boys engage in constantly.

So, perhaps ex-Cityboys may make great teachers. Unfortunately, whilst they’re gonna find the school environment home from home they may find the salary less exciting. I used to earn the 25 grand starting salary for a teacher in two weeks which surely goes to prove that we truly are living in a sick and twisted world.

I have enormous respect for teachers and am a big believer in education. That’s why I’m trying to help raise £60K to rebuild a school in Kenya via a fund-raising party in Notting Hill Gate on 23rd April (£75 a ticket). If you’d like to come along then email me and we’ll help promote education whilst throwing shapes till the early hours.

Thoughts ?

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