Tuesday, 26 March 2013

A Brick in The Wall

When Pink Floyd brought out their single "Another Brick in the Wall" in 1979, I had been teaching English in a comprehensive school near Southampton for three years. Anyone who had known me as a student in my grammar school in the Rhondda, would have been puzzled at my carreer choice. During my time in that institution, my behaviour was considered outrageously rebellious and I spent many lessons outside the classroom door in the long, dark corridor. I hated the mind numbing conformity and the unsympathetic attitudes to anyone or anything out of the norm.To be fair, there were one or two teachers there who were inspirational  and supportive of difference. But not nearly enough. Sadly I found this to be true throughout what became a 25 year teaching career.

So it never really surprised me that I would sing as loudly as anyone else -

"We don't need no education.
We don't need no thought control.
No dark sarcasm in the classroom.
Teacher leave them kids alone"

The precept primum non nocere or non-maleficence is one of the principal precepts of medical ethics. It is invoked when debating the use of an intervention that carries an obvious risk of harm but a less certain chance of benefit. To put my own spin on this, I like to think that as a teacher I "did the least harm" and hopefully did quite some good most of the time. Institutions rarely bring out the best in anyone - I suspect many of us are survivors of an education system that forced us to attend and then punished us for being present, in the real sense of the word.

I would like to thank Andrew,who contacted me today to say he enjoyed my blog. Andrew, now a writer, is a former student  of mine at that first school I taught in. He inspired me to write today as, he said, I had once inspired him. My huge relief is that neither of us were or ever will be bricks in the wall.


Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Poetic Forms

a Container for Creativity


A four week online poetry and creative writing course

exploring poetic forms


This exciting new course will provide the opportunity to:

·        Extend your knowledge of poetic forms

·        Explore how other writers have used poetic forms

·        Experiment with using poetic forms

·        Share your work and ideas with other writers


All resources included, as well as regular writing prompts and detailed feedback of your writing.


Cost: £35

Led by: Jill Teague – writer, Certified Poetry Therapist, creative writing facilitator


For further details contact – jillteague@yahoo.co.uk