Art Teacher….dealing with government and the playstation generation

I am a Art Teacher in England, before this I worked in design in London, doing all kinds of contract work. The pay was extremely good but I had very little social time or life. At one point I just got fed up and went overseas to help disadvantaged peoples with a charity organisation.

That was the most active and enjoyable time of my life – even though it was a semi fake situation; if the shit ever hit the fan or I became seriously ill, I could call my sponsor who could ship me out within hours. Not like that for my fellow workers.

Anyway I work with mainly young school – leavers, people who aren’t interested in the higher grade Qualifications for University. These kids come froma variety of backgrounds and generally are poorly qualified. My job is to teach them enough to get to University. It is almost as good or fulfilling as the work I did overseas except for some major points…

This area of education is continuously getting crapped on by various governments. Everytime you have a system or programme organised and it starts to work they change it! This year everything went out the window – then the writers realised what a mistake they’d made and it’s all going to change again next year. No “Sorry” or “we made a mistake and go back to what works perfectly already”

Kids aren’t coming through the doors as trained from school as they used to, and they’re harder to motivate. The “Playstation Generation” as a friend in the army said once. Still once you can show them how to improve their work these kids become wonderful to work with.

I can’t say anything about where I work as all access is monitored.

Kids have less and less money to work with. Grants and Government support has long gone and its heartbreaking when a student with real ability has to leave to stack shelves in order to survive.

What do I hope to be doing in 5 years – well I’m not going to get up the progression ladder, not because of colour but I recognise I can be demanding for people to work with. I also make furniture and one dream is to set up a furniture company overseas and ship furniture to Europe or the States. I’ve had to train woodworkers (overseas) before and that was enjoyable. Trouble is I’m married and have a mortagage and a child and, and, and…

30 years time? Living on a beach in the Seychelles where I spent 12 months in a house given to my parents. They didn’t know paradise when it was under their noses but I remember, God, I remember!