So whilst I can see how readers might feel that the Secret Teacher's end-of-term report to parents in The Guardian is just a bit of fun, I would like to spoil the joke.
|"Parents, refrain from showing up at the school gate in a bunny onsie. Your child won’t get over the sniggering" - sound advice from The Guardian's Secret Teacher?|
Part of the piece, which is well-written and amusing, takes the familiar line that the kids are alright, it's just the parents you have to look out for. This was exactly the type of good advice that I remember teachers passing onto me during various teaching practices back in the late 80s - in schools where it was also common for headteachers to refrain from coming into the staff room, or even knock first, so it ended up as a kind of privileged zone where anyone could let off a bit of steam about children and parents without fear of any repercussions.
So, let's put this into context. The teaching profession is mostly filled by people with white, middle-class backgrounds, like me. Teachers usually then find themselves working either in socially mixed schools, or perhaps in schools where the large majority of families are from ethnic minorities or from working class backgrounds. Professional behaviour in a context where you do not share the same background as many of the people you are working with is tricky, and requires a lot of thought and sensitivity. I don't think you can allow a culture in the staffroom to develop and imagine that it will not affect the relationships and values of the wider school.