“When did it all change so drastically?”
“The youth of today” Mr Whitley exclaimed in a rather cliche fashion. The other staff were almost embarrassed by this unprecedented outburst and side-stepped him accordingly upon leaving the staff room.
Referring to a technological question that a rather intelligent Year 9 student had asked, Mr Whitley was actually referring to how the majority of the students surpassed his knowledge of technology. Whilst he was an English scholar with the finest level of degree from Oxbridge, he still didn’t know his “Google Maps” from his “Draw Something”.
In another embarrassing moment, Mr Whitley had assumed that ‘Facebook’ was indeed a large book of faces that he might be able to find at his local library. “Who wrote it?” He bellowed to 7NB, to which Adam quickly replied ‘I did Sir’ which as you will know, is not altogether a lie and Adam did not respond well to being placed in detention.
Mr Whitley liked to teach everything the ‘old fashioned’ way and argued with every staff member who challenged him that his students were attaining better and would gain exceptional qualifications. One incredibly intelligent student teacher said to Mr Whitley after he’d made this bold statement to her one lunch time, replied: “But do you think it makes them better Citizens?” Mr Whitley stopped exactly where he was in the quiet corridor. The poor student teacher half thought that he was going to turn around and shout violently in his face. When he did turn, he had a tear in his eye and his lip was trembling. After a long pause, he let out a tiny sigh. “No, I don’t” he said “that’s why I’m retiring this Summer.”
Mr Whitley had refused to accept the technological advances and the savvy nature of the young people around him and realised that ‘becoming a good citizen’ was now an integral part of schooling. What he had to offer, bore no impact on his students personal development.
Everything is always advancing before us and with a lot of our work in schools, I find myself constantly learning from the students. About new ways of ‘reporting abuse on facebook,’ for example, and new help lines available to help victims of bullying. They often just come out with all of this information in one of our post show workshops. To see some of the ways that we deliver PSHE and Citizenship through our Theatre-In-Education programmes and how we mention evolving technology within our programme, have a look at some of our production pages.