The Blackboard Jungle

days spent beating back the seeds of doubt

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

The principal of my school hands me a faintly photocopied booklet on the AST programme, urging me to sign over my soul. I'm trying to take it seriously, but some lines simply tumble from the page.

The 2002 document incorporates, of course, a FAQ, because ASTs are too stupid to simply read unadulterated text:
"How do I know that this isn't just another passing fad?"
"The Government is committed to increasing the number of ASTs. Over time it is anticipated that ASTs will represent 3-5% of the teaching population."
This would be the scheme I've been advised to apply for NOW, as it's being cut after Christmas, would it?

"Personal motivation: ASTs have the opportunity to become involved in areas that transcend the traditional bounds of teachers, providing a whole new set of personal and professional challenges that build on and exploit your existing strengths."
VERY excited about being allowed to transcend my traditional bounds. In fact, should very much like to be endowed with the power to leap walls at a single bound, see around two corners at once, in different directions, summon invisibility at will, and eat both pudding and main course in the same mouthful.

However, if the bestowing of non-traditional 'bounds' is to also involve 'exploiting' me, I'd like at least the right to sell my story to the NOTW, like any other government-hired slapper.

Long sigh.