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Cabbies and the Cane

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The late Chris Woodhead was wrong to think educational theory is pointless. Everybody has a theory of education. The taxi driver who took me from Moodlemoot to Milton Keynes station certainly did.

I won’t bore you with everything he said when he found out I was “one of those politically-correct nancy boys called teachers” but it would be no exaggeration to say he wants every classroom to be like a less pleasant version of Guantanamo “to teach the little c*nts to behave.”

I don’t know how many of his passengers get in his cab and tell him how to be a cabbie. Perhaps a lot of them do which would explain why he is so bitter and twisted.

I was not going to go into the detailed educational theory involved so I told him three things:

I went to a school where the school bully was caned every week, sometimes every day. He went in a bully and he came out a bully with a sore backside. It did not help his victims.

My brother went to a school where the cane was used much more often than it was in mine. The behaviour at his school was substantially worse than it was at mine by any measure. The opposite of his theory.

I was caned for drawing a cartoon. It did work. I have never drawn a cartoon since.

It was all anecdotal of course but better than nothing. The temptation after a tiring day was to let him have his say. If everybody does that he will assume everyone agrees with him, “even some ponce of a teacher I had in here the other day!”

(Yes I know Woodhead is still alive but a man can dream!)

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