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There’s a reason you’re in school, Love

Ithink a lot of people think my generation don’t care about politics or aren’t interested. They underestimate how perceptive we are. We’re part of the world too. We sit in classrooms. We know that schools don’t have proper funding and that our teachers aren’t properly paid for the hard work they do.

Teachers should have better working conditions. They are teaching the next generation to move academically through the world, and they deserve to live and work comfortably.

My school feels different at the moment. Maybe it’s a result of my having moved into year 9, a step closer to GCSEs, or maybe it’s something that other young people are experiencing.

It’s been a lot colder in my classrooms, because the central heating is turned on less frequently due to bills going up. Leaks have appeared in some of our classroom ceilings. Students take good care of the school, but we can’t do repairs. There also seem to be fewer classroom materials. Maybe this is what happens when you go up a year, or maybe they cost too much?

Both we and you have identified that you know something between little and not enough. That’s why you’re in school, to have knowledge poured into you.

Thus your analysis of what might be wrong with the world, what could be done to rectify such errors, might be lacking a little. Possibly?

30 thoughts on “There’s a reason you’re in school, Love”

  1. They are teaching the next generation to move ACADEMICALLY through the world…

    Well there’s your problem.

  2. “..I couldn’t tell you a single thing a banker has done for me, but I can name a million things that teachers and nurses have done for me.”

    Don’t need a bank when Guardian pays nowt for your scribblings.

  3. gunker, my thought exactly.
    And it seems that as with any other entity controlled by government, a school is run for the benefit of the staff of the school and to meet targets set by government. Any positive outcome the students get is purely coincidental.

  4. A report in the Telegraph says that teachers in the UK are rather well paid compared to teachers in the rest of Europe.

    As to cold classrooms, I thought kids were worried about climate change.

  5. Todays strikes! A local teacher made her decision based on going to work and cleaning/preparing the classroom or a day at home, lie in, see if her friend who doesnt work wednesdays wants to do anything.

    The good thing is they dont get paid if they dont go in to work.

  6. “My school feels different at the moment. Maybe it’s a result of my having moved into year 9…”

    This is not even sixth-form stuff.

  7. As well as equal pay I would like to make all the necessities in life – energy, housing, food – free.

    Please tell us how you propose to achieve this, Azadi Barbagallo Beuret.

    I’d also change the way we produce energy. We live on an island here in the UK: it’s easy to use water and wind to generate power. Why are we still relying on fossil fuels that cost so much and are destroying our planet?

    The destroying the planet bollocks needs to be called out whenever it raises its head. History tells us that the earth is far healthier and abundant when it is warmer and CO2 levels are higher. It has survived temperatures 10C warmer than today and much higher CO2 levels. Whatever a warmer planet means, it most certainly doesn’t mean the destruction of the earth.

  8. Students take good care of the school, but we can’t do repairs.

    If they were taught useful subjects, then they could do those repairs.

  9. I’d also change the way we produce energy. We live on an island here in the UK: it’s easy to use water and wind to generate power. Why are we still relying on fossil fuels that cost so much and are destroying our planet?

    Tell me you don’t understand about the difference between synchronous and asynchronous generators and the importance of that difference to managing reactive power (or reactive power at all), grid inertia, the cost (financial and environmental) of energy storage or the economic costs not having 24/7 power to the end users without telling me you don’t &c.

    Honestly, if yu don’t even know the square root of -1 is j, don’t even presume to say what’s easy when it comes to power generation and distribution.

  10. I wonder if she’ll ever grow up enough to be embarrassed about writing shit like this. The Guardian should be done for child cruelty.

  11. Apparently they may still get paid while striking if the head closes the school before seeing which teachers have deigned to turn up for work.

  12. Well, as the daughter of two revolutionary Marxists with a taste for “social activism”, she seems to be a chip off the old block. Maybe she’ll rebel and channel her inner Margeret Rutherford.

  13. @Tractor Gent
    That was TomJ’s point. i is for math theorists.
    j is for engineers.
    If you want to speak about electrical power, you need to understand engineering, not airy-fairy arm-waving maths.
    j

    Alas, currently we are run by people technically challenged by a PP3.

  14. Her dad does nothing more than generate hot air:

    Nicholas Beuret
    University of Essex, Ebs, Faculty Member
    Philosophy Of Climate Change
    Nicholas Beuret is a lecturer at the University of Essex whose work focuses environmental politics and science and technology studies. His work explores how environmental issues are produced as sociotechnical matters of concern and how they function to shape political practices and imaginaries. Interrogating the construction of environmental agency and its modalities, his current research focuses on the environmental politics of climate change and resource use, emerging energy infrastructure, the commons, extinction and the catastrophic imaginary.

  15. (1) Given the way the teachers abandoned their pupils during the pandemic a decimation seems in order to me. It would put class sizes up by 10% – or rather less if there are still armies of children missing school – which would be easily coped with.

    (2) Their annual pay should be cut by 1% for every day they spend on strike.

    (3) Anyone on strike for more than five days also loses new accruals to their defined benefit pension. They would be offered the legal minimum defined contribution pension in its place.

  16. “i is for math theorists.” Oh balls, “i” is for everyone but electrical engineers – who prefer to shun “i” for perfectly obvious reasons. And if it weren’t for “math theorists” the electricals wouldn’t have a “j” to play with anyway.

  17. @anon
    explores how environmental issues are produced as sociotechnical matters of concern and how they function to shape political practices and imaginaries. Interrogating the construction of environmental agency and its modalities…

    So she’s the daughter of a chatGBT bot, I hadn’t realised how fertile they are.

  18. Bloke in North Dorset

    I was going to comment along the lines of a £1 to a piece of sh1t say her parents work for the state, but I see some of the leg work has been done and its worse than I imagined.

  19. BIND:

    Camille Barbagallo is a feminist activist and researcher. Her research, situated within Marxist feminist theory, gender, and black studies, explores how the reproduction of labour-power is valued, what it costs, and who pays the bill. She is the coeditor of The Commoner no. 15, Care Work and the Commons, with Silvia Federici. Before migrating to London in 2005, she lived and worked in Australia and was active in labour struggles, the national student movements, and in radical social movements that focused on ending the mandatory detention of asylum seekers and campaigns to close the refugee camps.

  20. Meanwhile in ‘higher education’, I stumbled across this piece in Nature:
    Charting a course to make maths truly universal
    When I first saw it, I assumed it must be somewhere in the US, but no, it’s Durham (UK).

    Maths is built on a modern history of elevating the achievements of one group of people: white men. “Theorems or techniques have names associated to them and most of the time, those names are of nineteenth-century French or German men,” such as Georg Cantor, Henri Poincaré and Carl Friedrich Gauss, all of whom were white, says John Parker, head of the mathematical sciences department at Durham University, UK. This means that the accomplishments of people of other genders and races have often been pushed aside, preventing maths from being a level playing field.

    Unaccountably neglecting all those great sub-Saharan African mathematicians throughout history, such as … err ….

  21. @Chris Miller,

    They may not have been great mathematicians, those sub saharan Africans, but they were great at arithmetic. They knew exactly how many of their fellow natives they needed to catch and enslave, then exactly what economic price to charge those whiteys arriving in dem big boats, so that they’d gladly pay – and then with the proceeds you could have an extra big mud hut, some more wives and a diet of bats and monkeys. Oh, wait a minute, I’ve confused the wives and monkeys – now which one if for eating and which one is for sex?

  22. And I could mention plenty of great mathematicians who weren’t ‘white’: Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi (a ninth century Persian who gave his name to algorithms); Srinivasa Ramanujan; and in the 20th century dozens of Chinese and Japanese – the Shimura-Tanyama conjecture from the 1950s, used by Andrew Wiles to prove Fermat, and Terence Tao, certainly one of the top dozen mathematicians active today. Even a few women, such as Sophie Germain.

    But I still can’t think of a single black face. I expect it’s because of my racism and white privilege.

  23. John Parker, head of the mathematical sciences department at Durham University, UK ought to be sacked forthwith. I am more than happy for him to be replaced with a competent non-white person.

    Re: the little Grauniad writer and her parents: basically she is a vegan cat.

  24. dearieme: I’m sure the engineers would have come up with complex numbers if the mathematicians hadn’t. I remember being taught about Heaviside’s D operator at college. The mathematicians po-pooed it – not rigorous enough, but it worked for what Heaviside was doing. It doesn’t seem to have caught on though – all the stuff I’ve read and done since uses standard terminology – Newton or Leibniz to taste.

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