As part of the National Curriculum (don't get me started) our little school is holding a whole week of World War II experiences for the children, including evacuation, dressing up and a street party. Prin. C-ub and Babyman have been bouncing off the walls about it since before Easter and both have their evacuation outfits pressed and ready to go.
The cry went out a few weeks ago for material so that we could create bunting and on Tuesday night we had a real Blitz spirit community sewing bee (*sigh* Those nights down in the Anderson shelters really would have rocked if they had had ABBA!) and have made a cracking start to the 100+ metres of flaggage required.
Figuring it was probably best to keep the smaller end of the school spectrum away from sewing machines, electrickery and pointy pins we had an afternoon session to make baby bunting. Easily acomplished with ribbon, glue and pinking shears. And as happens when in a classroom situation I became (obviously unwittingly) a little bit reactionary.
Okay, so I slipped into ' what would be the easiest way to bait a teacher' mode. I just asked the very simple question 'Will the Commonwealth be represented in this event?' Seems straight forward, huh? A simple 'Oh now that would be an idea!' or 'Well, we could discuss that at the next meeting.' would have been sufficient for me. But the answer I got was ......... actually, no ...... I'll let you read the letter I wrote today.
Suffice to say I mentioned it to CK last night (now don't look at me like that. I left it a whole five minutes after he walked through the door before I began to harrass him. He had even had time to loosen his tie!) and he suggested I leave it until the morning and see if I still felt the same way. Well, I did and consequently spent the afternoon putting this together. I'd be interested to hear what y'all think. Was I over-reacting? Is it worth the potential saga that may ensue? Is it not crazy that our HeadTeacher is actually called Head Teacher?!
F.A.O. Snotty Teacher
cc: Mr. Headteacher, The Governors.
I was quite taken aback yesterday afternoon by your response to the query about recognising The Commonwealth's involvement in the Second World War during the World War II week being held at school in May. To reply 'Well, we are celebrating Victory in Europe Day.' seemed an incredibly short-sighted and insensitive remark. The implication was that the Commonwealth nations (Empire as was) had little, if any, impact or value in such a momentous event as the 1939-45 war in Europe.
The attitude displayed yesterday did not seem open to acknowledging the huge input of men and materials from all points of the Empire, something of which the children of the period would have been very aware. An Empire (Commonwealth), may I point out, very well represented in our school cohort – Africa, Australasia, the Indian sub-continent and the Middle East. Without this commitment I think it quite probable the war would have been a very different event.
You then suggested the older children might possibly hear about this during their study of WW II history but that the younger children would not be bothered with it. Both myself and another parent present made it quite clear that we have six year olds who are not only interested as to who was involved but have been researching it for themselves.
As I understand it you have responsibility for the history aspect of the curriculum and so, I feel, should have greater sensitivity to the context of the areas being covered.
TrashCan (and probably will come around there and smack you one!)
I have to tell you my initial response was a very steely gaze (a proper Paddington) and the words 'My grandfather was killed at Tobruk.'
You see tomorrow is ANZAC day in Australia and New Zealand. It is our equivalent of Britain's Remembrance Sunday and November 11 but instead of a two minute silence we give a whole day to the act of publicly remembering all those men and women. I'm still impressed I didn't haul back and wop her one!
Okay. Rant over.