CHARLES GRAHAM - TV gold, but teaching not for me

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I ONLY needed to watch the first five minutes of Educating Yorkshire to remind myself why I didn’t follow my parents into teaching.

I just wouldn’t have been able to contain the urge to give some of those lippy oiks a thwack. It must have been so much easier in the olden days when a teacher ruled with a rod of iron (or at least birch) and there was little if any dissent to distract from the job of absorbing facts.

I’m not saying we should return to those days, just that in order to be a teacher todayso it is much more of a prerequisite to have the patience of Job and the diplomatic skills of Kofi Annan.

Throughout that first fascinating episode of the Channel Four documentary series, which charts the rehabilitation of a failing secondary school in Dewsbury, I constanly marvelled at the staff’s child management skills.

And I don’t think it will be long before headteacher Mr Mitchell (nice to see they respectfully didn’t give his first name) becomes a bit of a TV icon.

He manages to be both authoritative, approachable and charismatic at the same time, juggling large amounts of pastoral problems with repeat classroom offenders which, he says, is gradually occupying less of his workload as his renaissance takes hold.

In fact we learn that Thornhill School is currently one of the most improved in Britain.

Here’s a chap who deserves “celebrity” status far more than your average Big Brother no mark.