Top Gear, Top Smear

Let’s imagine that I, a secondary school RE teacher, punch someone who’s paid to direct me in my craft, let’s say my head teacher, because I vehemently disagree with the way she wants me to do my job (not because she didn’t provide me with a nice school dinner). Will I keep my job? I can imagine the situation where she agrees to let me keep the job after a cool down period because I have never done anything like this before and have shown remorse for ever having done it.

As a teacher, should I allow a child’s poor behaviour to go unpunished because they have achieved the highest level of their class in my subject? (Do I need to answer this?) We continually teach children that their actions have consequences, such that when they have real jobs, they will have learnt how to behave appropriately towards others, even (or should I say especially) those with whom they disagree, and can get on with their jobs.

I have tried to refrain thus far from commenting on the whole Clarkson vs BBC debate, as I don’t really want to add fuel to the fire, but I think it is time we all learnt the valuable lesson that no one is indispensable. As teachers, we feel this every time we move jobs. We imagine (to ourselves) that we are going to leave a gaping hole in the lives of the students, and then we quickly realise that as soon as we’ve gone, that gap has been filled by someone else. Yes, I agree that Jeremy Clarkson was a highly entertaining presenter, and I very much enjoyed watching the show. But I disagree that he should be allowed to behave however he wants and continue to hold his position. In response to those people who argue that the BBC has got an ‘excuse’ to fire Clarkson, I would say, no, they have a very good reason. So I very much hope Top Gear gets itself a new presenter pronto. I would be extremely impressed if they were to appoint a woman (I’m available for the foreseeable, Mr Top Gear Producer). I hope to see it back on TV as soon as possible, and I will certainly be adding to viewer numbers, to show Mr Clarkson that he is not indispensable.

No, my ability as a teacher should not mean that my actions should be ignored if they are inappropriate!


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