Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Banker in January, Teacher in June

So, there's this plan that all the people who are being booted out of the financial services sector can usefully fill all the gaps in the teaching profession, notably Maths and Science, where it is true, teachers actually qualified in their subject areas (e.g. a physicist teaching physics) are thin on the ground and often deeply uninspiring even where they do exist. Even better, there's a plan to train the hordes ditched by the City in six months. Applications to teacher training courses are up by 30% in some shortage subject areas, and we want these people up and at our kids as quickly as possible.

It made me think about the skills that cross the great divide between banking and the classroom.
  • First of all, it will take no time at all for converts to adapt their jargon to the world of education, where we talk of empowerment, level playing fields, outcomes and assessment, NCLS, QCA, Ofsted and all the other verbiage easily understood for those with experience of low-hanging fruit and Bullshit Bingo.
  • The politics of the office are fully applicable to the subtle and at times vicious territorial wars of the staffroom - coffee mugs at dawn.
  • The bellow as practised by traders, whether on the floor or via a phone is an ideal form of communication in a busy classroom.
  • The smarming up to clients and soothing of savage egos is just what is needed to calm agitated headteachers or the skunk-addled teen following a post-prandial spliff.
  • Wading one's way through Financial Service Regulations is surely a suitable training for reading up on the Department for Children, Families, Schools and Kitchen Sinks policy documents - after all, the Bankers seem to have pretty much ignored regulatory control with little adverse effect.
  • Regular visits to lap-dancing clubs are ideal training for handling adolescent females: indeed, our converted bankers may bond when they recognise those students who are too tired to do their coursework because they were writhing the night away at Spearmint Rhino.
The only area that will come as a real and perhaps deal-breaking shock to the bankers is school food, but of course, Jamie, with his River Café background, is sorting that side of things out, although umpteen thousand pound bottles of Petrus are unlikely to be available even in the most enlightened of school canteens.

Six months seems crazily long for a conversion course - I should think the finer points of teaching could be easily assimilated in a month or six weeks by the brilliant minds that have plunged us into the worst financial crisis that the UK has known. And if they are truly hopeless in the classroom, they will soon be fast-tracked into headships so that they can wreak even more havoc in a management role.

1 comment:

Mama Evelyn said...

This made me laugh out loud. Which was just what the doc ordered. Thank you!

How are we looking for April btw?