Do you ever look at a person, and just think
Damn, you had good parents,
They didn’t drag you up through the years, like mine,
You had models to put on pretty tall pedestals
And they filled up your brain with cultural stuff
And love, you knew it’d be there
When you failed an exam or lost on the field.
And then you see those from homes that are broken in two,
And there’s always a casualty in places like that,
It’s the kids with no books, no National Trust tickets,
No confidence in what they ever could be.
I sat chatting with a young Australian teacher the other day, she was probably about twenty three, and I was struck by just how clued up she was about the world. Everything she said was so insightful and her views were so balanced and well thought out.
And then she started talking about her parents who are both teachers too. She had older brothers who all went on to do really different things and I just got the impression that her parents did a really good job.
I know it sounds a bit condescending to say ‘oh, you are smart and can articulate your ideas well so you must have great parents’, but I do look at some people now and fantasize about how great their childhoods must have been. They just seem so well put together; I actually feel a little bit jealous.
My childhood wasn’t bad at all, it was just that my mother is a little bit wonky. But seeing some of the kids that I teach my heart breaks for them because I can literally picture what is going on at home to make them the way that they are.
Poverty and the issues that go with it are stuck in a horribly vicious circle and I can see why it’s so hard for a kid to pull themselves out of it if they have no role model to follow. I just hope that my son won’t look back at the way I dragged him up and think that I was a bit wonky.