Today's lesson is all about the teacher shortage sweeping the nation.

As usual, we are being taught that it all comes down to money and that everything would just be hunky-dory if we only paid them more.

Methinks it's just not that simple.

Certainly, our teachers deserve a far better deal than they currently have but even if higher salaries were in play, I'm pretty sure there would still be a significant shortage, and here's why.

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Schools and by association, their staff, have increasingly become everything to the student.

Once they were just tasked with being an educator, today, however, they are expected to parent and counsel, as well as tolerating the self-indulgent, entitled behaviours of generations that cry foul if you so much as look at them the wrong way.

Teachers today must endure a torrent of verbal abuse, threatening and often violent outbursts as well as actual physical abuse, all of which they are pretty much powerless to respond to. It's disgraceful!

With, often dysfunctional, boards of trustees watching their every move, when they're not too busy infighting, and the PC demands and pressures of also being the cultural, religious and political hub of the community, any actual education of value seems to rank lower and lower on the list of priorities.

If teachers are not busy in the school's "soup kitchen" or trying to demonstrate some sort of moral compass to their frequently wayward charges, they are frantically trying to find "creative" ways to get the optimal pass rates from an already dodgy internal grading system.

Why bother concentrating on core subjects anymore? Pfft ... English, Maths, Geography and History ... who the hell needs those boring old chestnuts, right?

Let's, instead, give out credits for as many "options" as we possibly can.

Under the mystical heading "life skills" tasks, like cleaning a toilet or knowing how to sign up for a benefit, are awarded the same amount of credits as a 500-word essay ... cos we can't have the poor little darlings failing at anything.

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Today, kids are arriving for their first day, unable to hold a pen ... and why should they bother when with the simple click of a mouse, their cursor becomes a paintbrush, a crayon or a pencil.

And whilst I may never qualify for mother of the year at least I sent my lifeforms off to school with the ability to read and write, albeit atrociously, and at the very least, with the ability to hold a writing implement.

Today, kids are arriving for their first day, unable to hold a pen ... and why should they bother when with the simple click of a mouse, their cursor becomes a paintbrush, a crayon or a pencil.

Meanwhile, while we're all texting each other about how busy we are, and reading blogs on how we shouldn't push our kids into doing anything ... until they're ready and have given you permission, children are turning up at school still wearing diapers.

We seem to have swapped out real parenting for just reading about it, online.

And so, just like we find excuses for all their other negative, anti-social behaviour, we'll soon find an excuse for this.

Perhaps PTPP - Post Traumatic Potty Phobia will fit the bill, which of course can only be righted by ITTT - Intensive Toilet Training Therapy, which the school will then be expected to offer as part of its curriculum and no doubt at the expense of another English or Math period.

Then we need to factor in the very real risk of being accused of sexual impropriety. Do that and you have to wonder how any teacher has lasted the distance.

I'm not bloody surprised that they are opting to leave the profession in droves.
Throw more money at them if you like but that does nothing to give them better, safer and ultimately more rewarding working conditions.

Class dismissed.

To email Kate: investik8@gmail.com