Tuesday 31 March 1987

…[Our teacher] grabbed me and Edward this afternoon and virtually
threw us into the staff room.
He gave us a talking to about sport and our attitude.
He said he wanted to be fair with us.
The results are that swimming will be made a lot easier – we won’t have to be in
the top group anymore.
However for PE we are now going to be expected to help teach the infants
as well as doing our usual lesson.
That increases PE to THREE HOURS A WEEK!
How is this fair?…

Imagine my fury at being compelled to do this, and just days after moaning that the rest of my class gave the impression that all they wanted to do was play sport. Yet here was I getting landed with more PE, while the rest of my peers just carried on as before!

Worse – my “attitude” was supposedly to benefit from helping five and six-year-olds learn to catch a ball.

Had I taken the long view I would have wryly accepted this silly arrangement, knowing it would all be over in three months when I left primary school for good. But I wasn’t good at the long view 25 years ago, and instead merely raged inwardly at having mounting attention drawn towards my inadequacies.

Naturally, none of this improved my “attitude” towards PE one bit. I’d been doing it for seven years and still hadn’t found a sport I was a good at. Surely I’d suffered enough?

3 thoughts on “Tuesday 31 March 1987

  1. Funny about PE, weren’t they? Like it was such a big deal and had to be taken so deadly seriously. I got letters home about my ‘attitude’, as I was hopeless. I hated it and my parents knew it. They also knew there were far more important things for a school to be thinking about than whether someone could kick a ball or not.

    I could go on all day about school PE, but I feel my hackles rising, so I’ll stop now.

  2. My old school is now a “sports college”. It’s a big change from the days when my entire year was let off sports day because we were all so hopeless. We just sat around on the grass and chatted instead.

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