A lively debate is being facilitated by Daily Telegraph Blogs on the subject of whether those who do not believe in multi-culturalism may take their pupils out of 'citizenship'/tolerating multi-culturalism classes.
Cue fuzzy lighting and distant violin playing for a personal memoir that most of you will find very self-righteous, and personal. The policies of the politically correct elite in education do back-fire.
On the whole, most of my teachers were wonderfully gifted and great educationalists. A few of my teachers, however were slavishly leftie, championing population control, inclusion of even vile 'cultural' practices and, of course in Celtic Tiger Ireland the obligatory anti-Catholic rhetoric.
One such 'teacher' (forgive the snotty quotation marks but really I learned nada from her) gave theatrical Madam Bovary-esque sighs, and then ridiculed the 'pre-Vatican II Church' as her example of everything bad, patriarchal and not 'inclusive'. The use of Latin was not good for multiculturalism, its use was 'nice' but meant 'others' were 'automatically excluded'. The time that Ms. Brown spent attacking Catholicism and making the odd pro-abortion remark was time that was meant to be spent where we, her pupils, learned history. The curriculum was not being taught. So, coming up to exams her students would have to come in on a Saturday where she would spend many hours trying to teach basic points that should have been taught 18 months previous.
To find out what this 'auld biddie of a teacher' had against the Tridentine Latin Mass, I went to one (at the time I was atheistic and a teenager), and was mesmerised. There were dozens of people there from all walks of life, their mother tongues were not English, but our understanding of the Mass synchronised as, together we embraced the Latin text. 'Excluded'? No, teacher dear, you've excluded yourself from the riches of a Mass where the language is universal.
And now, as when I go to 8AM Mass in the Oratory, I'll say a prayer for the auld that auld. Possibly even send a postcard of a side chapel in London Oratory to the school, 'hiya Ms. Brown, just thought you would like to know that your citizenship classes had the effect of making me a Latin Mass Catholic. I’ll think of you when I hear ‘kyrie eleison’. It must be good to know your teaching was very effective.' Even as I write I can hear you scream ‘dreadful! Archaic Latin Mass!' It would have the dual effect of making her so apoplectic with rage that I doubt she would teach 'citizenship' that day. And the next day, she might tell her doting dressed-in-blue pupils about the 'outlawed' Latin Mass. Maybe, I'll shortly see some of her rebellious pupils sitting alongside me in a pew some fine day soon. We can then send her a group postcard.
PS - During my four yearn of teaching, I did draw some criticism for bringing too many Catholic points to bear on my lessons. And besides, I did have faults as a teacher including poor time management and rambling on and on... I do however have a number of former pupils who have the faith, and one got in touch with me today to tell me that they had prayed for me this week. For pupils who were not impressed (but reviled) by my religion lessons, perhaps there will be a blog post from a former pupil of mine saying that I drove him to atheism because of my waxing lyrical about the Trinity and the saints. I could then leave comments on this ex-pupil's blog and invite them round for dinner, for further discussions of the faith over a leg of roast lamb.