I think it’s possible that some of the reaction against strong discipline is that some teachers like pupils to look and act a bit bad because it’s cool. Rule-breaking, questioning authority, and non-compliance are all phrases you might hear in a favourable review of a record by someone cool like the Sex Pistols or Dizzee Rascal. Eager, polite and obedient are not.
I suggest that some teachers like working with tricky teens because it makes them cool by association. A gruff “safe Miss” on the way out of the lesson gives a sense we have been accepted by the urban subculture. An awed “I don’t know how you do it” from a friend when a noisy and slightly intimidating gang get on the bus gives us a feeling we are a bit special.
“Those nerdy kids in the photos? Reading their books on the tube? Gleaming in their smart…
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