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Hidden Lessons: Growing Up on the Frontline of Teaching

Mehreen Baig

September 16, 2021 @ 8:00 am 5:00 pm

You’re in at 7am, there until 7pm and marking into the late hours. You’ve got one student who’s a full time carer, another who’s pregnant, and a third who’s just joined a gang. You haven’t got enough textbooks to go around, and one of the parents just called you an ‘extremist’. You’ve just gone through a devastating heartbreak and you have to teach Romeo and Juliet to 30 hormonal 14 year olds.

Welcome to life as a teacher.

This is a world that all of us know, but most of us have completely forgotten. It’s a world where you’re working 50 hour weeks, but you’re still just a part-time teacher because the rest of the time you’re a security guard, a nurse, a counsellor, or a friend. It’s also a world where you spend all day with some of the most interesting people you know. And even when the lesson plan has been abandoned, you’re still learning.

Mehreen started teaching at 21, and by the time she left 10 years later she’d learnt a bit about teenagers and a lot about life. This is her story.

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