A sense of exhaustion beyond compare
Is all I have left this morning to share,
The long-anticipated Final Frontier
Now really, truly, actually here.
Not the ‘Star Trek’-branded zone,
Nor even a moment of my own:
This time belongs to so many souls
Whose collective endeavour
Surpasses the Whole,
Each one standing for education,
The leading out¹ of future generations
To a set of Standards beyond comprehension
Wreaking damage aplenty with biased intention,
Tomorrow’s adults already deskilled
By linear, reductionist, political ill-will.
I’ve tried, Your Honour, I’ve really tried
To keep my mouth shut, but with eyes open wide
It’s nigh on impossible to ignore
The Party Political perversion of scores:
The top-down interventionism accompanied by aphorism,
The blind walking out with the visually impaired,
Each side protesting how much s/he cared
And how much the fault rests squarely with teachers
Those over-worked, over-wrought learner-focussed creatures…
And so, once more to Sisyphus²
His rocking, rolling, uphill fuss
An accurate analogy
For educational psychology.
What if he had risked his fate
And stepped aside for a well-earned break?
What he’d plain and simply conceded
Such protracted endeavour is really not needed
Because, in the words of Winnicott³,
Just being Good Enough is the best thing we’ve got.
Even if this necessitates
Leaving that boulder to its fate…
¹ “Ergo, Miss Brodie…” A moment of clarity from Muriel Spark’s novel, ‘The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie’
² In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was condemned by the gods to roll a rock up a hill for eternity. See also Albert Camus’ eponymous book.
³ Winnicott, W D: proponent of the ‘good enough mother’. Extensive bibliographies available on-line, some suggesting that Mary Ainsworth had at least an equal part in their landmark theory of attachment as key to early child development…