“It’s back to school soon”.

Today,I’m laid low with man flu.Yes,feeling sorry for myself,wishing that I hadn’t contracted it.of course,I will get over it,I always do,but now,it’s feels like I’m getting worse.

It sounds Pathetic and a bit weak I suppose.However,I really think that I write my blog each day,and I call it as I see it.Many times,especially in my younger days,I felt the need to be tough,never complaining,always looking to the positive.Unfortunately,that wasn’t the real me,it wasn’t how life was.Sometimes,society tries to impose its own standards on us that we not only can’t maintain,but it causes us pain in the end.just being real should be enough for other people.

As we go through life,we carry all sorts of weights on our shoulders that maybe others aren’t aware of.It saddens me when we can’t be honest abut how we feel at any given time in our life.Many folk never admit to having series bouts of depression,they hide this from others,they don’t seek help.They might be profoundly sad,profoundly adrift in life’s boats without a rudder.At these points in anyone’s life,surely it makes sense for the rest of us to step up and offer support to those who are depressed.

While it’s obvious that I will recover from my man flu,and yes,I would imagine that there are many who cope with a cold in a far more stoical manner than I,mental illness is so much more pervasive than we might realise.

As I start my lesson planning for the new academic year,I am aware that some in the teenage cohort will be suffering from mental,and emotional issues.They might manifest themselves with an eating disorder,social phobia,self harm,and a range of others anxiety disorders.These are real,and profound issues that any teacher worth their salt will be aware of.

Personally,I don’t know why there has been such a proliferation in mental illness among teenagers in Britain,but what I do know is that they need our support,and their parents and carers need that too.

Safeguarding within school,and sixth form and FE Colleges is a vital function of any academic institution now.At times,the issues that our young people face are protracted and complicated.There is no quick fix solution.With government funding at the sharp end of education at an all time low,it’s imperative that the vocational side of teaching is appreciated.

My man flu frustrates me because my ears are totally blocked,leaving me unable to hear the vibrations that make music possible.However,to put this in perspective,there are those young people out there who are so removed from any learning routine.Their lives have been fractured by turmoil through family breakdown,or through being shunted around in the care system.

To have a vocation is a privilege,and I’m very grateful for that.As I get older,I wonder just how affective I can continue to be to my pupils.Sometimes,I worry that our young people are the most unhappy generation that I have known,and their issues won’t clear up in a day or two like my man flu.


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