One of the problems of working with children is that you often default to their juvenile behaviour: maybe it's peer pressure. Or maybe when you're surrounded by the intensity of being a teenager it starts to sink into your pores by osmosis. It does mean though, that I found this headline at the BBC amusing in an Ali G style way, before I realised that I'd probably be first up against the wall if it happened here: Shock as Tanzania teachers caned
In one of my classes this year I have a couple of boys who come out with some utter rubbish, but they do make me laugh. I've given up trying not to laugh at them, and they do enjoy the attention it brings: they aren't really as stupid as they appear. Quite frequently the whole of the relatively small class and I are laughing uncontrollably at some idiotic comment that one of them has made.
But there's not just the humour that degenerates. At a recent family gathering I was told how cutting I was being about certain topics, and it wasn't something I'd noticed I was doing. But when I thought about why such nastiness was dribbling from my lips, I realised it was probably reactionary from the frenetic nastiness buzzing around me during the day... somehow I had picked up on the back-biting comments as being the norm. But it was good to have that moment of self-realisation, so I could try to make myself grow up a little more.