Russ Brown

Children's Author

upright pops

By russbrownauthor, Oct 14 2011 06:17PM

Hello Readers,

It has been far too long since my last blog and a dear friend prompted me into “pulling my finger out” and putting finger to keypad, so here goes hope you enjoy it!

My two daughters are preparing a show of dancing as I type this to entertain us in the front room as clearly the 800+ sky channels do not provide us with enough entertainment. The song they have chosen to use is Mike Posner’s “cooler than me” and the line “….it’s probably cos you think you’re cooler than me” is being sung loudly and rather pointedly at me. Perhaps my very young children have already discovered something that has taken me years to accept, I am simply not that cool.

This is not a good admission because unlike me, my father is very cool, he is of the Frank Sinatra generation, the type of bloke who makes an instant impression of someone who has experience and exudes the essence of being cool. Any amount of suit wearing and listening to big band music will not make me appear this way.

As a teacher I always feel I have my finger on the pulse of what is considered to be the latest fad or trend and more importantly I feel, I can often tell you what is number one in the download charts and also what television programmes and films are good to be watched by any self- respecting 3-11 year old. However I know this will shock you dear reader but I have not always been the vision of coolness who taps away at his netbook, whilst tweeting, conference skypeing and sipping a skinny latte. (Ok you caught me out I struggle to do all of these individually let alone simultaneously)

But in all honesty I was not a cool kid, never really fitted into any group, particularly at secondary school and was far too theatrical to be part of the sports groups and far too sarcastic to be part of the cool group. I was therefore in a kind of limbo.

I decided that once I went to University I would change myself for good and pass on the best parts of my childhood to children I taught.

I can remember when I first started teaching that I planned to never ever be like the teachers I had, you remember the sort, greasy hair, body odour issues, bad breath, poor dress sense and uncontrollable facial hair, (and that was only the women!) I set out to be a cool teacher, one who was respected and looked up to, a focal figure of the class, the fount of all knowledge, an educational oracle I genuinely thought that was the way to be.

I fear however that in truth that lasted approximately 30 minutes into my first class when I could not tell the class what my favourite Spice Girls song was (dated myself there I feel!) I could almost feel my coolness being melted away by the fiery glares of those year 5 children. I could see the dawning realisation that they were all thinking, He may look young and trendy, but he will be wearing a tweed jacket with leather elbow patches by Christmas!

I like to think; I dress appropriately and generally have got control of good personal hygiene. But apart from that I reckon my ability to be cool ends about there.

It has taken me approximately 15 years to come to the conclusion that it is the children who teach me daily, they tell me what is socially modern to do, say and most importantly, perhaps, how to tackle life as a child in these modern times. The children of today do appear to grow up too fast and wear inappropriate clothing, say far too mature things, watch television which my mother would have turned off and generally shock all of us who are parents to these feral creatures. But do you know, I think that I was probably doing exactly the same at their age. ok it may not have been quite as crazy but generally and I know it’s difficult to hear friends, but we may not be as cool as we hope we are.

Thanks for reading and keep the lovely comments coming.


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