I seriously contemplated being a teacher once upon a time, when I was lot younger. It seemed to me an agreeable doss, and one didn’t have to be too bright or too ambitious, or possess any great quantity of knowledge. I sometimes wondered what sort of teacher I’d prefer to be; one of those ingratiating young men who plays meaningful pop songs on his guitar to the class and affects an air of faux rebelliousness, the kind of teacher whom as schoolchildren we all despised, or the other kind — sarcastic, stentorian and occasionally brutal, the kind we all feared. It was one or the other; there is no middle way.
I never found out because the one thing stopping me from being a teacher was that I could not remotely conceive of not trying to shag the kids. It seemed to me virtually impossible not to, and I was convinced that I’d be right in there, on day one. We’re talking secondary school level here, by the way — and even then I don’t think I’d have dabbled much below year ten, as it is now called. I just thought we ought to clear that up early on. At my old comprehensive school a few teachers were known to be schtupping the pupils; one of them, a female teacher who was extremely foxy in a Pot Noodle scuzzy kind of way — she copped off with some fifth-form lad, and another teacher (a man with a guitar and a faux rebellious attitude) gained the affections of an extremely attractive fourth-form girl. As pupils, we didn’t remotely mind about this and both teachers were very popular. But I knew, when I was considering my career options, that this sort of behaviour was definitely frowned upon by the authorities and that I would not last the week in my new job.