Hi Elizabeth I know I've gone off the deep end with this, largely because that while I can cope with the backbiting that some posters on here aim at others - and quite enjoy a bit of it myself sometimes - it infuriates me when someone who claims to be experienced then takes a pop at hard working, inexperienced student teachers. I work with them every day, and know how hard the course you've just done is: to be treated with "scepticism" is just beyond the pale, I think. Rest assured, if jennifer had said that her training was rubbish and that she was up all night planning and still couldn't get the pupils to pay attention, and that behaviour in schools was appalling and children were neds, she would not have been questioned by leonard; her statements would have been accepted with a smug welcome, because they would have reinforced the cynical, pessimistic view of teaching people like him wish to promulgate. Instead, gary asked for information - and in return for naively assuming that she could getaway with describing positive experiences, is told that she must be "mistaken" about the experiences she has had, that she is "wasting her time", that the successes she has had deserve "scepticism". That is what is so objectionable. Leonard accuses me of stifling debate - but it is him and his ilk who stifle debate, because anyone who presents a different view of teaching, anyone who, while accepting there are problems, sees reason for optimism, anyone who believes that training and professionalism can empower teachers, anyone, godammit, who LIKES children, will be targeted. Jennifer says it herself - she was nervous about posting because of this very behaviour. The result is that anly the negative, only the cynical will ever be allowed to post with impunity on these boards, thereby skewing perceptions and propagating their agenda. This should be a place for the positive and the negative, to talk about successes and failures, to pose questions and suggest answers. But if it doesn't accord with the world view of that vicious few, it isn't allowed.