Hmmm. I've been pondering going back to work as I'm on maternity leave at the moment. One of the most depressing things I've realised (probably blindingly obvious to most people) is that many of my students can never achieve their potential, despite whatever their intelligence is, because of their backgrounds. My little boy is only a few months old, but already he owns more books than most of my students' parents and, to be blunt, is just exposed to 'intelligent stuff' i.e. he wakes up listening to The Today programme, listens to his dad complaining about politics, has already been to museums etc. I don't mean I'm taking him to French lessons, or whatever, but his background already gives him so many more advantages than the majority of my students. Maybe it's this social deprivation that we need to tackle first as, to be honest, I can't really change students' lives radically in the five hours I have them each fortnight for 38 weeks a year.