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Mrs. Monk's Would-be Diary, should have been written by Mrs. Monk, since she is the "Writer" in the family.
However, since she is a writer only in the conceptual sense, I have undertaken to fill these pages on her behalf.
If not by her, these pages will certainly be about her, and other important matters of the day

Leslie Monk


Mrs Monk’s Would-Be Diary .........

13 January 2007

Peers, Parents and Teachers

A recent academic study into children’s behaviour has determined that British Kids are amongst the worst behaved in Europe. The inference of the report was that British Kids hang out with their peers and not with their parents. Is anyone surprised by this conclusion?

Parents are of course bound to empathise with their children when they are in touch with them, but if they are not in touch with them, the kids will be subject to other influences.

In fact British teenagers are influenced by: Their Peers, Their Parents and Their Teachers, and in that order.

Related articles Times Academic Study Monks in Majorca TES ARTICLE


Peers 13 January 2007

This evening we took our usual walk to the CoOp at the end of the road, and we arrived just as three students, of different heights, but wearing the same school uniform followed an elderly man into the shop. The tallest boy was showing-off by deliberately tormenting the elderly man, and generally showing off. Three other smaller kids were laughing along behind the ring leader.

Mrs Monk warned me off. “Don’t you dare say anything!”, she said.

The manager of the shop noticed what was going on and I was impressed by his intervention. I did not hear what he said to the kids, but it had an immediate effect on their showing off.; the laughing diminished to a giggle.

As soon as the manager went back to his shop-keeping they started up again Shoppers were nervous.

They knew I was eyeballing them from a distance, I made the 5 steps in their direction and addressed the three kids who were enjoying the big bad boys showing off.

“You're not impressed with him are you?” I asked, directing my stare at what might have impressed them.

The smallest boy tried to impress the tallest boy

“I don’t know him”, he lied just for the hell of it.

“You don't want to know him,” I said,

Mrs Monk saw what was going on from a distance and seemed worried that I might kick arse.

The kids left the shop and went off down the road towards our house, as a pack.

My intervention had made no impression on the smallest boy, for whom I had the greatest hope.



British parents are less likely to spend time with their kids over dinner and are even inclined to take separate holidays. (see Monks in Majorca) Parents, it seems, are inclined to rely on what the kids tell them, about what they are up to, assuming parents want to know what they are up to, and I reluctantly suppose that most parents do care about what their kids are doing. However, no kid is going to tell a parent that they had fun tormenting a senior citizen at the Co Op. And everyone knows it happens, because we all see it, every day, in every town, in every county.


Teachers Notes from Lunch at the Tate Gallery

I had grabbed a table at the Tate Gallery Members Room and waited for Mrs Monk to join me. At the table next to me two young girls were having Lunch and discussing school. They laughed out loud at how they had tormented a succession of substitute teachers. They mentioned a Miss X and happily took credit for the nervous breakdown she suffered How they laughed some more. I was so pleased that Mrs Monk, the teacher, was not there to hear these middle class young girls.

Behaviour in schools has declined over the last ten years, and all parents including Ruth Kelly, want what is best for their kids, but since “bad behaviour,” became excused as a, “special need” and teachers became increasingly obliged to accept bad behaviour or deal with it during class time, matters have got worse, and ultimately have done so at the expense of other children, who would otherwise receive a better education.

Bad behaviour is routinely excused and even rewarded, since miscreants are offered colouring-in, and computer games. All kids are acutely aware of these “rewards” for bad behaviour. Children that would otherwise behave, are in this way encouraged to misbehave.

Good teachers leave the profession in droves, and have been replaced by yet more unqualified housewives who supervise yet more colouring in. Teachers that remain, face children who demand yet more fun and even less meaningful study.

A teacher that tries to educate, will be given a hard time by the kids and leave themselves open to criticism by the school.

The damage has been done and Britain is obliged to import doctors and teachers from abroad and when they get here they are horrified by what they find.

So lets all blame Ruth Kelly, she’ll do.

I should end with a positive note.

No, .....can’t do it.



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