Don’t play nice

What a noise!

The teacher sighed and put down her pince nez. Michael Gove’s book would have to wait for another day.

Play nice children

She shouted across the playground.

We don’t want anybody getting hurt.

Conform, comply. That’s what she meant.


What a racket!  Why will these kids not stop bickering?

The teacher sighed again and turned around from the board.

Children  – what have I told you? If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. We don’t want anybody getting upset.

Conform, comply, agree. Don’t challenge. No hard questions, please. Some people have been here for a VERY LONG time and they must not be upset.


The teacher turned back to the board.

Mantra time, children

She said

Repeat after me. The community is the…

Some of the children joined in. They liked this game – they played it a lot. Nice and safe. Everybody agreeing. No need to worry about whether it was right or wrong.  No need for silly concepts of right or wrong. Just pretty words, and everybody playing nicely.


Suddenly the door crashed open. The children blinked.  Silhouetted in the doorway was a figure with a shock of hair, singing loudly.


He shouted loudly

I’ve been listening to what you’ve been saying and watching what you’ve been doing. Can I ask you some questions?

Most of the children started cheering – this was more like it. They started to chat to the newcomer.

The teacher began to intervene

Ummmm, this is a bit hard, somebody might get upset …

She tried to say. but the other kids ignored her. So she left them to it. After all, who was she to tell them what they should or should not talk about?

This entry was posted in #Rhizo16, Rhizomes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Don’t play nice

  1. Wendy says:

    After lunch she started with a round-robin of chorus…

    ‘Break the metaphors, break the metaphors, break the metaphors’ with the other part of the class saying ‘it is not a metaphor, it is not a metaphor’.

    Mum and Dad were a bit confused that night when this came out as a response to ‘what did you learn today?’.

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