Sunday, 2 February 2014

Pity the Plight of Young Fellows...Jono Broom



Pity The Plight


Pity the fate of young fellows
Too long a bed with no sleep
With their complex romantic attachments
All look on their sorrows and weep
They dont get a moments reflection
Theres always a crowd in their eye
Pity the plight of young fellows
Regard all their worries and cry
Their crusty young mothers were lazy perhaps
Leaving it up to the school
Where the moral perspective is hazy perhaps
And the climate; oppressively cool
Give me some acre of cellos
Pitched at some distant regret
Pity the plight of young fellows
And their anxious attempts to forget

These are the tears of a thug like murky water
Crying tears as clear as mud for his fathers daughter
His half-sister; he felt obliged to support her
Since her mum was poor and his dad died even poorer
Separated until she was 8 years old
He knew as soon as he saw her
That he adored her, so hes baying for blood with a borer
And an automatic weapon; Smith & Weston
Thatd split a fucking hole in your chest then hes been looking to corner
The perpetrators responsible for a killing
Now hes finally got em where he wants em
Blood will start spilling
The atmosphere in the air tonight is chilling
The blanket of stars above their heads in the sky feels like a ceiling
Slowly crushing down on em as the terror starts progressing
That leaves the youngest of the two open to his suggestion
Only 13 years old; pubescent adolescent
About to learn a very harsh and depressing lesson

These are the tears of a wanna-be thug
Crying tears as thick as blood cause his elder set him up
To take the fall and now hes stuck with no way of getting out
Cause even if there was a way hed still want to vent this anger out
Without a doubt these streets are rife with corruption
Young minds get corrupt even so easily fucked that only leads to destruction in the end
False assumptions that people have your back makes you believe they're your friends
All though some represent; no one can be trusted
One double O per-cent cause some thugs will go to lengths
To get revenge
Even if it means manipulating youths to carry skens and do the dirty work for them
The kind of work for men
That route the dark is past
Not impressionable young children that never had a chance
Growing up in his manors most are doomed from the start
Cause the minds of their peers are as ill as their hearts

Songwriters
BALLANCE-DREW, BENJAMIN PAUL / SHUCKBURGH, ALEXANDER WILLIAM / BROWN, CHRIS HAYWOOD / CLARKE, JOHN COOPER
Published by
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group



This poem is from a movie called Ill Manors. The movie is a story of survival, and a story of reputation.


"From church goers, to sports fans, to gang members, the drive to join some version of a tribe and the benefits derived from membership are undeniable. It appears that we do best when we keep at least one foot firmly planted in our tribal past."

"...teachers who are able to tap into the primitive social instincts of their students through attachment relationships and build tribal classrooms succeed in seemingly impossible educational situations. Over and over again 'tribal' teachers find ways to teach students thought to be 'unteachable'."

The Social Neuroscience of Education, Optimising Attachment and Learning in the Classroom, L. Cozolino.


Cozolino states in his book that people are drawn to tribes, whether it be gangs, church groups, sports teams, schools, classrooms, families, or any number of others. He also states that being in a tribe can help to reach students who were previously thought unreachable. But how do we create a tribe? What is the prerequisite of a tribe?

It has to be somewhere that people feel comfortable, and it has to be somewhere that they want to be.

Think about your classroom for a minute. Do people want to be there? Does everyone in your room feel comfortable, feel like it's their space, feel part of a tribe?

The alternative is worrying.

In the first verse of the lyrics from Pity the Plight it says:

"Their crusty young mothers were lazy perhaps
Leaving it up to the school
Where the moral perspective is hazy perhaps
And the climate; oppressively cool"

This tells me that the people this author is writing about don't feel a tribe in their family, and their parents or parent left their well being up to the school. The school however has an authoritarian or dictatorship style of governence and the youths can't feel a connection with the teacher or the classroom. They don't feel like they belong, they don't feel part of the tribe. The poet goes on to talk about the gang these children join, in order to feel worthy, to get some respect, and to fit into a tribe somewhere.

By using restorative practices in a classroom and a school, we can help children, and adults, to show respect to each other. To feel like a valued member of a tribe. To take them away from a world of drugs, and violence, and ultimately death.

Fundamentally it is the parents responsibility to raise their children, but it is the teachers responsibility to know their learners, and to ensure everyone feels comfortable in their own space. When I say know your learners I don't mean just know their name. I mean know them. Look at them in the morning and from that one glance tell if something's wrong. Tell if they had breakfast that morning. Tell if they've been forced to come to school sick. Tell if they feel like they haven't been treated as an individual at home, and do you best to make sure every single individual feels respected at school.

One thing that changed my mind forever about teaching was something my team leader and tutor teacher said to me when I was provisionally registered. We'd had a particularly hard day with the students, and I was complaining about it to her, however she didn't join in, she simply looked at me and said "They're only kids Jono." Those four words completely stopped me mid sentence and made me rethink everything I'd been saying and thinking.

They are the kids. You are the adult. We're all humans.

You require respect, but so do they. Don't treat them like they're the scum of the earth, because they're not. Respect them for who they are, respect them for what they could be, respect them as individuals, and they will do the same to you.

I leave you now with the final verse of John Cooper Clark's poem Pity the Plight.

Pity the plight of young fellows
Consider their troubles and moan
Embrace them when they seem downhearted
Otherwise leave it alone
Everyone owes them a favour
Nobody comes to collect
Pity the plight of young fellows
And their passionate need for respect.

3 comments:

  1. Deep thoughts my friend, and a confronting song. Reminds me of the movie "City of God" to a degree. I struggle often with how kids are in school, yet out of school they are friendly, kind and respectful. For some I can potentially educate, for others all I want is to instil hope. I am Tribal my friend. I look forward to your return. Peace.

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  2. Putting aside my judgements of a learner's behaviour and firstly, before anything else, showing them that I accept them, is one of the most important ways I can build relationships with my learners. Words are important in this process, but they are not enough. Firstly comes my belief that this person is accepted by me, then my tone of voice, body language and manner follow, and lastly what I say.

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  3. Wow- that is a pretty confronting movie. And very strong lyrics that permeate the whole movie. And a strong message for everyone who works with youth- especially disaffected youth.

    "It has to be somewhere that people feel comfortable, and it has to be somewhere that they want to be."

    "...teachers who are able to tap into the primitive social instincts of their students through attachment relationships and build tribal classrooms succeed in seemingly impossible educational situations. Over and over again 'tribal' teachers find ways to teach students thought to be 'unteachable'."

    Two quotes I am going to put up in the teacher workspace in the classroom, where they can be seen every day.

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