What it’s like to teach literature in multicultural technocratic England: Teachers, targets and theatre trips. Taking schoolchildren to the theater becomes impossibly difficult when there are no standards, so you can’t expect people to behave right and keeping the kids safe becomes an infinitely complex task. So you don’t bother doing it. Back in the classroom, the settled humane standards needed to discuss literature require a setting in some particular culture, which is no longer allowed to exist. In the absence of such a setting “literature” becomes an arbitrarily chosen text, “study” formal analysis, and the point of the exercise bureaucratic certification of competence. So what teachers do is pick a passage or two from Romeo and Juliet that they know will be on the national test and spend the year drilling students in how to answer the questions likely to be asked. Not much fun, even if you ignore problems with disruptive students and the rest of it. Why does anyone still bother?