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Are teachers part of the problem?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by STremlett, May 22, 2017.

  1. STremlett

    STremlett New commenter

    Please don't think me patronsing. Merely sharing some thoughts that you have raised some interesting counter arguments. I dread the day when my ideology is beaten down to the point I no longer do what I feel best for my students. The day I work in a school where that is not supported will be the day I leave the profession. Maybe 5 years is too short a time to have been able to formulate realistic views of the way education is going.

    Thank you for posing the counter arguments but such a shame that we must be discussing a pedagogy that is not realistic due to external pressures.
    Pomz and drvs like this.
  2. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    That day came for me some years ago and I moved to the independent sector where ideology and pedagogy are valued and nurtured. Leaving is not the only option.
  3. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Er...yeah! That's definitely true. My last five years were Hell and made me very depressed. I was lucky that I didn't sink under and that I didn't crack up, unlucky in that my heart took all the stress. More and more teachers developing odd illnesses, allergies, cancers WAY too young. It's stress. Now I tutor. I wasn't horrified to learn that one lovely girl I coach once regularly self harmed. Her school was vile to her. Pastoral support totally off the mark, thick and untrained staff missed every single cry for help. I do a lot of counselling alongside the tuition, it's evolved, and I'm not fully qualified, but these kids are so badly damaged by these academies of so called excellence. Then there's a boy who was furious and angry all the time. He has SEN needs but is fiercely bright, but hasn't been catered for in school. It worries me that in every main town and city in the UK, there is a secret universe of damaged teachers teaching damaged kids...and getting themselves better. Out of school, naturally. Have to say that the academies near me are not schools. They are this cruddy, arrogant, image-obsessed chain of youth control and staff bullying centres. Academies. Terrific Tory job.
    phlogiston, Anonymity and saluki like this.
  4. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Oh dear, that should read I WAS horrified. Obviously.
  5. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Which is great, but the rot is in indie now as well. They're trying to cull older and costlier staff. If they are good schools they will do it in how they recruit replacements, but it is so utterly unfair on experienced staff. I know two 'top' schools near me which are demanding five k a term yet seem incapable of setting regular homework, showing subject expertise or offering proper pastoral care. I coach one girl who attends the school which turned me down for a job in favour of an unqualified young starter who has just walked out. So that policy went well.
    schoolsout4summer likes this.
  6. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

  7. hairdo

    hairdo Occasional commenter

    I also teach maths and strive to make those I teach resilient and resourceful. As such, I plan lessons well and put scaffolding in to help them reach their goal. I think with a bit of challenge, making errors, picking up misconceptions and acting on these as they arise, produces children who can think mathematically and work out what to do when they are faced with a topic they haven't seen for a long time. This way of working also helps pupils see mathematical connections.
    This also means that kid may mess up or not participate fully or produce less work on occasion. But isn't this where a teacher's skill comes into play?- to guide students towards being more resilient learners who can problem solve.
    However, this style of teaching and learning does not lend itself to lesson observations (I have just had my latest one rubbished as the learning could not be seen so the boxes could be ticked) where progress is still being misinterpreted as something all students do between the beginning and end of one lesson.
    I have been teaching for 20 plus years and know that the way I teach gets results....I am now considering leaving the profession completely as I find schools frustrating these days, particularly when teachers are unable to stand up for themselves.
    Perhaps you just have to do what you think is best for 90% of the time and grit your teeth and play the game for the other 10%.
  8. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

  9. wwbiscuit

    wwbiscuit New commenter

    Edited for accuracy.
    Anonymity, Mrsmumbles and Compassman like this.
  10. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    I am convinced that today's students are needier and less indepeddent. Many see failure as a dirty wird. It isn't! With hindsight, the kids I taught between 96-06 were far more proactive. Two present for the BBC. Several own startups. They seemed keener to listen and give things a go. Whereas schools infuriate me by taking a perfectly respectable abstract noun like 'resilience' and derogating it. They make a nonsense of it and use it for naff website PR. Real resilience is reentering teaching as a self employed startup after heart surgery and years of bullying nearly ended you. It is taking on severely unwell or damaged excluded kids and seeing them thrive under your care, take chances and reset their futures. It has Bog All to do with exciting student learning methods or asking probing questions or doing pretentious learning styles in front of lesson observers. The UK is divided in all areas: politically, socially, culturally, intellectually, experientially...even linguistically.
    sabram86 and Alldone like this.
  11. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    No offence to anyone, but I really dislike this teacher bashing by teachers.

    Every action I've seen proposed ("Teachers are their own worst enemies, why don't they...") I've seen tried and failed.

    One day strike action. All that happened was we all lost a day or two's pay.

    Acton short of strike action. Some signed up, some didn't. No difference.

    'Stand up for yourself'. What? You're on capability? Well I never!

    Leave the profession, the teacher shortages will change things. Still waiting (and hoping) for that.

    If there was a school somewhere, a school where the teachers had all 'stood up for teaching', and left their meeting of demands with their SLT in a whimpering heap, ready to accede to every demand, big pay rises, no observations or work scrutiny, no threat of capability, it'd be one page 1 of the TES.

    Every week.

    For a couple of years.

    It'd be cited as an example in every thread about workload.

    It isn't. Why? It doesn't exist. Because it cannot exist.

    Next person who posts here and says it's our fault for not standing up for ourselves, you give us the name of your school so we can all apply or a job there.

    If you've not tried to stand up for yourself, then shut up you hypocrite.

    If you have and it cost you your job, grow a brain, and stop pretending the best idea is for the rest of us to follow you off the edge like lemmings.
    Anonymity likes this.
  12. nervousned

    nervousned Senior commenter

    Why can't it exist? Industrual action has been successful in the past and has been for other professions in more recent times. I believe in teaching that strike action at individual schools has led to the resignation of senior staff.
    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  13. SomethingWicked

    SomethingWicked Occasional commenter

    I have felt increasingly over the years that teaching unions have given up. The occasional token strike day to help their members vent political stress, and then back to work like normal.
    Our best hope now is for all us likeminded folk to get promoted to SLT and change from within. My fantasy is that enough people with backbones climb to the top of a handful of schools, form their own academy chain and pseudo-unionise through that. A network of schools that will stand up to nonsense policy. It'll probably never happen, but I can dream.
    sabram86 likes this.
  14. nervousned

    nervousned Senior commenter

    If the unions have given up, they've given up on us. A one off strike with low levels of participation isn't going to change anything. A rolling programme of strikes with significant commitment from the vast majority of members would but some would prefer to carry on as they are than 'harm the children'.
  15. sabram86

    sabram86 Occasional commenter

    It's an awful, appalling thought but it may just be that the days of the traditional teacher have passed. Whether that is the doting, knowledgeable Mr Chips in a chalky gown, or the hippy teacher of yore, there is no room for either in today's worker hives.

    Of course, these breeds live on and ever will. The memory will fade, but it will never die. They are finding their niches elsewhere, for they refuse to bend the knee to Mammon.

    What have we lost? Education as an end in itself, whether that is "child-centred" or focused for learning for its own sake. The future's grim; the future's functionalism.

    Ave ateque vale, sapientia!
    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  16. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Well actually I did grow a brain. I now have a sustainable business. I actually resented being forced out of a job I was good at. Nothing stupid about either of those. The clever thing nowadays is to get out. Things will improve but not for s while yet.
  17. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Yes it can and does cause change, but more need to do it. Parents need to wade in too.
  18. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    A great idea. Sadly the corporate acadrmy chains have cornered the market. For now....
  19. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Word, not wird! Blooming auto correct!
  20. jmford7

    jmford7 New commenter

    I'd completely agree with the OP. We are all guilty of adding to the way our youth are. We're able to be better parents and not give them a clip round the ear every time they do something wrong. Our attitude generally is - we've all been kids.

    We put more pressure on them to succeed today than what our generation had. They put more pressure on them selves thanks to social media and being able to see what celebrity life is like. We've put more pressure on looks and being healthy. We've put more pressure in wearing branded name clothes daily.

    It's the way the world is.. sadly.

    Teachers have certainly played their part in the way we've gone forward. Often I've used or heard others use the teams "our job's the hardest" when in natural fact it's not by far. The hardest will always be other jobs like the Nurses/Doctors/Police/Fireservice. I could list a lot more of them. There's certainly a victim culture going on where everyone seems to think their jobs the hardest. I've even heard IT Technicians say the same and I've shot them down for it with the same line.

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