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Are teachers the reluctant players in an ever-changing game?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by TES_Rosaline, May 24, 2019.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Jo Brighouse asks whether teachers want to play the constant guessing game of what's in and what’s out for popular approaches and what will impress during inspections:

    ‘We all teach within a system. It’s no good just to know your children well and talk about next steps, everything has to be viewed in the context of a grand data plan: a “bigger picture”.

    Only what this plan looks like is a hazy mystery, a shape-shifting image that refuses to come into focus…

    As far as I can tell, there are two worlds. One is made up of stuff that doesn’t change: spelling words, long division, using capital letters for proper nouns. Running alongside this is a world of acronyms, evidence and percentages, calculating progress points and covering writing in post-its and highlighters to demonstrate mastery of modal verbs. All of these things are in constant motion. What they look like in one school can be completely unrecognisable in another.

    “You can still teach how you like, but sometimes you’ve simply got to learn to play the game,” I was told recently by someone who patently understands the game better than me. I think SLT are at a distinct advantage in this area. It’s their job to know the system inside out, to live and breathe graphs and data. The rest of us are too busy chasing up reading books and trying to get Jamie to remember his times tables….’

    Jo Brighouse is a pseudonym for a primary teacher in the West Midlands


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