1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice
  3. The Teacher Q&A will be closing soon.

    If you have any information that you would like to keep or refer to in the future please can you copy and paste the information to a format suitable for you to save or take screen shots of the questions and responses you are interested in.

    Don’t forget you can still use the rest of the forums on theTes Community to post questions and get the advice, help and support you require from your peers for all your teaching needs.

    Dismiss Notice

Book trawl... is this what education looks like today?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Grandsire, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. Grandsire

    Grandsire Senior commenter

    I’ve recently inherited a new pupil, and have spent some time today trawling through the books they brought with them from their old school to see what they’ve covered in various topics. Now, this might be horribly unfair, but I can’t help wondering what on earth the school thought they were doing...

    The poor teacher has followed ALL the advice - WALT, WILF, LO and Personal Targets on sticky labels, three colours of highlighter, Cold Tasks, Hot Tasks, Know-Want-Learn grids, Word of the Week sheets (but there are only a few, and same word appears four times...) and the child reflecting on their learning most lessons by writing three sentences (“I fort I tryd hard to ignor pepul how wer mesing arowned”) and blank Teacher Assessment grids stuck in at the back. There’s very little work that’s not a worksheet from a well-known educational resource website, and any writing the kid has done is largely uncorrected, apart from two-stars-and-a-wish, with spellings like “poot” or “janury” unremarked upon. Presumably the teacher had little time left to mark after printing all those sticky labels and worksheets...

    I just feel a sense of terrible despair... Is this really what education looks like today? A subscription to a worksheet website and a few coloured pens - and that’s teaching? No wonder the kid knows next to nothing - no spelling rules, no times-tables, no punctuation of speech... If you wanted to design an education system where everything except actual teaching went on, this would be it. If only they’d been in my class since September, I find myself thinking, if only...

    And yet I know this is what I am being gently steered towards in my own school. I’ve never had pupils put LOs in books (titles are kept brief so we can get on with the lesson!) but they ask me to, and we have all been given a subscription to that educational resource website, and now hot and cold tasks are creeping in, plus annotating whether it’s guided, supported or independent...

    I can’t help thinking that most of it is a complete waste of time! Has the world gone completely bonkers?
  2. maggie m

    maggie m Established commenter

    1. It is bonkers
    2. The world has gone mad
    3. It is waste of time
    Off to put www and ebi in books before I get hauled over the coals for inadequate feedback
  3. baxterbasics

    baxterbasics Senior commenter

    Reminds me of what I was criticised for after a lesson observation; "non-impactful ebis in books".

    Yes, it is all madness and the emperor's new clothes.

    How did anybody learn anything before the invention of multi-coloured pens and stickers?

    My grandparents must have had such a deprived and second-rate education armed with the humble fountain pen.
  4. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    That is what you get when teachers have to produce 'evidence, evidence, evidence'!
    BetterNow and Compassman like this.
  5. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    The really sad and scary thing is that the headteachers who push for this really think that it's the way forward. It's what we get for having so many in school management who are careerists rather than vocational teachers who actually 'get' what education is meant to be about.
    sbkrobson, BetterNow and Compassman like this.
  6. applecrumblebumble

    applecrumblebumble Lead commenter

    That’s what get with corporate education in the 21st century, tick box management.
    BetterNow and Compassman like this.
  7. Oldfashioned

    Oldfashioned Senior commenter

    Ticking boxes and finding unnecessary work for teachers to do. Just leave us to it. we are quite capable of delivering a curriculum and choosing how and when to mark books.
    BetterNow likes this.
  8. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Established commenter

    Exactly why I abhor phonics. Yes is enables children to read but writing becomes a simplistic encoding of the words using the phonemes the child prefers to make it sound right. Providing others can decode the writing the child has no need to ever correct the spelling.
    grumpydogwoman and BetterNow like this.
  9. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    I thought phonetic spelling and The Initial Teaching Alphabet (ITA) went out years ago?
    guinnesspuss likes this.
  10. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Occasional commenter

    Yep. Our books are checked every half term to ensure compliance. Our planning is checked every half term. And to be honest... Some of the feedback is less than impactful. Myself and a colleague both had negative feedback because we hadn't highlighted something the correct colour in our planning. Obviously that doesn't affect the lessons we delivered from that planning.. It has no impact on learning. It doesn't change the fact that we were both graded outstanding for differentiation and all other aspects of our planning. But our planning (which, let's face it, is for us as teachers and shouldn't be to please external audiences) wasn't compliant.
    ridleyrumpus and BetterNow like this.
  11. applecrumblebumble

    applecrumblebumble Lead commenter

    This has to be the ultimate jobs worth. A whole lot of managers making teachers jump through hoops with no evaluation on the back of statistically false data - absolutely pathetic!
    Shedman, BetterNow and Compassman like this.
  12. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    The latest stunt. The latest fad. Just someone trying to attract attention and make a name for themselves.
  13. earlgreyteacher

    earlgreyteacher New commenter

    When your Head hands you a "book look" feedback form, containing the handwritten (almost illegible, btw) comment " you must model apropriate(sic) handwriting" and then the DH criticises you for 1) not using the correct colour marking pen ( wrong shade!) and 2) "not providing enough constructive criticism" (?!), despite merely scrawling a tick, initial and v.gd (no, not even "very good" ) in the very few books she does does deign to mark of her very small LA small group ( more TAs in the room often than children!) then you just know that the "Do what we say not what we do" numpties have taken over. We know why we do it, we just wish those R . soles weren't the people we have to grit our teeth and tolerate.
    Nearly half term , all!
    BetterNow likes this.
  14. nervousned

    nervousned Senior commenter

    This thread is quickly turning into a list of why I no longer teach.
    TEA2111, sbkrobson, Alice K and 4 others like this.
  15. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Turning? It is why I no longer teach!
    grumpydogwoman and Shedman like this.
  16. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    We don't do any of that garbage and worksheets are banned...
  17. theagoodman

    theagoodman New commenter

    Got some really bad book feedback since I massively dropped the ball last term. No idea how to recover this. They looked at to sets of books and by my own admission the first set weren't great. Second set were much better and they literally copy pasted the exact same feedback with more embellishment "your yellow boxes aren't clear what they are for" maybe because the question goes on the board and the kids just answer it? The second books were year 11 which are NEVER in school overnight because they use them to revise. Stressed is not even the word for it, nothing I do is good enough for these people.
  18. bessiesmith

    bessiesmith Occasional commenter

    This is the result of SLT needing to show Ofsted what steps they are taking to improve their schools. Each successive member introduces another initiative - and then they need to provide evidence that every teacher is following every initiative.
    Unless or until the Ofsted game is changed I can't see things getting better. How many children will suffer as a result?
    BetterNow likes this.
  19. theagoodman

    theagoodman New commenter

    This is exactly it - there's a huge drive to get to outstanding so we have new initiatives coming out of our ears.
    BetterNow likes this.
  20. Grandsire

    Grandsire Senior commenter

    A friend recently told me that before their KS2 children start work in books, they have to write the date and title, copy the learning objective and success criteria, add the whole-class target as well as their their own personal target, and indicate with a symbol whether they are working independently, paired, or in a guided group session, and note whether the learning is new knowledge, revision of previous knowledge, or application of knowledge and skills! At the end of the task, the children are asked to mark where in their work they have met the learning objective. How they find time to do any actual work is beyond me!! Most of this is recording the process of teaching and learning for the moderators or inspectors at the next book trawl, and of little or no use to the children's education. I wonder what the children make of it?

    I'm a fan of the "For goodness' sake, just get on with it!' system of teaching - date and title at most, and off we go... I dread to think what would happen if they tried to make me do all the above!

Share This Page