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Despairing and disillusioned

Discussion in 'Geography' started by fl100, Nov 17, 2017.

  1. fl100

    fl100 New commenter

    Having taught Geography for nearly 12 years and been a HOD for quite a few I've been through a number of curriculum changes. The new A levels though are breaking me. It seems my geographical knowledge is extremely outdated (having been at uni during the first 3 years of the new millenium) as I've never studied many of the things in the new specs. On top of that I've really not had time to develop my subject knowledge in new geographies.
    Add to that the fact that the A levels are incredibly hard and very inaccessible for the average B-C grade yr 12 student, with very in depth topics from the start. So I'm having to constantly adapt and simplify.

    I used to pride myself on my a level teaching, now I dread the lessons and fear having to set and mark work as I really don't know what I'm looking at or how to help and support the students.

    Am beginning to think that with the amount of work required of me in my free time and holidays just to comprehend it all that I'd be better off not teaching A level anymore and leaving it to those with more recent knowledge.
  2. freckle06

    freckle06 Lead commenter

    You have my sympathies. I taught A level last century (!!) when I trained and have always turned down any opportunity to do it again. However, teaching the new GCSE feels like teaching A level and I am having to teach myself before I can teach the children. This combined with the challenge of how to make it interesting/stimulating is exhausting, so I can imagine how the A level must feel. You won't be alone, I suggest you find a Facebook page for your spec and I would guess there are a lot of people feeling the same. I found a Facebook page for my GCSE and people are very supportive of each other, share advice and resources. It may be worth a look.

    As a Geographer we adapt all the time, I find that my bedtime reading has become subject based when I need it to so I can keep up!

    Best of luck.
  3. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    I suppose it's too much to advise you to say, "Stuff this for a game of soldiers" and get out? Strictly speaking I can't offer any direct advice as I'm a sums/bangs teacher but as strike action etc. appears to be a no-no then how else can you show it is just too much?

    You've got to know when to walk away.
    Know when to run
    Kenny Rogers - The Gambler
  4. SkernLodge

    SkernLodge New commenter

    Online groups, #Teachmeets, Practitioner Conferences (GA etc), and similar communities can assist you in developing your ability and confidence to maintain quality in response to change. A forum post on TES is a good start, and I encourage other members here to contact you offering advice and guidance. My speciality is providing Geography Fieldwork to A Level students, so if I can help in that aspect please let me know i.e prepping for the NEA, fieldwork skills, investigation examples etc - my email is fieldstudies@skernlodge.co.uk
  5. tosh740

    tosh740 New commenter

    A lot of new stuff, especially for human geography. Never had to deal with new curriculum in two key stages before. Swopping fieldwork approaches around is another huge issue. You are not alone. Remember they don't need to totally 'get it' until the end of Year 13, very different to the AS - A2 model.
  6. armandine2

    armandine2 Established commenter

    just picked up [on Magpie litter patrol] a discarded exam paper:

    "New Horizons in Geography" GEO117 - 2 hours - Autumn Semester 2017-2018 - attempt THREE

    1/ Describe the principles of luminescence dating [50%] AND discuss potential sources of error for this technique [50%]
    2/ "...democracy is not possible without sharp geographical boundaries between polities" (Barnett & Low, 2004). Discuss this quote and outline whether you agree or disagree with it.
    3/ Explain how palaeo-ice sheets are reconstructed .
    4/ Outline reasons for the continued development, since the 1970s, of volcanic gas measurement techniques.
    5/ Discuss whether it is a good idea to allow use value in housing to be delivered by an exchange value system.
    not a geographer myself, and I wonder, not least ... if this is a first year paper [117] Disce Doce.

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