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Disillusionment with teaching at an all time high

Discussion in 'Education news' started by AnonL, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. AnonL

    AnonL New commenter

    I have worked in education about 15 years, and I believe this year disillusionment is higher than ever before.
    I know teaching has always been difficult and bred complaints and problems. But the intensity of the negativity from most people I have is bordering on extreme now.
    Does anyone else agree.
    I know we do have an idealised vision of the past sometimes and I know teaching has always been a difficult profession. However, now it is making me and others physically sick with negativity
    petenewton likes this.
  2. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Won't hear any disagreement from me.
  3. Mr. Numb

    Mr. Numb New commenter

    The reason why there is so much negativity is because there is no end in sight. Wilshaw's latest declaration that things will get "tougher" and that teacher who work in "good" or "outstanding" schools are "happy" teachers underline how determined those in power are to ignore the teacher shortage.

    I think the underlying agenda is to get rid of expensive older staff by making them leave thee profession early. They are hoping that newer, younger teachers will adapt to the new micro-managed system where the autonomy of each teacher is minimal and he or she is constantly micromanaged by a large Senior Leadership Team. The government wants this new generation of teachers to be dis-empowered and low paid. They do not care about recruiting quality educators. They want obedient duracell bunnies who will keep going and going. Except they wont keep going - they will just quit.

    It does not matter how bad the situation gets - this government has no intention to make lives easier for teachers. Sadly, public opinion of teachers is very low. If the government replaces qualified with less and less qualified practitioners there will be little outcry from the media or anyone else. That is why the situation looks so negative - there is little chance that the teaching profession will be resurrected in our lifetime.
  4. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    I worked in a 'good' school and was certainly not happy!

    The reason that public opinion of teachers is so low is because the government, Wilshaw and the media keep peddling the myth that everything is schools needs improving.....
    monicabilongame likes this.
  5. applecrumblebumble

    applecrumblebumble Lead commenter

    I agree with Mr Numb this is all about reducing cost to the overall education budget (remember austerity) so they can find the money for other wacky projects - teach first. elite teachers and bursaries for shortage subjects. My understanding of good business teams is that you should have a good range of experience and skills. This government seem to be hell bent on making schools of young, enthusiastic but by nature inexperienced teachers. I see so many posts of young,teachers sometimes NQTs put in a position where they are asking basic questions (subject forum) because there is nobody in their department to ask. Maybe the overall plan is to make state education so bad that parents start to opt with their feet and go independent or worse set up another free school.
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

  7. BHD66

    BHD66 New commenter

    Teaching is never going to be a simple career or a solution to the world's problems. It is a hard job ...lack of money and respect being the tip of the iceberg. But regardless of where we come from, we know it is an imperative for all the children on the planet. Rules, curricula, politics and culture change over the years. Sometimes we are put on pedestals ... and other times we are vilified. The true teachers are the ones that can keep going, year after year despite changes in curriculum and salary, that can keep the future of the children as their target .... and every year it gets harder ...
  8. cissy3

    cissy3 Star commenter

    That's me out then! Obviously I wasn't 'a true teacher'!
  9. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I did that for more than 30 years - then a variety of circumstances combined in a "that's it" moment.
    It wasn't the curriculum and the salary - it was the constant pressure and criticism combined with a depressing lack of resources.
    frangipani123 likes this.
  10. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    At this point I'd like to swear but I won't.

    The only reason so many teachers keep going is not because they have the children as their target but because they are financially trapped. If they could leave tomorrow and get another job they'd be off like a shot.

    I suppose 30 years isn't enough for you. Another year of feeling whatever you did was never good enough and it was time to throw in the towel.
  11. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Having been in the school that I retired from recently, I couldn't believe how low the moral had got among most of the staff. I don't see a happy ending for students unless someone sees sense and reverses the causes of school low moral.
    frangipani123, Yoda- and Compassman like this.
  12. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    The run away OFSTED train is the problem. Until the fat controller is put out on his ear we will all feel as if were being force fed coal.
    I remember the days before the fat controllers and the runaway train. I want to be happy and again to follow the route I choose.

    sagesund likes this.
  13. TimeBomb2015

    TimeBomb2015 Occasional commenter

    Teachers have had too many people with the wrong mentality for 30 years or more. Nothing changes. Not every teacher is negative, just those that can't hack it.
  14. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    And sadly, that simply isn't likely in the current political climate...
  15. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    I get quite depressed when I read threads like these and articles about teaching in the UK in general (and I have never even live/worked there).

    I have taught in the U.S., in international schools in various countries and now in the U.S. version of an SCE school and I do not believe that teachers anywhere are encountering the types/combinations of challenges that UK teachers are increasingly encountering (e.g. workload, OFSTED, targets, marking requirements, behaviour etc).

    Teachers in the U.S. may complain about their teaching environment (and may have some valid concerns in some cases), but when you look at the things they are actually complaining about, it seems they should count themselves lucky.

    I can honestly say that all of my teaching positions, while having their own challenges, were basically quite enjoyable on most days and almost a doddle compared to what many/most UK teacher are facing on a daily basis.

    I am almost ashamed to admit how much I enjoy my current position that also allows me to live and teach in a very enjoyable country (Japan) and provides a very nice lifestyle for my family. Yes, there is paperwork (very manageable and I am an SEN/SPED teacher!!) and the occasional challenging student (but without challenges there can be no great successes) but on the whole I despair for the teachers in the UK suffering or leaving the profession on a daily basis.

    Are there any viable solutions/realistic possibilities on the horizon?
  16. guinnesspuss

    guinnesspuss Star commenter

    I wholeheartedly agree with you on this. I enjoy teaching, like being in the classroom. but I hate what teaching has become.

    I'm quite insulted TimeBomb. You seem to be one of those people who are part of the problem. A combination of the three wise monkeys.
    Education is what your user-name says, a time bomb. When the dust clears we will have a nation unable to think for themselves and a very under-class of people who can only work to order.
    frangipani123, cissy3 and indusant like this.
  17. guinnesspuss

    guinnesspuss Star commenter

    If the horizon is light years away, possibly.
    It's nice to get a view from abroad reminding us that we're not all just 'whinging' about the lot of teachers, but have a genuine grievance about the way teaching in England is going.
  18. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Thanks for your contribution Mr Wilshaw.
    frangipani123 and cissy3 like this.
  19. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    I think the beginning of the end was when teachers were stripped of authority or respect. This happened to the police too but doctors and dentists seem to have been tougher as key worker professions and refused to lower standards.

    Which is what can only happen when you demote a profession. Good people leave or are hounded out and replacements are those who agree to lower standards.....and then set lower and lower standards.

    The way teachers and police officers are spoken to is at times disgusting and just would not have happened in the 70's or before. Add to that you now can become a police officer despite being just 4ft and without a decent, basic education, you have head teachers fast tracked to the top at the age of 26 and zero life experience - and it is easier to get this vicious circle of destruction.

    The profession has been successfully brought to its knees and it will not recover as this generation and their parents think it is perfectly acceptable to attack and abuse teachers.
    Compassman, cissy3 and sagesund like this.
  20. indusant

    indusant Senior commenter

    Given what he has said about staff morale, Wilshaw will view this disillusionment as a sign that he is doing something right. It's clear that he and others in power do not trust teachers. This is why they employ a 'Big Brother' model of managing them. It's control by fear and it breeds anger and discontent.

    Teaching is the good part of the job - the paperwork, data, scrutiny etc is the part that leaves me cold. Unfortunately, this has all overtaken the task of actually teaching. It becomes the albatross around your neck after a while and the burden of carrying it can impact on your health. Of course teachers would stay for the kids, but the job is no longer about them. People leave because teaching has become about soul sapping bureaucracy. Health, family life, well being etc all suffer as a consequence. There is no reward for being a martyr and people leave.

    'Governing a large country is like frying a small fish. You spoil it with too much poking' - From The Tao Te Ching

    It's clear that education has been poked so much by successive governments that the joy and nobility has drained away. If the system is to truly flourish, teachers need to be left alone with the trust to do the job. But, Wilshaw has recently said that pressure will increase so it won't change any time soon. Perhaps Wilshaw has this quote from Nineteen Eighty-Four in mind:

    “How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?“

    Winston thought. “By making him suffer”, he said.

    “Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own?" - George Orwell

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