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Experienced secondary teachers (15+ years)

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by cleanhouse, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. cleanhouse

    cleanhouse New commenter

    Hi all,

    Happy new year!

    I’m putting together an article for a national newspaper on ‘the youth of today’. If you’ve been teaching for 15 years or more, I’d love to hear your perspectives on what changes you’ve seen in children (and maybe even in their parents) in that time.

    You might think about:
    Attitude to learning
    Political engagement
    Identity expression
    Hobbies and habits
    Family circumstances
    Anything else at all that comes to mind

    If you’re able to respond, please let me know for how long you’ve been teaching, and what age range and/or subject. Also let me know if you’re happy to be named or not (maybe check with headteacher or go for anonymous if you’re not sure / saying something negative!) If you don’t confirm either way, I’ll make sure your comments are anonymous.

    **** Please send responses - however brief - to SheSellsSentences at gmail dot com ****

    Thank you so much for your time and input - I’m so interested to hear what you’ve got to say! xx
  2. cleanhouse

    cleanhouse New commenter

    Really keen for as many responses as possible. I see you reading and running ;) Even a sentence or two is super helpful, and you can post your reply here if you prefer. I've had info from school PR folks but would also like info from the ground without the PR shine. Thanks all! xx
  3. lapso77

    lapso77 New commenter

    Teaching since 1989. Secondary Head of Music 20yrs, Head of Media Studies 10yrs
    Attitude to learning: It has always been a mixed bag. In recent years there has def been an increase in students needing to be spoon fed. Instant gratification in all other areas of their lives means that the idea of working at something for longterm gain is pretty alien. I especially found this in when teaching music.
    Behaviour : improved in my school
    Political engagement : almost non existent. Teaching media we cover newspapers & political bias - they don't know their left from their right or who stands for what even during the election. In discussion, they spout the same views as their parents. In my day, the teen view was usually the polar opposite
    Friendships - ?
    Identity expression: No change, teenagers have always let you know how they feel in no uncertain terms
    Hobbies and habits : obviously huge change due to tech
    Family circumstances : Married parents are in the minority
    cleanhouse likes this.
  4. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    Teaching 30 years, no overall pattern of change in students. when I started, smoking and heroin was common, smoking now much rarer, but cannabis is smoked instead of cigarettes, (parents and children) and this is the biggest source of educational under achievement I see. Heroin basically unheard of in schools now. Behaviour isn't worse or better, It is, and always has been, terrible where school managers allow it to be, children have a vicious pack instinct, but are generally lovely when you get to know them one to one. This has always been the case.

    Thinking about it, maybe I have seen a reduction in serious, life changing violence between students, within my own personal experience.

    As @lapso77 says, students maybe expect more spoon feeding, particularly middle ability students. Low ability students always have had more support. I would say that the support is possibly less effective nowadays, as it is often in mainstream classrooms with 1-2-1 TA, but now I'm straying into changes in education rather than changes in students.

    Mobile phones are a blight on education. But also likely to be the most reliable way a student has of accessing the internet during a lesson if it is necessary.

    Football/ make up/ animals/ TV programmes always have been big interests, add computer games to that now

    Nothing is new, nothing really changes, everything just goes round and round and round and round in circles.

    If anything else occurs to me, I will come back
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
    cleanhouse likes this.
  5. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    oh yeah, rickets and TB, both increasing in my classes as years go by, but not every year.. And of course, there is an increase in the number of students with no secure home, no chance to unpack their things as moved from one temporary b and b to another, sometimes not knowing where they will spend the night. This impacts on detentions and after school activities if they don't know where they are going to sleep, and have to meet a relative straight after school somewhere to find out. Also on whether they can locate their school books, uniform, etc
    cleanhouse likes this.
  6. cleanhouse

    cleanhouse New commenter

    So interesting, lapso; thank you for taking the time! Instant gratification, as you've mentioned, must have huge effects on engagement and commitment. Also really interested in the political engagement - I found the same when I was teaching English (stopped 6 years ago). Looking on Twitter, at Greta Thunberg in the news or seeing pupils striking over climate change, it's easy to think that we have a VERY political cohort of young people, but it's not what I'm hearing in most of the responses I'm getting.
    Thanks again! x
  7. cleanhouse

    cleanhouse New commenter

    Amazing, Corvus, thank you very much for all this! I'm reeling at the revelation that heroin was commonplace 30 years ago! Wow. Thanks again :)
  8. cleanhouse

    cleanhouse New commenter

    That's really sad. What sort of setting are you based in? Such a miserable poverty trap we have going on.
  9. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    West London comprehensive
    cleanhouse likes this.
  10. cleanhouse

    cleanhouse New commenter

    Lapso, why do you think spoon-feeding has become such a necessity? Has it come from the system (e.g. trying to meet targets, pack in a busy syllabus etc. means teachers have had to gee things along and they've got used to it), or from them (they actually have less initiative or attention span), or both, in your opinion?
  11. lapso77

    lapso77 New commenter

    Most definitely from both
    cleanhouse likes this.
  12. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Aren't we all!!! :rolleyes:

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