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Jayzus it's depressing out there...

Discussion in 'Education news' started by MrMedia, Oct 12, 2015.


Are the TES forums depressing?

  1. Yes, everyone wants to quit!

  2. Yes, not only everyone wants to quit but all they talk about are fluffy escapist nonsense.

  3. Yes, but then what were you expecting?

  4. No, that's just this tumbleweed of a forum that is clearly not replacing 'Opinion'.

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    I mean seriously - everyone seems to be keen to get out of teaching. The stories of what people are expected to do in terms of data keeping give you the shivers. And every horror story seems to end with someone from the DofE saying 'It's never been a better time to be a teacher' - if you are a teacher from a lower paid job in a country that we could import you from.
    It's a bit like reading the Daily Express or the Daily Moan. Teaching is going to the dogs, every single day. According to the stories.

    It's like a variation on that 'everyone's dead Dave' scene from Red Dwarf. Surely there must be someone still enjoying teaching?
  2. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

  3. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    How about you, @MrMedia - are you still enjoying being a teacher?
  4. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Of course, but I train teachers for a university. We have something called 'loading' instead of the teacher contract. All planning, marking, teaching and every single duty is quantified and the hours added up. I don't get as much leave but when I do take leave I am genuinely on holiday.
    Depresses the hell out of me that my profession has gone like this. I still find many of my teachers are fine with the 'teaching in the classroom' bit, but detest the 'other people involved in my teaching such as SLT' bit. Not that this has changed a whole deal since I taught in school, but now it is so bad that they are running for the hills. Poor old Theogriff, you can hear her heart sink with every 'I want to quit' thread or query.
    monicabilongame and TEA2111 like this.
  5. TEA2111

    TEA2111 Established commenter

    Passionate about teaching, love children, like most parents, enjoy school life, don't mind planning and marking too much, but...don't like that teachers are not trusted to do their jobs without constant 'check-ups' (book scrutiny, drop-ins, learning walks, planning scrutiny, lesson observations, QA check-ups, pointless targets, ....) I wonder if other countries have the level of scrutiny that British teachers have. What's the point of teacher training if teachers still need to be checked to this degree whether they can teach after years in a classroom? Oh and don't forget that we must complicate everything to teach primary school kids, from planning to marking.
    ilovesooty likes this.
  6. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    Does it beg the question as to how effective teacher training is? I make no judgement, it's just a musing.

    If initial teacher training and in service training are effective, why the need for such close and frequent scrutiny?
    hermitcrabbe and monicabilongame like this.
  7. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    There isn't the need to constantly scrutinise established teachers. That's why Ofsted only inspect educational establishments every three years, unless a cause for concern is flagged up. Constant scrutiny is the result of certain ranks in the profession having to justify their existence and inflated salaries.
    Compassman likes this.
  8. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    I enjoy it. I moved schools (from state to independent) and find myself a lot less stressed. Although my UK secondary experience is very limited 3 schools in 2 years (1 term temp; 1 year fixed term and now hopefully permanent). Prior to that, 10+ years teaching university or EAL, I have never had the level if scrutiny, micromanaging and level of paperwork in any other teaching job than my 1 year fixed term at an academy - a good school with some great colleagues but everyone was so stressed, it was frightening. The fact that as teachers we cannot be trusted to the job without so much **** is very demoralising. In my new school, I feel so much happier.

    damnant quod non intellegunt
    TEA2111 likes this.
  9. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    But established teachers are constantly scrutinised. Learning walks,, drop ins, planning scrutiny, book scrutiny, marking scrutiny and so on.

    Established teachers are the ones who are expensive and therefore under the cosh.
    TEA2111 likes this.
  10. Alldone

    Alldone Senior commenter

    Retired this year after almost 30 years teaching. Enjoyed it - but..... worked in private schools. Supportive management and no Ofsted.
    sabrinakat likes this.
  11. Dyesie65

    Dyesie65 New commenter

    I know nothing about teaching, it remains an ambition. But in my experience professionals in all industries have seen a huge growth in the application of control frameworks, scrutiny by risk & compliance functions, constant governance oversight, review of all decisions by risk officers and a never ending stream of finger pointing reports to management committees and executive boards. Teaching is not alone, but that doesn't make it right. :(
    ilovesooty likes this.
  12. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter


    However, managerialism is expensive and easily replaced by technology. Don't think it won't happen. Once academy executives realise there are profits to be made then that's where it will happen.
    sabrinakat likes this.
  13. hermitcrabbe

    hermitcrabbe Established commenter

    This is an interesting question. I do wonder about the efficacy of selection and training in ITT.

    I have met some really bad teachers in my time ( 20 + years now,I qualified in 1993).
    I have sometimes wondered how some teachers even actually managed to qualify - especially some of those who I trained with and who I went to university with.

    I could regale you with some tails . Like the woman who was " failing" teaching practice three times but somehow managed to pass, only to get a job and in her second term got assaulted ( kicked and pushed) and called "fat cow" and left because o fthe trauma ..... only to move countries ( to Wales)where the same thing happened again..... and again . She was a mature student and retired within 10 years. Then there was the guy I was in uni with who did his degree in strange plant extracts and duvet covers. He qualified despite being too slow to catch cold and slurred speech ( a result of burning in long thin cigar like shapes, and sniffing the smoke of those strange plants he studied).

    When I went for a job interview ( I didn't get the post) he was in the school as a supply.He had never been anything else. I discovered several of my classmates had trained and either left or not found jobs at all.

    Then there is the other side of the coin. I have seen some excellent teachers " failed". One particularly comes to mind. She was asked to withdraw from the PGCE six weeks before the end of the course. I don't know why - and neither did she! All she knew is that a teacher in the school where she was doing her final practice caused some stink over a job application she made to an FE college. Apparently she was supposed to only apply to " hard schools" in her first year. She had it seems applied to several but not got the post and she was in need of getting work because she needed the money - hence the FE application - I did question this of her...... but seriously, that seemed to be it. I met her when working in the same FE by the way. WE were both teaching A level and she had got the job and was completing her PGCE in FE then. So she was "unqualified".

    This lady went on to work in several "hard schools" ( give her some respect) as she refused to give up on teaching and eventually qualified by some route or other as an in service teacher ( GTP?). We then met up again in our present school where she is now a Hod of Faculty and a fine teacher.

    I can think of several others, including the lovely guy I met when he was on a PGCE practice in my previous school. He was similarly making his way to the end of his final practice when the teacher in charge of him ( silly little girl barely out of her own NQT year and being fast tracked through management - this was around 2004 I think) decided he was not making the grade. She had said nothing earlier, yet now he was to be failed. He had a job lined up in another school.

    I remember telling his quietly what she was up to - he was dumbfounded. She had said nothing to him. He was two weeks away from is PGCE being validated and I told him to go sick or find an excuse so she could not bring in any competency procedure. He did - he passed. He is still teaching and is now a DH in a decent school not far away. ( but why did the little girl do it? I haven't a clue to this day).

    What I can say is though both the silly management wanna be in my last school and the woman who kicked up a fuss so my colleague was not qualified have both left teaching. Both under clouds too. ..... as have several other teachers I have worked with over the years.

    So, maybe it does beg a question or two about selection and its fitness for purpose in teaching.
  14. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    I quite agree. This is why you cannot have teachers in schools or chains being responsible for making the final decision of passing or not. You need an objective person who has no financial or material ties to the school. The only interest I have as someone who trains teachers is the quality of teachers I send out to schools. We are quite prepared to, and do, change schools and mentors for the student in some of those circumstances you have mentioned. By visiting the large numbers of students we have, in placement, and observing the mentors at work we can evaluate the quality of the training they are receiving in schools.
    Mind you, the mentors are mainly credits to the system. They are focused on developing strong reflective trainee teachers who understand that the good teacher is focused on relentlessly improving their actual teaching as opposed to their paperworked evidence of learning!

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