"Outstanding" teachers from girls grammar showing us how to teach!!

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by mathsboddeen, Jul 17, 2013.

1. BillyBobJoeEstablished commenter

I think, bigkid, that you either have very able classes or a very broad definition of profoundly special needs. I have one class I can teach like you describe, and it's great. Other classes the gap in knowledge is so large as to make even studying the same topic tenuous. How can you teach prime factorisation to a class when one member of it (with no known specific need) can't remember times tables? And not for want of trying, the poor lad had spent entire evenings drilling them with his mum, and then by the time he got up in the morning it was all gone again. He was an extreme example, but even if you have lazy kids and push them into working, they can't instantaneously make up for lost time; they can't leap in at the level of their ability, they have to catch up and build up knowledge and skills, which again requires differentiation.

Of course the best form of differentiation is to have different classes for students of different ability.

It's fairer to to students. It's fairer to the teacher. It's common sense.

3. BillyBobJoeEstablished commenter

It's not always possible in small schools like mine. Even when it is possible, the bottom and top sets in particular will still have a very wide spread of ability in most circumstances, just because of how a normal distribution works.

4. KarvolOccasional commenter

So, what exactly was the advice that you were given that made you so livid?

I can't get my head around this. The brainiest child in the class will be the one with the highest mark that didn't qualify him or her for the next class up, and the dimmest will be thirty places down the list from the brainiest. Just below the dimmest, the kid who got 1% less in the assessment will be at the top of the next set. It strikes me as bizarre to suggest that laziness or poor behaviour distinguishes Flora at the bottom of set 2 from either Greta at the top of set 3 or Finn at the top of set 2.

And it doesn't seem right to usually give Flora work that she can only partly access while both Finn and Greta get work that they can do in its entirety. Flora will spend each lesson feeling dejected for her inability to get her head around what Finn finds so simple, and neither Greta nor Finn will get to experience confusion.

Being seriously confused once in a while is a good experience for bright kids, including those who are in low sets but are top of the class. Too many sail through to GCSE understanding everything intuitively and never experiencing that head-full-of-cotton-wool sensation that other kids get with trig or even just cancelling fractions. Then when logarithms or partial differential equations or something nasty turns up, they have no experience of having had to think through something conceptually beyond them.

6. florapost

then either mum is trying too hard (all the tables in one evening, say)| or he does have some sort of sen wrt short term memory

7. mathsboddeen

I wonder how us awful comp teachers would cope teaching a class of grammar school girls? I bet the worst they have to cope with is a bit of chatter and looking up texts on the latest iPhones. Before these dipsticks are sent over to our scummy failing school, perhaps we should be teaching in their princesses school or a few weeks, just to see if it is the teachers' fault we can't teach maths or other factors; poverty, hunger for some pupils, deprived area, lack of parental support, gangs, pupils unable to afford tutors, can't attract staff to work here so have to use covers and supply for half the department etc etc. We scummy teachers regularly visit other similar schools to share ideas and work on strategies. We work with the LEA too. What we don't need are these p ricks coming in giving us the benefit of their experiences teaching princesses. They are not welcome, aren't appreciated and their arrogance is matched only by their poor teaching in this type of environment. No wonder they are in a girls grammar.

8. PaulDGOccasional commenter

Hard to say.. Clearly depends on the teachers.

I know some comps where they use teachers without a maths specialism for the lower ability KS3 sets because, frankly, what's the point of using someone capable of teaching further maths A level when the problem is the kids can't actually reliably count to 20 nor tell the time?

Those teachers would struggle to teach even the lowest sets in a grammar school.

What good would that do? Does the grammar school have a problem you can help them fix? Or do you just want their jobs? If it's the second, why didn't you apply for those jobs instead of your current one?

Ah.. Perhaps the real issue is the management need to go and see what can be done in a school where behaviour isn't a problem?

And I'm sure they'd rather be doing anything else with their time instead of coming to your school? After all, if they wanted to teach in a failing school, there are lots of vacancies in most of them they could apply for!

I've observed in a grammar and taught in the independent sector. I've just never seen the arrogance you describe. Most of the teachers I've met in both have nothing but respect for the "poor sods" who teach in failing schools and are grateful they don't have to teach there.

(By the way, you're not Australian, are you? It used to be said that the only balanced Australian was one with a chip on both shoulders...)

9. mathsboddeen

Teachers who teach in schools for princesses should be paid a lot less than the sods like me. We have to deal with very large numbers of students with baggage of one sort or another every single day but we stay because we believe that all students should have the best start possible, not just those who (generally speaking) have lots of advantages of various kinds by comparison. Teachers of princesses have it very easy indeed by comparison and should therefore be paid much less for doing a less demanding job - telling Daisy or Pruscilla to tuck her shirt in, put her Iphone away and concentrate on her trig or her tutor this evening won't be impressed is not exactly what we have to deal with daily. Perhaps by paying teachers more in scumsville academies like mine, we can attract Maths and other subject teachers to work here, instead of supply teachers and cover supervisors. And then we won't have to have smug Maths girls grammar school teachers coming over here showing us how to teach 'properly'.

10. florapost

yep - miss p went to a princess school and master p to a go-lad school - actually i liked his, but the best i can say for hers is she made wonderful friends

but do not start me on how **** both school were at behavioural problems any of us in state school could have dealt with in a minute *sigh*

11. PaulDGOccasional commenter

Teachers who teach in schools for princesses are already paid the least the state can get away with.

But I do agree there should be a premium for teaching in the worst schools.

I wouldn't teach in scumsville academy [again...!!!] for 10 times the money. I think you're misunderstanding how people are motivated.

I would consider working in scumsville academy for the same money but a lower workload. On about a 30% timetable I'd just about have the time I'd need to do all the phone calls home, chase up the detentions and so on.

Were they really "smug"? I know I'd be p*ss*d off if I was required to go teach at scumsville as it was simply not the job I applied for (nor signed up to do).

I'd be shocked if any of them suggested "I know, lets give up some of our best, easiest to teach, classes to supply for a few days and go do some stuff with the poor sods at scumsville, that'll be great fun!"

Weren't they bribed and blackmailed into doing it by your management asking Princess Grammar to send some staff over?

12. m4thsdotcomOccasional commenter

Mathsboddeen

I have some questions to ask if you get a moment:

(1) Did you enjoy your job prior to this visit?/Do you enjoy it in general now?

(2) Do you think the pupils at your school are aware of how you feel about the situation you are in long/short term?

Thanks

13. chriszwinter1New commenter

I'd like you to be secretary of state for education. I'd also like to organise the firing squads for you. I'd round up a management shower from about 10 years ago to get off to a good start.

14. mathsboddeen

I love the job, the pupils, the school and the challenges. I hate the smug teachers from the local girls grammar school, who come over here thinking that somehow the princesses they teach in their school and in their envoironment makes them qualified to offer guidance and advice to teachers in the difficult environment we teach in, teaching the hugely disadvantaged pupils by comparison we teach. This is borne out by the evidence of seeing these arrogant prats teach in our school and being a disaster and listening to their idiot advice.

So you think these teachers of princesses have a lot to offer us, do you? Please explain.

15. KarvolOccasional commenter

What advice was offered that you found so demeaning?

16. m4thsdotcomOccasional commenter

I am happy to learn from any teacher who is highly skilled. That may be a person from a public school, an inner city school or even a primary school.

I personally think good/outstanding teachers can teach anywhere and would keep an open mind for the period they were with me.

If they make a mess of things it actually may work to your advantage too if your SLT see that you are doing a 'better job'.

I've sometimes been accused of having a chip on my shoulder, but mathsboddeen seems to be carrying a whole bloody redwood.

I've taught in a good all-girls school and I'd have to say that teaching all those princesses was the most enjoyable teaching I've ever done, by far.

Unless you have been teaching in both comp and grammar, you can't be sure that you would teach better than the grammar school teacher. Having taught in both, I can assure you they will struggle on different aspects of the job.

If you think they have a nice, easy life, why don't you go and apply for a job there.

19. blue117New commenter

If you think they have a nice, easy life, why don't you go and apply for a job there. ??? Strangely I don't think a 'nice easy life' is what we became teachers for, Prime. I love my job in a comprehensive, thanks.

The point of this thread is that it is a fallacy that teachers in elitist schools are in a position to tell the vast majority of the rest of us, who teach across the ability range, how to do our jobs. We teach it all, from the able, the motivated through to the less able and even the unmotivated, Year Seven through to A grade A level students. Teachers in elitist schools (fee-paying or grammar) teach a small section, and if the kids are difficult, the kids get chucked out (to be taught by the rest of us!).

Someone I knew years ago told me recently that they love having state school teachers join their staff as 'they have so many interesting ideas'.

20. PaulDGOccasional commenter

"Little Princesses" expect to succeed. They expect to "get it" every lesson.

If they can't do it. They panic. Their self-worth is not connected to knowing who is and who is not currently sh*gg*ng who - theirs is connected to their academic performance.

So if they can't do it... It's your fault.

Mummy will be on to the phone to the head before the end of the next break. Mummy will want to meet the head that day and see little princesses' book and check that the work is what she has said it is, that your explanation was or was not up to scratch and that all the marking is up to date.

And little princesses do a lot of work. They also do their homework and expect it marked and returned to them by the next lesson.

In the comp you might well deal with 200 kids a week who do no work. In the grammar you could easily have 200 who chew through everything you set and whose parents will call the school asking why more wasn't set for homework because little princess finished it in 10 minutes.