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Reconciling the job with the politics...

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by VulgarMonkey, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. Morning all,

    I'd like your opinions on something if you don't mind. First some background:

    I've been working in a secondary as admin staff for the past 4 years. It's something I fell into by chance (a mate worked there, I needed work and she knew of a position that needed filling), but quickly grew to enjoy. Also, I have been fortunate to have been given duties in most areas from time to time due to mass redundancy, so have developed a pretty good sense of how a school works, helped by the fact that I like to read up on news, theories and politics anyway. But more on that later.

    After mulling it over for a long time, I eventually decided to persue a career in primary teaching. Firstly due to the shortage on male staff. Secondly because I was very aware that while many students entered our yr7 with varying levels of behaviour as you would expect, which again often changed during their time with us, the very worst behaved (and least academically able) were readily identifiable right away. The small minority of persistent troublemakers had already seemed to have settled into their behaviour by the time they made it to secondary. And since I've always thought that the younger you catch them, the bigger an impact you may make, primary seemed a logical setting for me to try and help out in.

    So in the next couple of weeks I'll be signing up as a mature student (at the ripe old age of 26) to do a bachelors in Education Studies with Psychology, and then hopefully a pgce. Since the pgce is now being adapted as a more hands-on course, I'm hoping the theory in the bachelors will give me a pretty rounded skillset.

    However, even though a job is still 4 years away (if I'm lucky), I can't help but think about the political state of the UK at the moment, and its effect on education policy. I think we're all in agreement that these reforms are some of the most significant in recent history. And it worries me a great deal.

    I have already been studying this in my own time in some depth (I've been following the free schools/academy programme since their inception), and long ago came to the conclusion that the people at the very top are....well, at best inept, at worst corrupt. And the system itself, though it has been accused of being ineffective or inefficient for a long time, now looks like it will become just as corrupt. I'm not sure I could, in all good conscience, work within that system. Not when corners are cut on childrens education and teachers are routinely villified, both for the sake of money.

    So, if I intend to do the job properly, with appropriate freedom, appropriate resources and appropriate respect....I feel I may have no choice but to emigrate to somewhere less draconian. As much as I've always liked the idea of travelling short-term, though, I really had no intention of doing it on a permanent basis. Certainly not for the sake of a job, even a career. For one thing, I'm just not brave enough, secondly I'm too sentimental. I love my life here. I'd miss my friends horribly. Also, I'm **** with foreign languages, always have been. But I'm well aware that there's a brain-drain on, and there wouldn't be if there weren't a good reason for it.

    So....I can't be the only prospective teacher on this forum worried about this stuff, right? I know many veteran teachers feel that way. What I don't know is how they cope with it, how they shut out all the horrid whitehall beauraucracy from their daily lives when it clearly impacts on every aspect of the job, let alone how they don't feel outraged constantly.

    Just wondered if anyone else is in a similar midset at all. Ho hum.
     
  2. Morning all,

    I'd like your opinions on something if you don't mind. First some background:

    I've been working in a secondary as admin staff for the past 4 years. It's something I fell into by chance (a mate worked there, I needed work and she knew of a position that needed filling), but quickly grew to enjoy. Also, I have been fortunate to have been given duties in most areas from time to time due to mass redundancy, so have developed a pretty good sense of how a school works, helped by the fact that I like to read up on news, theories and politics anyway. But more on that later.

    After mulling it over for a long time, I eventually decided to persue a career in primary teaching. Firstly due to the shortage on male staff. Secondly because I was very aware that while many students entered our yr7 with varying levels of behaviour as you would expect, which again often changed during their time with us, the very worst behaved (and least academically able) were readily identifiable right away. The small minority of persistent troublemakers had already seemed to have settled into their behaviour by the time they made it to secondary. And since I've always thought that the younger you catch them, the bigger an impact you may make, primary seemed a logical setting for me to try and help out in.

    So in the next couple of weeks I'll be signing up as a mature student (at the ripe old age of 26) to do a bachelors in Education Studies with Psychology, and then hopefully a pgce. Since the pgce is now being adapted as a more hands-on course, I'm hoping the theory in the bachelors will give me a pretty rounded skillset.

    However, even though a job is still 4 years away (if I'm lucky), I can't help but think about the political state of the UK at the moment, and its effect on education policy. I think we're all in agreement that these reforms are some of the most significant in recent history. And it worries me a great deal.

    I have already been studying this in my own time in some depth (I've been following the free schools/academy programme since their inception), and long ago came to the conclusion that the people at the very top are....well, at best inept, at worst corrupt. And the system itself, though it has been accused of being ineffective or inefficient for a long time, now looks like it will become just as corrupt. I'm not sure I could, in all good conscience, work within that system. Not when corners are cut on childrens education and teachers are routinely villified, both for the sake of money.

    So, if I intend to do the job properly, with appropriate freedom, appropriate resources and appropriate respect....I feel I may have no choice but to emigrate to somewhere less draconian. As much as I've always liked the idea of travelling short-term, though, I really had no intention of doing it on a permanent basis. Certainly not for the sake of a job, even a career. For one thing, I'm just not brave enough, secondly I'm too sentimental. I love my life here. I'd miss my friends horribly. Also, I'm **** with foreign languages, always have been. But I'm well aware that there's a brain-drain on, and there wouldn't be if there weren't a good reason for it.

    So....I can't be the only prospective teacher on this forum worried about this stuff, right? I know many veteran teachers feel that way. What I don't know is how they cope with it, how they shut out all the horrid whitehall beauraucracy from their daily lives when it clearly impacts on every aspect of the job, let alone how they don't feel outraged constantly.

    Just wondered if anyone else is in a similar midset at all. Ho hum.
     
  3. You focus on the children and provide them with the best education you possibly can and ignore all the politics.
     
  4. I know, and I agree, but.....aren't they inextricably linked? Seems like the best education you can provide is defined very much by the policies and systems put in place. And it does feel very much like other countries have much more progressive and rational systems in place to better enable that.

    I dunno, I just find it hard not to get angry about.
     

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