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Regrets about retiring...

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by Marshall, May 26, 2019.

  1. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    ...this won't be a one off post. I will build on it as my thoughts develop,

    First and foremost - no-one has children at the heart of education anymore. By no-one I mean the authorities and the powers that be. I totally agree that children should be challenged to achieve their very best and must be taught to be so - my school and I have done this with excellent results over the last 15 years. That said my recent experiences (from the local authority) tell me that it should be learning, learning, learning without any enjoyment or enrichment. No rewards, loss of a playtime, music lessons not encouraged, even collective worship downgraded. All this during my time away through illness and a LA interim head put in place.

    I fundamentally disagree and that is why I have decided to retire.
  2. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    I think your assessment is accurate.

    Years ago, I had a student in my class and she was observed by her tutor, who stayed for the session I taught afterwards. One of the children posed a question that took the lesson off at a tangent and we went with it. Afterwards the tutor said that the mark of a good teacher was someone who could show flexibility and respond to the needs of the children.

    That kind of flexibility is no longer. Everything is prescribed, nothing is spontaneous and the rigidity stifles creativity.
  3. lynneseptember

    lynneseptember Senior commenter

    It's sad, but commonplace @Marshall, and one day it will come back to bite big time. I'm not a head, and left full time teaching a few years ago now, but saw this philosophy creeping in and it horrified me. What are we creating? A narrow, exam based curriculum cannot possibly be good in the long term. We should not be stifling creativity; but this desire at the moment for a very narrow, unimaginative curriculum will result in very narrow minded, unimaginative individuals if we are not very careful. We also risk alienating a lot of young people who nay not necessarily be academically gifted with the core subjects but are very good in other areas. These young people also deserve nurturing, surely? I agree, we should be challenging our young people, but we should also be supporting them with the talents they have and encouraging them to develop these, not implying that they are failures because their strengths don't lie in the sciences and maths.
    Marshall, ViolaClef and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  4. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Occasional commenter

    I'm really sorry you feel like that, but I do want to say that this isn't true. There are some, mostly MATs, rather than LAs granted.
  5. thejudgesscoresarein

    thejudgesscoresarein Occasional commenter

    Good Luck in your retirement- your happiness and your good health is what is most important- you can leave as a credible Headteacher with your head held high and I’m sure whoever takes over from you has got ‘big shoes to fill’.

    For me, I’ve decided to retire in December 2020 when I will be 60 and when I’ve served 38 years in the sector. I could stay on and retire in 6 years when I will be 65 but I want to enjoy a long (and well-deserved retirement) before health fails.

    I wish you all the best :)
  6. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Good to ruminate on why you have decided to retire Marshall.

    Yes certainly schools are no longer the places where staff and children ere happy, engaging in a wide curriculum and world of discovery, unhampered by scores/ results /other criteria which don't help children actually learn.

    I barely recognise the career I trained for in the 70s. We had so much freedom to encourage and truly develop lessons to the individuals within them. Children and staff alike truly enjoyed school and I remember a colleague once saying, 'All this and we get paid to do it!' :)
  7. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    @lynneseptember I couldn’t agree with you more.

    I think you are right. Things are not done because they are in the children’s best interest - they are done for other reasons and are so often not in the children’s best interest.

    It’s soul-destroying to see it happening.

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