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"That has got me into a lot of trouble."

Discussion in 'Personal' started by grumpydogwoman, Oct 4, 2018.

  1. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Said Lucy Kellaway.
    Who she?

    She's a co-founder of Now Teach. Journalist until the age of 58. Now taking up a new career as trainee maths teacher.

    What got her into trouble?

    She was more interested in talking about tessellation of polygons than she was in enforcing the rules. Her mentor (an ineffably dull woman in her 30s) upbraided her for not enforcing the school rules. Pupils must not call out and must not have anything in their hands. Not a pen, not a ruler. And they MUST look at her. Also! And I thought you lot were making this up! Upbraided for not using the right pens!!!!!!!!

    She then goes home and has a message from a fellow new-trainee who is packing it in. Why? He says he has opinions and is too much of an individualist and not a robot. So he's not wanted. He says he feels bruised.

    Lucy says that maybe you have to be a robot first before you can learn to be an individual. She says she thinks she should "trust the system".

  2. armandine2

    armandine2 Established commenter

    After dipping a toe in, or going in even deeper, the new entrant is struck by an uplifting sense, possibly nostalgic, that an autonomous teaching job would be a fine thing, if it only existed. And then wondering to him/herself why and how this ideal job could've disappeared is disillusioned by the whole shooting match.
  3. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I don't think it took some of them very long to become disillusioned! Five minutes?
    Well worth a listen.
    But, if you're over 50 (maybe even 40), you will probably end up shouting!!!
    forthejoyofit and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  4. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    I've caught the first episode and plan to get the others on iplayer, when I have some strength. She struck me as a bit too wide-eyed for a top journalist of 58... but I may be doing her a disservice.
    What is amazing is how lacking in knowledge intelligent people are about the system Surely they can't ALL have sent their children to chi-chi little private schools?
    TCSC47, InkyP and grumpydogwoman like this.
  5. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    Very interesting. I like Lucy Kellaway a lot, and her articles and programmes have always been interesting. I've been following her progress on and off, and when she first declared she was going into teaching, my immediate thought was "No, Lucy, no. You don't know what you're letting yourself in for".

    I'm in total agreement with Basil. Being an inspirational teacher, and the current system, are incompatible. The result is that there will simply not be any inspiring teachers.
  6. koopatroopa

    koopatroopa Senior commenter

    Robotic children and robotic teachers. It doesn't sound like much of a system to trust.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  7. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    The brief snatches you hear of her in class? She does sound robotic. I know she must be nervous but she evinces zero personality, zero warmth.

    As for the place she teaches. Gradgrind simply has nothing on this place.
  8. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    It is true that a lot of the initial creativity you have can be ground out of you.

    But it depends on the school. We had s**t management for years and now we have much better management. Also some schools (lots of academies) have a dreary, repetitive, forced style of lessons (I worked briefly in a place like that and it's not for me).

    I feel 21 again and my lessons are much better . I suddenly find myself with lots more energy and lots more ideas.
  9. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    We do need to hear stories such as yours @peakster

    I feel so disheartened by so much of what I hear and I am so saddened by the little I know of how my grandchildren are taught.
    TCSC47 likes this.
  10. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    I don't think her disillusionment is anything new.

    I've observed that mature trainees tend to pack it in quickly - they either cannot adapt to the fact that they're at the bottom of the ladder, or that the children may not be as polite or well behaved as their own. Or they assume "I was a...so this should be easy" mentality. This is purely based on my own observations after working in three schools. Those that stay tend to be fantastic teachers and colleagues.

    The school she was in does sound awful. And a lot like the place I left this Summer. Now I'm in a place where there is freedom to teach creatively.
  11. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    I heard this too, and it brought unpleasant memorise creeping back! It sounded like a dystopian, Victorian prison regime. Little wonder that mature, experienced trainees from other professions find adjustment to such a prescriptive regime difficult!
  12. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    She was at Mossbourne Academy, according to the press. That explains a few things.

    Perhaps she should ditch the wide eyed naivety and do a little research in future.
    Alice K and EmanuelShadrack like this.
  13. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    Ta for the info. I hadn't researched where she was.

    I haven't looked any further yet, but I'm singularly unimpressed with the home page of their website:


    Looks a bit flash on first viewing, but white text on an almost white background, and no obvious menus and links... Urgh...
    CWadd likes this.
  14. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    It gets better. Clicking on the "Welcome" thing on the homepage brings this up:
    Presumably that is the "Head"

    Full marks for website testing then...
    Alice K, grumpydogwoman and CWadd like this.
  15. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    I've just googled and read an article on her and she sounds supremely irritating. She goes on about how she decided to train because she was bored in her last job as a FT journalist. And how she thought she'd be a natural as her mother was a teacher.

    Hum. Not about helping the kids then? Sorry, it's all a bit too "look what I'm doing aren't I great." No more great than any other person in their mid fifties who takes the step of 're training. Maybe she is upset about being cut down by her mentor, but to set this charity up and not research the schools is a bit daft. Especially Mossbourne, which is known for being uber strict on everything.
  16. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    CWadd likes this.
  17. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I suspect there are many reasons for becoming a teacher - I have to say that love for my subject and the long holidays were just as important...no, I lie, MORE important for me than wishing to help 'kids'... :oops:
    CWadd and EmanuelShadrack like this.
  18. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    I never found her irritating, personally. I thought she was very good at exposing corporate nonsense when she saw it.
    Yep - I think you've hit the nail on the head there.
  19. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    Me too Frank. My love of the subject, a love of explaining things, and the long holidays were my primary motivations.

    Probably explains why I decided to call it a day after only a few years in mainstream schools...
  20. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I battled on for over 3 decades - but there is no doubt things got more difficult as time passed, and we lost a whole week of our holiday for Baker/INSET days, of course (with pressure to cut them even more, I suspect).
    CWadd likes this.

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