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Time to blame students not teachers for poor exam performance.

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Compassman, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

  2. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Very well written and a timely piece all teachers should remember.
  4. drek

    drek Star commenter

    Well said sir well said. You have put into words one of the toughest parts of the job, that sinking feeling of wondering when it's going to be our turn to be the beaten down version of Mrs Murphy. The Mrs Murphy who would have once been respected and proud of the years of work she has spent at the school no longer exists. She is driven out by the very people she helped to train, and has to slink away quietly so as not to upset the precious apple cart.
    Tom is right.... The cart is so full of rotten apples, the good ones have to roll off or get infected!
    She has been replaced by a growing band of faceless if not spineless highly paid administrators , analysing every expression on teacher's faces, demanding surveys after every goggam meeting or training session, lecturing teachers to be positive about everything and everyone else, whilst insisting that only they have the right to be as negative as they possibly can about individual teachers!
    Because their reasons are saintly.... Really?
    petenewton, cissy3 and Compassman like this.
  5. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    I am that 'Mrs Murphy' driven out of teaching.

    Talking of training sessions. Last year we used to get a number of visits from someone who had set up their own education consultancy business on how to teach my subject. This persons name cropped up the other day and on her website she boasts of her EIGHT YEARS teaching experience.

    The person was trying to tell people with 30 years experience how to teach.
    cissy3 likes this.
  6. indusant

    indusant Senior commenter

    I remember reading that when he was a young boy, Richard Branson's mother stopped the car once on the way home from a shopping trip. She told him to get out and find his own way home. I think he was about 5 at the time and he was left alone in the countryside. I remember Branson saying that it taught him to be independent,and he got over his shyness as he needed to ask others for directions. A valuable lesson learned at such a young age.

    I'm not advocating that everyone needs to do this, but there is a lesson there. Parents, the government, teachers etc could 'let go' more (difficult to do at the moment with league tables etc). It's uncertain, unsafe and perhaps it will lead to worse exam results in the short term. But, over time students will learn that no-one will do it for them. They will soon find that out in life at some point. Everyone experiences failures in life and if you are not used to dealing with them, there can be disastrous consequences.

    Schools should be a reflection of real life, and not a 'special place' of mollycoddling. Churchill said that 'success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm'. Life always has its setbacks. It's how you deal with them that shows your character. Schools would do well to develop this.
    Compassman and cissy3 like this.
  7. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    Too late. Blame the teacher is embedded. It's showing in the quality of A level students we now get. They've got brilliant GCSE grades because their teachers did most of the work/ coursework. They are not independent learners, something you need to be for A level study. I despair, but plod on.
    watermelongirl65 likes this.
  8. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter


    The 2016 version of the cartoon could have a third picture added? What do you think would it would consist of?
  9. NarnianRoyalty

    NarnianRoyalty Occasional commenter

    The same teacher. Replace the parents with a twenty-something-year-old head and put some managers/governors in the background building a pyre with tracking sheets.
  10. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    I remember a principal, universally loathed by teachers and students in more than one school, who used to say there's no such thing as a lazy student. She was certainly very good at blaming teachers, because in one school, one way or another, she got rid of virtually every secondary school teacher. She was singularly lacking in intelligence (not just my opinion) but was exceptionally good at telling parents what they wanted to hear.
  11. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    I'd hate to be a pathologist, these days. I'm sure I would get blamed for my poor patient recovery rate.
    NarnianRoyalty, cissy3 and Compassman like this.
  12. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    If a student doesn't want to learn, why is this the teacher's fault? It would be like going to a restaurant and blaming the chef for any plates that are not completely cleared.
  13. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    The modern enlightened answer to this is that all students are eager to learn and strive for excellence, so if they don't it's because the (old fashioned) teacher presented a poor lesson that didn't engage them:rolleyes:.
    Kartoshka, petenewton and Compassman like this.
  14. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    Like saying that there are no criminals, only poor policemen.
  15. tonymars

    tonymars Established commenter

    I completely agree and have done ever since I started teaching.

    I love the cartoon which is spot on. I wonder if there is anyone out there who could update this to 2016. This is the sort of thing which should be on staff room notice boards.
  16. luckyjim1980

    luckyjim1980 New commenter

    I'm not convinced that the link between experience and expertise in teaching is as linear as you suggest.

    I have been teaching 11 years and am still learning much from others, including many fantastic young teachers who have only been teaching for 2 or 3 years. 30 years spent developing and refining teaching expertise is wonderful, 30 years of delivering the same lessons in the same way without any thought as to how to develop or improve your practice, not so much.

    What counts is whether the expertise shared by your consultant was of any value to you or not. Judge someone by the quality of what they do, not the length of time they have been doing it.
    Bensusan likes this.
  17. luckyjim1980

    luckyjim1980 New commenter

    Isn't the key thing here getting pupils to take responsibility for their own learning? This is clearly what Thomas Rogers did, and he feels this was as a result of getting a poor predicted grade from Mrs Murphy. I wonder how much of his response was down to Thomas's expectations for himself (a bright grammar school pupil) that he should be achieving much more than this. Would other pupils, with lower expectations for themselves, respond in a similarly positive way to the same grade?

    An interesting corollary to this is how teachers respond to feedback about their own performance. Do we always take negative feedback as a motivation to improve, the way that Thomas did as an English Literature student?
  18. abacus1982

    abacus1982 Established commenter

    It would also be good if parents took some responsibility too. If you read with your child at an early age, talk to them etc then they may be better learners. If they come to school being able to use the toilet then it will free up the class teacher to teach them etc. It is lunacy that a child who comes into school with all the groundings of a good education from parents and a child who comes into school without any language, social skills etc are then expected to make the same progress and the teacher/school blamed if they don't is ridiculous.
    petenewton and David Getling like this.

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