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Why does Corbyn think so little of teachers?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Twinklefoottoe, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. Twinklefoottoe

    Twinklefoottoe Senior commenter

    "I worked out what all teachers do. If you are a chapter ahead of the class you are okay - until you have a really bright kid, and then you have got a problem."

    So, when he's 18, he did a bit of voluntary teaching abroad and 50 odd years later, he thinks he knows the job. I'd say that you should be really afraid if he ever gets into power, but since there is more chance of aliens being found on the moon, I wouldn't worry too much. It is sad though, to see what little he thinks teachers do.
    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  2. fineliner

    fineliner Occasional commenter

    To be fair, he's not the only one to grossly underestimate the profession.
  3. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    References and context please? Or is this just a mud slinging exercise to see how much will stick?

    I wasn't able to find any reference to this in a web search.
  4. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    Found it now. What a storm in a teacup!! Typical Nasty party and UKIP mudslinging, not worth even contemplating. We still don't have the context though. I'm sorry to have responded, now.

    At least he has had a real go at teaching, unlike all the rest of them like Gove who set up carefully controlled photo / video ops pretending to teach a class.
    Mrsmumbles and ilovesooty like this.
  5. Twinklefoottoe

    Twinklefoottoe Senior commenter

    "I wasn't able to find any reference to this in a web search"

    My ex-bottom set special needs year 7 knew how to copy and paste a quote into Google. Oh, and don't forget to press the <ENTER> afterwards. That always trips up a lot of grown-ups. And a second tip is to not look at just the first post in the result, but scroll down and use your brain before responding. I know, it takes more than five minutes, but you can do it if you try your bestest. Now run along and have another go and come back and tell the adults when you are done.
  6. teachingspurs

    teachingspurs New commenter

    Unnecessarily mean and personal. No need at all.
    Rozario123 and hammie like this.
  7. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    Oooh, you're rather snippy this morning Twinkle. What side of bed did you get out of?
    hammie likes this.
  8. Twinklefoottoe

    Twinklefoottoe Senior commenter

    There was nothing personal in my last post at all. It was a comment about the poster's behaviour, not about the person. :)
  9. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    There are people here who say teachers don't need degrees and can cope with any subject as long as they are one lesson ahead of the pupils.
    Will UKIP be calling for them to apologise too?
  10. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    So - the context and the fuller quote:


    Addressing regional political journalists at Westminster, Mr Corbyn told them how he had been asked to teach geography to 70 children in Jamaica, after he went to the Caribbean island aged 18 to be a volunteer youth worker and teacher.

    He said: "It was really a defining moment of my life because I was thrown in at the deep end as an 18-year-old who arrived in Jamaica and somebody said: 'Would you teach geography?' But it was not just general geography, it was Caribbean geography.

    "I was then confronted with a class of 70 kids to teach geography to, of something I was barely aware of. I worked out what all teachers do. If you are a chapter ahead of the class you are okay until you have a really bright kid, and then you have got a problem.

    "You say, 'Don't be so pushy, give a chance to the others'.

    Like so many teachers - asked to teach something outside one's area of expertise. He was 18. There were 70 kids. Even the subject was very local and specialist. So, @Twinklefoottoe what would you have done? How would you have managed? What were you even doing at the age of 18? Anything half as useful as Corbyn?

    He is not describing a low opinion of teachers at all. I taught Geography (not my subject); I also taught D&T, English, History, PSHE - all not my subject - and I taught them at very short notice. Yes, I was just about a chapter ahead of the kids because there wasn't time to do anything else. And unless you have taught a subject as per the curriculum for a year or more; if you're teaching the scheme of work for the first time, then you usually are only a bit ahead of the students because you're still learning it yourself. Corbyn at least has had some experience of the world of education which isn't limited to going to a private school and then Oxbridge.
  11. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    Since the OP apparently doesn't live in England I can't imagine why he or she is bothered by what Jeremy Corbyn has said
  12. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    He's not wrong though, is he?

    Primary teachers often complain that if they visit their local Secondaries, they often see their old students bored out of their minds doing stuff they'd done years before in Primary but to a lower level.

    We know it's normal - we all have mixed intakes and we all 'teach to the middle' one way or another (some of us burning ourselves out while pretending we're 'differentiating'). Those at the low end are probably there because of poor literacy and numeracy and we're not equipped in Secondary to deal with either (we don't have Phonics nor 'early number' specialists). We can't advance the 'already at level 7 or more' kids because we simply can't teach lessons where some kids need help with fractions while others could be getting on with integration by parts.

    Comprehensives were supposed to offer the solution to this with very large year groups and the ability to set to all possible levels. Somewhere along the road what to do with the kids who should have gone to Grammar schools (where some of them would have been bored with the rate of progress too) has been lost.

    (Though I can't imagine any potential Corbyn government doing anything about this - I'd expect them to drag standards down much further.)
  13. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Perhaps you ought to find out whether it is, and what the context was, before writing a load of vanity-fed nonsense plugging your book.

    Any "quick fix" to behaviour management is snake oil. And if you know 45 secrets, why don't you make them publicly available so that the nation's children and teachers can benefit from your wisdom and we can develop as a society, instead of trying to make money out of us?
  14. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    Well,then, write to his constituency office and point out the error/ambiguity of his statement, send a copy to Lucy Powell too.
    I think it reads very badly and seems terribly flippant even though the context of the remark refers to another time and place. Even if it has been taken out of context like the Bin Laden comment, it needs to be addressed.
    It is an opportunity for teachers to demonstrate why there is such a problem retaining teachers good or bad (whatever criteria you use to define their qualities).
    The only way we have got the Press to listen to teachers is by voting with our feet. Finally it is acknowledged that there are serious problems staffing some schools. The fact is, fewer and fewer people are prepared to teach. Graduates don't want to teach in the UK as the pay and conditions are not great compared to many other graduate jobs. Many take their skills overseas or into other non-teaching careers. Qualified teachers have had enough of constant micro management and are getting ill or being driven out by non teaching managers.
    At heart, most people are aware that teaching not just about standing in front of a room full of kids droning out a string of facts and making them copy it all down. It is a complex, multi-skilled profession.

    There's no point moaning about politicians unless you are lobbying them via your union. All the unions are currently campaigning against current policies and trying to impress upon MPs and local government that there is no alternative to schools, there are no short cuts, changing the funding structure from LEA to Academy does not alter the fact that schools can't function without qualified teachers.

    So make like a junior doctor and start marching round under a banner.
  15. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    Personally, I'm not worried if Corbyn got in. he cannot be any worse than previous governments educationally. And if he does get in, at least i might get a proper pay rise in the final years before my pension kicks in!
  16. vinnie24

    vinnie24 Lead commenter

    In my 15 years of teaching secondary I have never had a primary teacher in my class nor heard of a primary teacher in a colleague's class within the school (and I've worked at a few schools). This is probably because primary teachers are in his/her own class at this time.

    I'm not saying this does not happen but I have never heard this complaint before from primary teachers. 'Often complain', 'bored out of their minds'. I think you're making this up or speaking for at most, three primary school teachers. .
    drek likes this.
  17. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Which he promptly bored blind, have a peek online. The world's Most Boring Man!
  18. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Was talking about Michael by the way, not JC
    drek likes this.
  19. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Nothing to do with UKIP. Those of us who did a teacher certificate course taught very successfully without a degree.You don't need a degree to teach.but you do need interest, desire wishes,determination and an ability to impart knowledge in a way understandable to those you are delivering it too.....plus a few other qualities.
    The need for a degree was an effort to make the profession more exclusive and up-rate the standing of the teaching force as if a degree will make you a better teacher and indicates your were taught to a higher level.
    However, that idea was squashed under Labour and continued by this goverment that any one can teach.,including the TA. That is not to say they are not good,,,but undermines the need for a degree only profession.and indeed gives credence for Academies to employ a variety of staff.Not all degree level or fully qualified.
  20. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Iused to be one of those teachers who went and did a job share with a primary school teacher when i was in secondary.( A long time ago admittedly) It proved more of an eye opener for the primary teacher than myself.However, I was increasingly impressed with the work and dedication of teaching in a Primary..Eventually I moved to primary finding the repetitive teaching of delivering the same lesson(almost) to each year group too much...
    One great problem is that because the two sections do not spend time in each others classes often they do not have a clue what goes on and often have a large number of misconceptions.

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