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Would this solve teacher shortages - almost at a stroke?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Nonentity, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. Skyler

    Skyler New commenter

    My bottom set Year 7 can barely read. Neither can they understand a great deal if it's not broken down, simplified, repeated and put into context. They will watch a mini documentary aimed at their level (CBeebies) and STILL ask what it was about.

    How will an online package suit them? Or do they not matter?

    What about the students who struggle to sit still? The naughty ones that need to be persuaded to work? The ones with so much going on in their lives that sitting in front of a computer will just lead them staring into the screen, brains working overtime to work out their next move, or how to look after mum and pick the siblings up and cook dinner and still be 13?

    Who will catch them?

    I studied with the Open University, I know what it takes to be motivated enough to complete an online course. Secondary students don't (in my experience) usually have that level of motivation without support and being able to see a human reaction to their work.
  2. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    I never said the 60% WOULD have a negative effect. Maybe it would, maybe not. Especially if pupils were told the reasoning behind i.e. in order to have continuity of education, smaller classes etc also especially if they were already used to using online learning for homework, private study. You keep going back to costs. Cost savings will not motivate pupils. BUT savings made by not hiring supply teachers short term, advertising and then paying for a new teacher IF THEN used to improve IT and library resources, to fund the smaller classes (which may need a p/t employed) and to fund the online courses, if the costs saved were then reallocated THEN the pupils may well be motivated.

    Of course as I said, it depends on pupil engagement, quality of the online learning etc.

    I have said all that before.

    BUT I know that a string of supply teachers, reallocated classes, bigger classes, stressed teachers, uncertainties - all of these do NOT motivate pupils.

    A teacher shortage is likely to cause all of these negative effects. The question seems to be whether my suggested solution would have greater negative effects or, in fact, may have a net positive effect
  3. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    And with teacher shortages - which is what this thread is about - do you not think these negatives may also happen?

    This thread is about using technology and reallocating classes and giving small group tuition as a means of solving the problems of teacher shortages.

    Which do you think is better for pupils, staff and school?

    My suggestion frees up teachers, reduces stress, provides resources, gives pupils small group education (all positive) and swaps teaching by a human to online learning for a portion of the time, to a generation that has grown up with computers etc

    Is it really the wrong choice?
  4. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    Teacher shortages are for all subjects, for all sets. In your school's case then, perhaps not for year 7. But what about year 9,10,11,12,13?

    Remember I am not saying replace a teacher with solely online learning am I. Instead of 5 lessons a week with a string of supply teachers, with uncertainty and with other teachers now more stressed, INSTEAD have some online learning, some classes now much smaller, more resources, better conditions and more engaged pupils
  5. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    Ok for the 40% of the time, instead of 20 in the class, it is now 7. Of those, 3 have not done the work - far more likely to do the work now they';re in a smaller class. Perhaps they are finding difficulties - these can be dealt with in the small class. Much easier than in a big one. This then encourages those to catch up with the online - which of course can also be done outside of scheduled time - perhaps in the library. Not so of course where the only teaching is done directly by a human.

    No-one talked about writing anyone off - if anything it is including far more people than before. Pupils are already written off if they're in a big class, with a range of teachers who know no-one's names, where textbooks have yet to arrive, where the IT suite is undermanned, where the library is under resourced - all of which could be remedied by some online provision instead of waiting for the teacher shortage to be remedied.How many schools currently have vacancies? how many classes are now just being 'covered'? How many permanent staff are now having to muddle through, covering extra topics as they are short of staff?
  6. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Hang on, how does this work?

    A teacher, instead of teaching a class of 20 for 100% of the time, teaches a class of 7 for 40% of the time. You reckon this saves money on teacher time? You're going to need more teachers, not fewer.
  7. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    No, it wouldn't work. You clearly have no idea about working with kids.
    Laphroig and sparkleghirl like this.
  8. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Or about maths.
    Laphroig and Moony like this.
  9. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    Brain implant..

    That's the answer.
    sparkleghirl likes this.
  10. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    You ask how this works.

    I have given a number of scenarios.

    Let's say a teacher is paid £25000 a year.
    The teacher teaches 4 groups, 5 hours a week each. (This is to keep the numbers simple)
    There are three other teachers in the department and they have a similar timetable.

    Option 1

    The teacher leaves, promotion elsewhere. There is a teacher shortage. Advertising costs £5000. No immediate replacement. A series of supply teachers appear. Costs £200 a day. (I have done supply and been paid more than that) Kids concerned - no continuity. The three other teachers are unsure as to workloads as the supply teachers are so short term.

    Option 2

    Four software packages are bought. Costs £5000. Immediately implemented.
    The four groups now do three hours a week with the online packages.
    Each group is 20 kids.
    The group is split into 4 groups of five and each group has one hour a week lesson, in this small group. = 4 hours.
    Same with each group = 16 hours.
    Part-time teacher employed - immediate saving which is then used to buy more resources, decorate classrooms etc.
    Kids gain from the small group tuition. The teacher has access to all the online programmes and knows exactly the marks the kids are getting in tests etc and exactly how many minutes logged on, what progress is made, questions answered etc. The one hour a week is to discuss exam technique or individual problems. Pupils are progressing at different rates but the small group tuition enables the slower ones to catch up as they are being more tightly monitored.
    The other teachers in the department do not have to cover or worry about this group - stress is reduced.

    Option 3

    Same as above but group size is now ten and they have TWO hours a week small group tuition.
    Gains all round.

    Which one of those three benefit the pupils the most?

    I reckon option 2 or 3.
  11. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    I think it would - and I have many years experience of working with kids. I also have experience of working in schools where there are teacher shortages. I also have experience of being a Department Head but also being a supply teacher.

    I know the chaos teacher shortages can bring.

    Your sweeping statement means you prefer the shortage, the stress on teachers and pupils and the school. You prefer the perpetual cover. You prefer the uncertainty. You prefer kids having a stream of different teachers.

    I taught in a school a few years ago - I was their seventh teacher that year (Year 11).

    Technology has advanced. Kids are far more used to studying online than before.

    Tell me why you prefer a teacher shortage to online learning and no stoppage of lessons?
  12. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    I have given a series of scenarios, the maths varies according to the costs, the number of kids, the costs of recruitment, the costs of the programmes etc.
  13. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    Thousands of teacher vacancies, teacher shortages throughout, overcrowded, under-resourced classrooms - and you reject this solution? You prefer no change except a string of supply teachers, more stress, more uncertainty?
  14. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    No, what you said was that a teacher would teach a group of 7 students from a class of 20 for 40% of their subject allowance. In order to teach the other two groups of children (assuming the rest of the class is also entitled to this imroved teacher:student ratio would require another 2 x 40% teacher time, making a total of 120% instead of the teacher simply taking all of the children for 100% of the their allocation. In other words, your scheme means a 20% increase in teacher time with all the associated costs. Where is that money going to come from? In addition of course, I imagine you'll have to pay some kind of subsciption or licence for the online teaching.

    Are you making this up as you go along? You're not a teacher are you?
  15. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    If you read the thread you would see I have given a number of scenarios for the reasons stated.

    I am a teacher.

    In the examples I include subscription costs and also reallocation of costs.

    If you read the whole thread, you'd see.
  16. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    Hold on right there...

    What I want is an environment conducive to teachers staying, manageable workloads, OFSTED to Of-3FF, proper funding, children not harassed with assessments every 5 days...

    That is the root of the current teacher-flight.

    What your suggesting is a already available in one form or another but it doesn't address the root causes in anyway at all.

    Technology doesn't teach children how to take turns, or ensure effective pencil grip, manners, eye contact, etc
    Laphroig and Moony like this.
  17. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    I don't disagree with anything you say but I am talking about the situation as it is, right now.

    Teachers leave and unless a replacement is found - fast - everyone suffers.


    Using supply teachers is one remedy

    I am suggesting technology and reallocation and costs reallocated would actually lead to a benefit.

    BUT I do not teach below year 9. I only teach two subjects. Obviously I do not teach in every school.

    So what I think might be the best move for my school, for my subject, may not be the best for yours.

    I am curious as to why not
  18. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Lead commenter

    I stand by what I said a while back.

    The teacher shortages are ultimately the result of incompetence and/or malevolence from government. It was the government who created league tables, OFSTED, and all the other utter consequent nonsense.

    Until you address these problems, technological "solutions" simply will not work. Why has the NHS IT system not materialized as it was once envisaged? It should be a simple project, on the face of it. It's because a succession of incompetent senior people have got involved, that's why.

    You can increase something in two ways - you can add something positive, or remove something negative. If I remember correctly, in that industrial troubleshooter programme from years ago, John Harvey-Jones mentioned getting rid of the "lemons" as the most important first thing to do. With them out of the way, everything else is easier.

    So, just get rid of the likes of Gove, Wilshaw, and all the other incompetent oafs, abolish their ridiculous ideology-based experiments (notably league tables and OFSTED), and you'd go much further in addressing the teacher shortage than any technological tweaking could hope to achieve.
    Laphroig likes this.
  19. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    None of that addresses the teacher shortages right now.
    None of this will remedy the thousands of vacancies being advertised on TES today
    None of this addresses the vacancies where the start date is asap
  20. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Lead commenter

    Absolutely true.

    But your proposed solution won't result in a better-educated population, or less-stressed teachers. Come to think of it, a technological solution would make no impact in addressing the vacancies where the start date is tomorrow.

    Have you any experience of implementing IT projects?

    There are deeper questions here:

    Why are teacher shortages a problem?
    Who exactly are they a problem for?
    Laphroig likes this.

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