How does that feel?
There are many things I will miss about teaching (OK, let's make that "some things") and there are some things I won't miss (OK, let's make that "many").
|Right wing? Moi?|
So, here are some of the things that teaching has taught me...
1) Teachers (at least every one I've worked with or met) are dedicated to their students and are good at their jobs.
2) Teachers work harder than anyone who's not a teacher will ever know. The UK holidays do not compensate for the extra hours and the unrelenting stress. They don't even come close.
3) Most of this hard work is unneccessary. The crippling workload serves no purpose.
4) Before I started teaching I thought that schools were like prisons. I still feel that way, although much of the "imprisonment" is internalised by both jailers and jailed (as a teacher, I felt that I was both). In such a pressurised (and politically volatile) environment, it's almost impossible to think creatively or imagine a more effective way of doing things. At least it was for me.
5)Teachers who work in difficult or challenging schools should be rewarded with smaller class sizes and higher pay, not derision.
6) Everyone involved in education should be part of the national "debate" on education--students of all ages and abilities, teachers, TAs, SEN co-ordinators, admin staff, libarians, technicians, parents.
7) League tables have caused immense damage to education, and warped educational priorities so that results have become the only things that matter. This has set school against school, parent against teacher, teacher against student.
More importantly, the very existence of league tables suggests (and not too subtly) that a student who isn't an academic high flyer is less valuable or important than one who is.
8) Every year when GCSE and A level results are announced, there is an outcry about standards and dumbing down and blah blah blah. There will be one this year, too. I think some newspapers just run the same item with the percentages tweaked slightly.
They print the same picture every year, too. Those girls who are jumping into the air with glee? They are actually 38 years old now and are getting tired of this cruel reminder of their more energetic and agile youth.
7) Everyone over the age of 25 thinks that they were much cleverer and hard-working than the students of today. They weren't.
8) Having children dress up in suits and ties to go to school is creepy. Wrong on SO many levels. What's wrong with you people?