I had to stop reading comments on a guardian blog tonight re teachers striking today. The same lines being used since I was at school-used to annoy me then and now it incenses me; long holidays, get real, just like any other public sector worker disgusting you're robbing children of a day at school-need I go on?
I'm disgusted that people still think like that without looking more deeply into it. We don't seem to want to look deeply into much, we want immediacy, quick fixes, soundbite education to please people who were at school once but take on narrow view and don't want to see anything else. I would suggest inviting the Daily Mail into school but I once had the misfortune to have a reporter from that paper entering my first headship school. Interesting.....wrote absolutely NOTHING of what we spoke about, I mean not one iota but that's another story and I digress.
Have teachers been asked about what classrooms are like today, whether children are going to get the most energetic teacher day in day out (or head teacher) for their primary school experience?
Do people know that leaving salary decisions up to heads and governing bodies puts them in almost untenable positions as many are trying to keep their finances working for their children, deliver an outstanding curriculum and keep their staff BUT the school down the road ARE offering increase more regularly and so is that other school in the same area is and so on. It's divisive. It's game playing and it certainly ISN'T PUTTING CHILDREN FIRST. One day out of education spending time with parents (I presume that was the case as the replies were from those grumbling they had to take time off work, guess they're the same ones who don't like making snowmen and doing fun things with their children then either?) is a rich experience too. It's one day to try and make people HEAR. It's wrong to almost de professionalise our education system just at the point where we should be taking advantage of research, becoming more professional about our CRAFT and our PROFESSION. Learning more deeply about LEARNING and sharing practice, stories, ideas and CREATIVITY. We have so much technology at our fingertips and could join up across the world of learning today.
Just as the children are being robbed of imaginative, creative learning so, actually, are our teachers. The two go hand in hand of course. If you have disheartened teachers who feel their profession is being eroded how can you inspire the next generation of children?
Alongside this is something more worrying because of it's direct IMPACT on our children... THE DEMISE OF OUR PRIMARY PRACTICE.
This doesn't just concern the curriculum it concerns the ease with which we seem to be swallowed up into secondary education; getting children READY for school, ready for Reception, ready for Secondary school. NOT ready for encouraging an 'insatiable curtiosity'! None of that, none of that joy of learning business, no it's our job as primary teachers to get children ready for secondary school. How many times have we talked about homework, lots of it, because they're going to get it in secondary school and we need to get them used to it. NOT engage them in the 'flow' of learning for their confidence and skills to develop building up resilience, a positive approach.
I don't know what others think but I honestly do not believe Ofsted will be coming in checking to see if you're teaching the new history or art curriculum. The focus is on English and Maths and that's it. Schools are drilling because they're afraid of delivering something too far away from SATS. The culture is one of FEAR and school communities are crumbling. Who is at the heart of those school communities....CHILDREN.
Is this really why we came into teaching? I would like every single union and teachers and TAS who are not in unions to consider children's futures if the DFE continues carelessly treading on our children's childhood in this vein. Why aren't we shouting and uniting about this in our loudest teacher voices? Are we so down trodden that we don't care what's happening to children- you know, those little people who have dreams, hopes and are full of excitement, awe and wonder when they first come into school. We have to keep the flame burning for them. Yes we want to protect our rights and pensions but if we are protecting them to deliver a narrow, non questioning, joyless education for our children then what is the point?