Saturday, 23 June 2012

Have A Big Sit Down

Tired at the end of my first week's teaching, I opened my diary to the page for today and wrote the following as an order to my future self:

"Have a big sit down".

I've now finished teaching at HRC and I am having exactly that big sit down.

I've really enjoyed the actual teaching, the directing and working with the students, but I've enjoyed aspects like the bureaucracy a lot less. I'm also painfully aware that as far as the paperwork is concerned I've really only seen the tip of the iceberg.

Teachers have come in for a bad wrap over the last couple of years from the ConDem government. They have been scapegoats over issues of pensions, holidays and, rather bizarrely, school trips. It seems to be a systematic smear campaign that relies on the public's warped perception of their own time at school.

Consider the following:

Just because you went home at three, it doesn't mean your teachers did. Whether you did your homework or not, your teachers always took marking home. Yes, the holidays are better than most other jobs, but consider that teachers have absolutely no choice when to take them and everything is at its peak price when they do.

One thing that became very obvious to me whilst doing the job is that teaching is far harder than learning.

Clearly teachers deserve far more respect than they currently get, but just as importantly they deserve more opportunities for a big sit down.


Li said...

Most people have no idea how much of their own time teachers devote to working on lesson plans, craft ideas, paperwork and such. One hour before and after class each day is not nearly enough time to get everything done. And some of that morning/afternoon time is taken up by meetings with administration, counselors, or parents. The teachers that I know work extremely hard at their jobs - I don't begrudge them a decent salary and benefits.

Dave said...

Sadly teachers have increasingly become a target for the regressive UK coalition government and I'm convinced it is to capitalise on our collective experience of education. Regardless of how well or how badly we achieve at school we still all feel like experts.

The salary, the holidays and sadly even the ethics of teaching have all come under threat recently and students, parents and politicians alike all seem ignorant to the amount of work that goes into teaching.

I have taught workshops in the past and you swoop in, deliver a lesson and disappear again. This time I had a greater responsibility and on the whole I had a good experience, but the sheer amount of paperwork and red tape that some teachers have to deal with is astonishing. When you take into account the lack of respect they get for it, it's absolutely maddening.