Richard Hawley

is anyone else on strike today?
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Author:  Dawoodcock [ Wed May 21, 2008 12:15 pm ]
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We'll always have differences of opinions on subjects mainly due to our own experiences/knowledge.

merseybeatle's experience is of the side of teaching that I suspect all teachers would like to have, mph's is of the other side of the story.

It may just be down to sheer luck with staff/pupils. From what I hear from family members and colleagues who have teachers in their families, free periods disappear as other teachers are off sick and you have to cover.

From my sister's experience, the lower down on the scale the school was (and at one point she was teaching at a school that had the highest truant level in the country among other things, but she had also taught at a school where pupils were happy to be taught and the school came out well in all comparisons) the more likely a teacher was to find themselves working longer hours.

She's been teaching for a long time in different areas of the UK and rarely stayed at one school for longer than two years, and did supply teaching, so she did garner experience from a range of schools.

But that is just one person's experience.

Whatever, we will always have differences of opinion on here as to how jobs., life etc. go. Let's all bear in mind these are personal opinions, not sweeping statements and temper our responses accordingly.

Author:  Eoin [ Wed May 21, 2008 1:40 pm ]
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one of the great things about the forum which makes it interesting and different from other forums of this nature is that people can come on here and talk and debate about pretty much anything and yes some times it might get slighty heated and things are said in the heat of the moment but I find debates like the one above interesting and people are passionate about their opinions on subjects like this. We are all adults here and as long as nobody oversteps the line there is no need for moderation or statments like ...... temper our responses accordingly. The standards on this forum have been set and deceided upon way back , they havent changed and won't. I have no intention of allowing anyone to becoming a 'headmistress' to this forum (not even Dave although he's kinky like that). Let folks get on with it end of.

Author:  exapno mapcase [ Wed May 21, 2008 1:47 pm ]
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I love sweeping statements. That's what happens in real life - though we usually get the chance to explain things face to face and it's never as bad as it seems.

Author:  mph [ Wed May 21, 2008 6:49 pm ]
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CraigA wrote:
Send the teachers to beat them up, it'll give them something to do once they've knocked off at 3.

what a wag.

Author:  catsandbooks [ Sun May 25, 2008 9:35 am ]
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merseybeatle wrote:

I'm an IT technician, it's nothing secretive to be honest, just overlooked it in my response before. First job after uni, decent money, going to get some experience in the area and move further up the ladder, hopefully. ... I could teach if I wanted, I'm a graduate in computing,

Right, I think this needs to be dropped now, don't you?

I'm going to pick this up again, but not in a getting at anyone kind of way but rather because I'm interested in the IT perspective on this.

I suspect that within different sectors and different subjects there will be different pressures and different philosophies. I admit to being a qualified primary school teacher but ended up teaching adults before moving into education policy and through this have had the opportunity to work with some fabulous and extremely hardworking teachers. I've also recently returned from Scotland where again I have been impressed by virtually every teacher I came into contact with. Primary teachers seem to me to have an especially tough time juggling the competing demands of national curriculum (14 subjects), monitoring pupil progress and managing a classroom of 30 children all with different needs ... and the statutory end of key stage tests in English, mathematics and science that puts additional pressure on teachers in terms of accountability. The profession now is encouraged to be far more reflective and the really great teachers I've met are constantly refreshing their classroom practice through assessment for learning - not an easy option and not something you can just pull out of an old cupboard, planning for learning is organised around the individual needs of pupils.

At secondary, my contact has mainly been with English, mathematics and science teachers - again these have always been incredibly positive. Maybe it's the hardworking ones I've come into contact with but I suspect they do represent a reasonable snapshot of the profession. The teachers I've met have always been taking on additional responsibilities and brought considerable understanding of good classroom practice and how pupils learn.

However, getting back to the IT aspect, Merseybeat - would I be right in thinking that you spend most of your time at work with the ICT teachers? Without disparaging ICT teachers, I suspect the situation here may be somewhat different. It is a subject which very almost saw the introduction of new statutory assessments at KS3 - my understanding is that this was seen as a mechanism for improving the teaching and learning in the subject. The sharing of the standard, the interpretation of the national curriculum and turning that into an innovative programme of work were all challenges. As a subject it is also perhaps ''constructed" differently - getting a willing 13 year old to use an IT programme is very different to trying to get a weak reader to engage with Shakespeare.

You are entitled to your opinion based on your experience, but it is worth appreciating that that experience is not necessarily the same as that of others. You mentioned that you could teach - certainly the ICT qualification is an asset and perhaps you should consider this route sometime, there is a shortage of strong candidates for ICT (unlike English and History which have the highest proportion of 2.1/1st graduates, mathematics and ICT see the strongest graduates, from a subject perspective, disappearing into better paid private sector jobs).

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