This week our new Education Secretary wrote an open letter to the unions (OPEN LETTER TO UNIONS) and the key line is “teachers join the profession to teach and we have a common interest in reducing – where we can – unnecessary work that takes teachers time away from teaching”. Now the thing is, this has been reported by several newspapers with a direct translation of “spend more time in the classroom”
Regardless of the translation, I am becoming increasingly amazed at how far off the mark both Nicky Morgan and most of these journos are … well they are for me, and I can only speak for myself! ( as always you are entitled to your own views). There is absolutely no paperwork, or task that could ever take me away from the classroom … I have a teaching allocation! WHAT DOES HAPPEN is that any non-teaching “unnecessary” task comes from my planning and preparation time and so it effectively takes my time away from planning lessons or marking books/tests but NEVER EVER from time in front of students. EVER!
Maybe I’m being pedantic (it has been known you know!) but if we want to “go there” both myself and Seager will be shortly giving up PPA time to do one-to-ones with our Maths “super-group” and that’s been the case for the last few years so anything that wasn’t going to directly affect the results of our students sometimes had to take second place and get done, when it gets done. Seriously I’ve always ”gotten” the fact that others have a job to do, and it is probably more important job than mine and if what needs to be done is essential to your ability to do your job I’ve always been more than happy for someone else to make the decision about moving that up my priority list over the outcomes of our students.
Or maybe, just maybe I’m being a realist: UK maths teachers have more contact time than any other subject and as a result don’t have the “luxury of time” so is it any wonder we can’t recruit maths teachers but more importantly why we can’t retain good maths teachers in this country! The retention issue is one that has got me pondering recently and I’ve been wondering if teachers who work under the kind of “driving for results” pressure that is now rife in education have a “life-span”, and whether there is a kind of “maths-teachers” graveyard where knackered teachers go to die. I think the oldest maths teacher I have ever met was about 53 (unless some of you look VERY good for your age!).
I have no idea where any of that comes from, maybe I’m balancing the sharing resources thang that I use the blog for (after the exertion of sharing my Updated Oops Post earlier today!) with the occasional load of drivel. I had a dream last night and I rarely remember my dreams … about my dad. I used to use him as someone I could talk at and not get a “lecture” or a “sort yourself out woman” comment – it was just pure unconditional listening. He would have been 90 (I’m not that old … I arrived late in his life!) in a week or so (and I still miss him every single day, even after 16 months) so maybe that is what is playing on my mind!
Oops sorry … went a bit off piste there, but just goes to show I’m human. I have never been and never will be superwoman.