Wednesday, March 11, 2009

instant teachers and mixed messages?

So the Government is trying to attract “thousands of highly-talented people” into education by offering teaching qualifications with only six months training? I’m rather skeptical to say the least and believe it sends out entirely the wrong messages to potential teachers, existing teachers and parents alike. To my mind, it seems to be completely undervaluing the profession by appearing to suggest that “with minimal training, anyone can teach”. It’s one thing having life-skills and experience but being able to stand up in front of classes of pupils, day after day, and be expected to produce lesson plans for say 30 lessons per week so that pupils will be inspired, encouraged, controlled, disciplined, educated etc etc (oh, and don’t forget, you will judged by the pupils’ exam grades in your subject) is something entirely different. I seriously considered becoming a teacher some ten years or so back. At the time, I thought I knew a quite a lot about teaching but am now happy to acknowledge (albeit guiltily!) that I thought I would be able to walk into a classroom and just give children the benefit of my wisdom! After working in a secondary school for nearly four years (not as a teacher, I hasten to add), I am constantly being amazed by the talent and ability of the teachers I work with and realise just how naive I was.
Meanwhile, Ed Balls, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families is also telling teachers of his plans for Masters Qualifications in teaching – in order to raise the standing of the profession in the eyes of parents and the like.
Somehow, this seems completely at odds with six-month teaching training!

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