Tuesday, 28 January 2014
After being at the chalk-face of education for 43 years I KNOW teachers are being asked to teach what they are not trained in. We often hear about lack of passion, but passion is something that students sense and comes with knowing your subject thoroughly so you are at ease in the classroom. Just as students sense passion for the subject they also sense inadequacies in subject knowledge and this is the cause of many discipline problems in the classroom. It is not the fault of the teachers but of systems that have lost focus on what they should be doing. The focus is now on keeping Ofsted at bay and appeasing regulators, not about educating students to become independent learners. In my opinion what happens in most schools is a nonsense. Relationships and a relaxed environment underpin effective learning: the current climates prevent the relaxed environment. Teachers are too tired through focusing on unnecessary tasks and so arrive in the classroom preoccupied. The way forward is to start with a blank canvas, decide what we, as educators, should be doing (educating our students to become independent learners) and put things in place which promote this.