Aug. 21, 2020


We are bombarded by posts from current and ex teachers. Some are friends.
They say, 'If you can read thank a teacher.' They explain how they are poorly paid. They have to meet standards set by non-teachers. They have curriculae crafted by political appointees, that many disagree with. They complain about pushy parents and those who do not care.
In some countries, their unions are trying to stop any return to school unless an impossible list of demands relating to the virus are met. They have long vacations, but complain of excessive work loads, the size of classes and much more.
Teachers are mostly reasonably educated. They are confident. They need to be, to control their classes. They require the active attention of their students. They are big wheels in their classrooms.
There is another side to all this. Many teachers have no broader experience of work. This can be a major problem in advising pupils on career options and choice of subjects and colleges.
At my school, they caned us for not understanding their lessons. It suddenly struck me that usually that was because they were bad teachers rather than due to the pupils fault.
Either they made the subject totally dull through rote learning, or they were incapable of explaining it in a way to make it interesting.
The better teachers taught me well.
We were also dosed with nationalistic and religious nonsense.
Ergo, the bad teachers should have been punished rather than us.
The UK education system is still rubbish from top to bottom and needs a complete rethink. Curriculae, standards and performance measures need considerable attention and not from partisan politicians.
Like everything in the UK and US, radical change is impossible. These shamocracies are Heath Robinson machines. The mechanisms of governments that relate to teaching are just part of a greater problem. Without changing the whole system, nothing much can ever be achieved.
P.S. my mother taught me to read.