It's All About Respect... and Funding
Most teachers train to teach because they love to help people and are passionate about their subject. Granted, there are some who do it because they don't know what else to do and don't really have much drive but they are few and far between. You may think that private schools and grammar schools offer a better education and to some extent they may but teachers can be good, bad or just bloody wonderful in any type of school and it all comes down to luck and timetabling.
The press really try to bring the profession down and the admin that teachers have to take on is just insane. For people that actually got into this profession to support young people with their skills, there is very little gratitude from society. The question we need to ask is why? Why are teachers given so much stick? Yes, we have heard it all before... They only work 9-3, they get school holidays and get paid for doing nothing. Yet, these uneducated comments are usually ill-founded, since most people know that teachers are in school early to plan lessons and set up their learning environment. Teachers stay late to mark and plan for the next day and more often than not they end up taking work home, which they have to juggle between looking after their own family and actually getting some sleep. On top of the open evenings, parents' evenings and school trips where teachers are working in some cases over 12 hours and no, it isn't shift work... they still have to go to work the next day for the whole week.
Wait! This isn't about the poor little teacher... This is about respect. Where is the respect that we should have as a society for human beings and this is also aimed at the institutions themselves... The managers need to be able to see just how much work and time goes into the job. Yet, far too often SLT are nowhere to be seen unless it is to criticise and spread negativity. Then why can't we teach leaders and managers to be more respectful? If they were more compassionate and understanding then surely the parents would also start to see the good, the work, the passion, the drive and the desire to help children achieve their full potential. Are we flogging a dead horse? Surely we can't change managers and leaders until the political aspect of education is addressed and funding is made a priority? Maybe the managers can't appreciate staff until they themselves are respected by the education system and are given the support that they need to improve learning and teaching...
How can this be fixed? The government needs to address funding. Funding that allows for teaching, policing, social care and nursing to be prioritised. Money needs to be distributed in a sensible manner that provides the vulnerable and the workers of society with the strength they deserve from the tax system. Money in teaching would allow for reduced class sizes, appropriate learning environments, additional support for students with additional needs and more roles in education that take the box ticking off teachers so students can be given the time and attention that every person deserves in every lesson and in every walk of life.
How should the money be used? What do you think?