After teaching undergraduates for two years at Trinity College Dublin, I realised that I loved the teaching more than the researching. I left with an MPhil and a hint of what I might do back in England.
I trained as a primary school teacher (may as well start at the beginning) and spent over ten years working in inner-city primary schools in Birmingham, London, and Leicester. I’ve had two major bouts of teaching interspersed with other jobs including a recruitment consultant (or sharks as they call themselves!), as a Teacher Advisor and have been training NQTs and teachers in the new Computing curriculum.
Having grown up in the kind of environment that some regularly state causes academic failure, I find myself very much on the side of the traditionalists, who make no excuses, who are seeking to resolve problems and support appropriately, who spent their time developing their children intellectually in all subjects.
The debate is real, it’s needed and moving forward intellectual critique and challenge is required by and from all. Most of all the experiences of teachers need to be addressed, their questions and problems need answers and solutions. Data needs to be used to make our education system better not a stick to beat individual teachers with.
There are many positives that can come out of the recent reforms and I believe that we need to meet the challenges with integrity, mature as a profession and when we don’t agree with policies and ideas, come up with realistic alternatives. In short, it’s time to acknowledge the wrongs of the past, learn from them and move onto creating a best education system that we can for all children and not the best excuses for why certtain groups continue to fail.