Sunday, 13 March 2016

Highlighting the desperation of teachers

Below, I am sharing a link to a post that was sent to me from Paul Wallis, the President of Barking and Dagenham NUT after I attended their AGM. It's one of many such 'why I'm leaving letters' on teachers' blogs - and you may have read it already - but it's another reminder of the reality of teaching that we need to expose - and organise to change. 

Paul writes: "I think it can only strengthen members faith in the NUT and its leadership when senior officials such as yourself are prepared to attend these functions. Please see the blog below that I read out last week as part of my contribution and that you asked me to send to you. My intentions were not intended to be negative in any way, but to highlight the desperation of teachers. The comments do however seem to reinforce the belief that we need to start being more proactive about the profession's standing and our invaluable contribution to the structure and maintenance of a healthy society". 

Here's some of the letter that Paul read to his AGM:

 "This is a job and a profession that I never thought I would ever leave.

 But right now, my own children and my family need to come first.

There’s a common phrase that is branded around within schools, ‘Every Child Matters’.

And yes, that’s true. However teaching, be it full time or part time is growing increasingly impossible for teachers with their own children. The sheer demand of the job that impacts so heavily on a teacher’s own time, made me grow increasingly resentful for the time I was spending on the children in my class, as opposed to my own children. My own 2 beautiful children who needed their Mummy.

Sadly, it’s more a case of ‘Every Child Matters, apart from your own.’

And I wasn’t prepared for that to be the case, anymore.

No more using my days off to write lesson plans for the following week.

No more spending weekends alone, making resources while the rest of the family head off to the park.

No more rushing or skipping a bedtime story so that I can get on with the stacks of marking, every night.

No more hours analysing computer screens of tracking sheets and data spreadsheets.

No more proving progress in order to justify and maintain my salary.

Very sadly, teaching is not a job any more; it’s a lifestyle choice. I wanted to make the choice to change my lifestyle. I was missing out on my children.

Regretfully, the number of qualified teachers leaving the profession is only going to rise, if nothing is done to change the unrealistic conditions of service.

 Eventually there are not going to be enough teachers for the number of children in Britain and therefore, is the focus on pupil led learning and the under utilisation of a teacher’s skillset, a way of opening the door for unqualified staff?

I am genuinely concerned about who will be teaching my own children, when they get to school age. It’s not acceptable to simply just have a body at the front of the classroom.

For our education system to rival the best in the world, we need to retain experienced staff who are experts in their field, who have trained and dedicate their careers to helping our children grow".

For the full post, read:

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