This post is inspired by a link that a fellow teacher friend posted on Facebook this morning to a newspaper article where once again Gove tells us teachers how truly rubbish we are. For anyone interested, here's the article - Bad teachers 'blight children's future', Michael Gove warns.
I don't disagree with the point in theory, a bad teacher does, to some extent, limit a child's education. The problem with that statement is that according to Gove, it seems like we're all bad teachers. Gove seems to be constantly telling as that we're not good enough, that we're not trained enough because we should all have at least a Masters, that our children are under performing and it's all our fault, that we're not willing to play our part and pull our weight... in summary, we're just plain crap.
Now, this got me thinking. What would happen if I turned around to my class of Year 2 children and told them that they just weren't good enough? Not that they needed to improve or then gave them the support to do that, just that they were rubbish, that they weren't pulling their weight, that they weren't achieving well enough, that even though they were working flat out exhausting themselves, they just weren't trying hard enough. What would happen? Well I'd be out on my ear before I could mutter P45. As teachers we know that being negative, critical and generally insulting isn't the way to get the best out of our children, instead we try to be positive, rewarding and supportive, it's just a shame that Ofsted and Gove don't do the same. That attitude and behaviour that would see us out of a job is the very attitude that we see day in day out from Gove and his minions. In my opinion low morale = low performance. Gove says all these things yet wonders why teachers aren't performing well enough? Also how can we perform well enough if the goal posts keep shifting, when satisfactory is no longer satisfactory? May if us teachers didn't have to waste, I mean spend so much of our time jumping through unending hoops just to tick boxes we'd actually be able to spend more time focusing on what really matters, the children, and we'd do a better job.
I'm sick of constantly hearing Michael Gove, who has never been a teacher, who doesn't even have a background in education tell me how rubbish we're all doing. I'm tired of hearing from older teachers about how they wouldn't like to be starting out their career now amongst all of this. Yes it might well be true, we probably know that already, but do I as a fresh faced NQT really want to hear what a bad time it is to become a teacher and that it'll only get worse? No, I really don't. I want to be told stories about children's lives that have been turned around, I want to hear about that P scale Year 2 who finally managed to write her own name, I want to hear about the elective mute in Year 4 who decided that she finally trusted you enough to talk to you, I want to hear about that boy in Year 6 who got a level 4 in his English when he never even dreamed it was possible. Those are the things I want to hear, not what a tough job it is these days.