This hour long programme gives an insight into the incredible range of opinions about schools, teaching and the education profession in England. Listen to it and be aware of the degrees of ignorance and prejudice surrounding schools and people who work within them. The goveite headteacher’s comments deserve special attention.
Teachers’ concerns include pressure, abuse, stress, top-heavy management, unrealistic targets, teaching to the tests, central government directives, aggressive Ofsted inspections, long working hours, performance-related pay, class sizes, demoralisation, ill health, not having time or energy for a personal life, and ridiculous deadlines.
Several people who phoned in with their thoughts on teachers being unhappy and leaving the profession in droves were of the opinion that teachers should realise that this is what life is like for most people – so put up or shut up.
Such people need to understand that teachers are not like most people, and that teaching is not like most jobs. These people can never understand that a typical Primary or Early Years teacher, for example, is responsible for the wellbeing, the learning and the safety of a large group of children with very mixed needs for day after day after day. Whilst there’s a lot of joy in this work it’s often draining to the point of exhaustion – and that’s true even when there are no other factors (see above) impacting negatively on them.
Do we really want teachers who are demoralised and exhausted working with our children and grandchildren? Do we really want them to put up or shut up?