Thursday, 31 January 2013

Is teaching a profession?

Now, I am not one for attacking teachers, they generally do a brilliant job often in trying circumstances. I for one would not relish the prospect of a classfull of sometimes disruptive, sometimes challenging, sometimes 'lost' pupils, with no escape route for when I have had enough.

This blog on the Sutton Trust's website however, challenges the suggestion that teaching is a profession.

I would want to differentiate between whether teaching is a profession and whether (all) teachers are professionals. Let's be honest, in some schools we can find those who do the minimum and 'deserve' to be performance managed (or whatever the latest vogue term is for saying "you are not performing to the required standard, either get with the programme or get out"), just as we find exemplars.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

What would the pupils think?

We end every meeting with the question "How has our time today contributed to improving learning outcomes for pupils?" The discipline of addressing this questions flows through to both agenda generation and our work in the meetings and really focusses the mind.
I commented at the end of yesterday's Raising Attainment Working Group that, apart from all the rational stuff about curriculum and teaching approaches etc, it just felt like one of the most worthwhile meetings I had attended for some time.
This observation got me thinking about two issues - firstly the place of feeling in modern-day education (as a people-developer and leadership coach I subscribe to the view that the Western approach to business misses a trick by being too rational) but much more importantly "I wonder what our pupils would have made of that meeting?" After all, it is ultimately for their benefit that we spend all this tine in meetings and it would be really interesting to find a way for our primary pupils to express an opinion on how they thought we were helping.
I would be really interested in hearing from anyone who has sought the views of their pupils on the usefulness of GBs etc.