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Important.

This post is by an experienced school leader, who is leaving teaching. He has written a very comprehensive and measured statement about why he’s leaving teaching. As  he says, it’s a problem that needs more public concern. The crisis in the teaching profession is not just about a bunch of stroppy leftie types bucking against the government. Teachers are key to the country’s success or failure. Like he says – why should you care that people are leaving teaching in droves?  Who do you think is going to educate the next generation’s doctors, lawyers, businesspeople, engineers, skilled technicians…?  Hard working, caring invested professionals or just anyone with a pulse? Well, who do you want teaching your kids?

Why I’m leaving teaching…and why you should care.

For the Fallen

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning

We Will Remember Them

An Inspirational man

WW1: 17 Million dead

WW2: over 60 million dead (nearly 3% of the world population of the time)

Generations of young men, called up to a life that could not have imagined. Convinced by propaganda that they were doing the right thing. Killed in their prime, brothers fathers sons lost to society. Poor training, lack of equipment, and total chaos. They must have been terrified but they fought anyway.

*Heroes*

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 It seemed that out of the battle I escaped
Down some profound dull tunnel, long since scooped
Through granites which Titanic wars had groined.
Yet also there encumbered sleepers groaned,
Too fast in thought or death to be bestirred.
Then, as I probed them, one sprang up, and stared
With piteous recognition in fixed eyes,
Lifting distressful hands as if to bless.
And by his smile, I knew that sullen hall;
By his dead smile, I knew we stood in Hell.
With a thousand fears that vision’s face was grained;
Yet no blood reached there from the upper ground,
And no guns thumped, or down the flues made moan.
“Strange, friend,” I said, “Here is no cause to mourn.”
“None,” said the other, “Save the undone years,
The hopelessness. Whatever hope is yours,
Was my life also; I went hunting wild
After the wildest beauty in the world,
Which lies not calm in eyes, or braided hair,
But mocks the steady running of the hour,
And if it grieves, grieves richlier than here.
For by my glee might many men have laughed,
And of my weeping something has been left,
Which must die now. I mean the truth untold,
The pity of war, the pity war distilled.
Now men will go content with what we spoiled.
Or, discontent, boil bloody, and be spilled.
They will be swift with swiftness of the tigress,
None will break ranks, though nations trek from progress.
Courage was mine, and I had mystery;
Wisdom was mine, and I had mastery;
To miss the march of this retreating world
Into vain citadels that are not walled.
Then, when much blood had clogged their chariot-wheels
I would go up and wash them from sweet wells,
Even with truths that lie too deep for taint.
I would have poured my spirit without stint
But not through wounds; not on the cess of war.
Foreheads of men have bled where no wounds were.
I am the enemy you killed, my friend.
I knew you in this dark; for so you frowned
Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed.
I parried; but my hands were loath and cold.
Let us sleep now . . .”

by Wilfred Owen

(died 4th November 1918 – 7 days before the Armistice)

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The end of Our Profession.

Originally, I posted it on Facebook but Mrs Ramsay asked me to put it here:

I don’t understand why this isn’t being made more of:
“Academies can set their own terms for teachers’ pay and conditions, they don’t have to follow the national curriculum, and if qualified teacher status is abolished, they will have much more flexibility in who can be hired.”

The government have basically said ‘clearly, teachers don’t agree with us, so lets deconstruct their whole profession around them because clearly they’re a bunch of left-liberals, and it’s a job anyone can do’ – national pay and conditions meant that teachers in rough birmingham comprehensives where everything is in short supply were paid the same as those teaching in posh grammar schools in the south east where the annual ski trip costs a grand and is absolutely de rigeur…..and qualified teacher status meant that you were a highly trained post graduate professional….. i don’t know what to say…..

Insult of the Week #3

It’s been an interesting week – this afternoon witnessed something that will forever more be known as the ‘Jam Tart Incident’.

I’m awarding an honourable mention for

Hey Miss! Lick My Shoes.‘ and something I heard on Tuesday that I can’t remember.

But this week’s insult of the week is:

 

“Oh, go choke on a lego brick!”

 

 

Feed, Clothe, Care for, Educate….

A teacher’s remit is wider than people realise. Pretty much every teacher I know has worked with kids who come to school hungry – sometimes because there’s no food at home, some times because there is no one at home to make sure they have breakfast. I remember a kid who’d be given £1 to get breakfast on the way to school – and who’d turn up in form time with a massive slab of chocolate, pretty much every day for the whole year.

We’ve all taught kids with holey clothes, flappy shoes, no lunch, grimy faces, constant lice…. We do everything we can to plug the gaps. These are children not of ‘scroungers’ or ‘layabouts’ but of people who work so called ‘minimum wage’ jobs, on zero hours contracts, who don’t get tax credits any more. These people are part of the governments ’employment statistics’. Just because they are employed, it DOES NOT equate to improved standards of living – in fact quite the reverse. Parents working shifts, leaving kids to look after themselves, still not able to afford things like school uniforms, or the ever increasing price of the laundrette and prepaid electricity.

Meanwhile, the government bang on that teachers need to do more about this and more about that – if we weren’t so busy worrying about the welfare of the children in front of us and the increasingly poor circumstances many of them find themselves in, if schools weren’t being used as social catcalls for the poverty and deprivation in this country, required to: provide hot meals, after-school babysitting (sorry cross-curricula enrichment), social care and guidance, and prevent terrorism, then maybe we could focus on education but as it is, some things are more important.

It scares me how quickly the government seem to have undone our social welfare system and begun returning us to a Victorian morality – the rich get rich, the poor get cholera….. Anyway, enough ranting. The brass tacks are basically that more and more kids are being picked up at school because they need social care and because there’s no one else to do it, the teachers are.

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