Monday, March 24, 2008

First They Came For The Loonies...

Recruitment drive as mentally ill teachers asked back to school

Well obviously, the NUT conference has finished now so where else are the delegates going to go back to?
Teachers who have been declared unfit to work in the classroom are being approached in a “desperate” recruitment drive to fill vacancies in key subject areas, the National Union of Teachers said yesterday.
This must be the first time in recorded history that the NUT have tried to stop someone teaching just because they happen to be unfit for the job.

In other NUT news:
Schools should return to an early 1980s style of liberal education with more time for play and less rigid methods of teaching children to read, according to the largest teachers' union.

Citing mounting evidence of a crisis in children's happiness and mental health, the National Union of Teachers will today debate calls to scrap the most restrictive elements of the national curriculum and reverse a government order that literacy be taught through phonics.

"Teachers want a return to a system which is liberal and flexible and not top-down [and] imposed by government. We want a return to a time when there was a potential for magic moments in the classroom," said Steve Sinnott, the general secretary of the NUT.

For all that the 1980s is considered a right wing decade, it was actually where the left reached an high water mark of influence in many sectors including education. I grew up in that decade and had a headmistress from the age of 5 to 8 who believed that children shouldn't be forced to learn. It seemed to involve a lot of playing with plasticine and little actual learning (I can't recall any books that I read at school in those years for example), if I hadn't spent my very first year at a school that thought that literacy was kind of important I don't know what would have happened.

That doesn't mean that a less prescriptive approach to teaching is off limits, it's just that the freedom to teach flexibly can only happen if it is combined with a freedom to choose schools and a freedom for schools to sack under performing teachers.


James Higham said...

Think you need to be mentally ill to teach these days anyway.

Ross said...

The unstable teachers are quite good st maintaining a sense of discipline I'd imagine.