Saturday, 1 May 2010

I was 'Good'

...according to the Ofsted inspector. Not wishing to crow, but every so often the inspectors move the goalposts and make it that little bit harder, so teaching a 'good' lesson only a week into my primary teaching job is a real big deal for me under the new guidelines. At this stage I would have been happy with a 'satisfactory' judgement, but when i received my feedback and he said it was good I nearly fell off the chair with shock.

It's funny (and sad) to think that this time last year I had totally lost confidence in myself as a teacher due to lack of support over discipline in the school i was teaching in... i really thought i just couldn't do it any more, and as teaching had been such a big part of my life for over 20 years it hit me hard.

It's a coincidence that there have been the reports of the court case this week of the experienced and well liked science teacher who was made so ill by his job that he attacked one of the pupils. Although I was nowhere near as ill as this guy, and was able to return to work within 3 months successfully, I recognised some of the elements of the lesson where he' lost it'. The kids were organised in their disobedience and disruption, it was planned, and worse for him, they filmed it. I recall standing in front of classes of upper school kids last year for the first time ever in my teaching career, with a large group of kids totally refusing to do anything I asked them to, using foul language, telling me i was a "f****** crap teacher" to my face.

I knew I could do nothing about it, as the Head had told me the week before that I was 'too harsh' with my classes (something my unsupportive Head of Department had told her). I probably would have gone off sick after Christmas if it hadn't been for the help of a friend of mine who was an advisor, and my colleagues within the department, which helped me to hang on until March.

I haven't really spoken about the whole episode publically until now, to be honest i was worried i wouldn't be able to work in teaching again, as i would be relying on the Head for a reference... now i'm officially 'good' again that's not the case. So, where is this post going.... I think many parents would be totally shocked if they saw the way their children behaved in many of our Secondary schools, and yet others continue to back their children despite the most extreme evidence about appalling behaviour. We cannot continue to ignore the effect this minority of children is having on the education of the rest who want to learn, and on the health of a large section of the teaching profession.

Who else goes to work to be defied, abused and belittled on a daily basis?......... for some of us this has been our every day working experience.

Nuff of this heavy stuff... craft tomorrow.


Clarky J said...

Well done on your "good". I think every parent should read your post to gain some understanding of the stresses involved with secondary school teaching. Im not a teacher but have heard horror stories from my own 3 kids of what pupils have said and done to their teachers. As for being too strict -the 2 teachers I had who were strict with our classes are the ones I remember as believing I could be better than I believed myself. My one 0 level was for maths where my teacher was very stict but encouraged us to believe in ourselves. the other was for German and I moved up 3 grades of cse when I moved into his class. Strict but encouraging were the qualities i remember.

Ladkyis said...

I really do believe that we have taught our children to behave like this. My generation (post war baby boomers) had to wait for everything so we were determined that our children would have more. Then suddenly in the eighties we had this culture of "everything for youth" so now we have children that are forbidden nothing. There is little discpline or self discpline and until we can somehow get out of this hedonistic lifestyle we are as doomed as the Roman Empire...
~realises everyone is staring in amazement, so sidles out of the door~

Colleen said...

As a high school at-risk teacher in the states, I would have to agree with you. If some of these parents saw they way there children behaved they would shocked. I also have a few parents that would see nothing wrong with their child's behavior. We are doing our children a disservice by not demanding that they grow up and behave.

Anonymous said...

Firstly Ann I applaud you for "going public" with your story. It must have been very depressing for you to have been ignored by your head when you obviously needed help.
Secondly, I'm so happy for you to have found your inner strength and battled on. It must have taken some guts to have gone on teaching and I'm glad you're now in the Good category.
Thirdly, I agree we've sown what we reap to a point, but it's not just the parents to blame. I think society in general has become self centred and weak.
My own son has found out what life is about as he was a 60's boom child who has been out of work for 18 months He had to learn the hard lesson and is still learning.

SusieJ said...

Well done Ann! I so totally agree with you about the pupils of today.
I could possibly have carried on teaching despite my deafness - if I'd had support. The final straw was a disruptive girl in Year 8 who commented that "It's OK - the deaf bitch can't hear me". Her form tutor wouldn't hear a bad word about ANY of the pupils in her class great support from her (not!). Thanks for sharing your story.
I'm so pleased you're getting your confidence back.
Sue xx

sue-bubbles said...

Welldone on being good Ann, totally well deserved I am sure. I felt, reading between the lines over the last months, that you had been up against it in your previous post - it saddens me to the core how such horrid behaviour is condoned...and as it is not punished or dealt with effectively - it is condoned. One wonders if there is any way back from this situation...I hope so or we are all done for :( On a very positive note, the primary school children who have you as their teacher Ann, do at least have a very good start on their road to learning and to being decent human beings! Keep up the GREAT work Ann!
Sue x

Kim said...

Well Done Ann, That is great news I am so pleased for you. You always were a good teacher and now you have ben told officially.

I know exactly where you are coming from, working in a secondary school myself, I have seen too many good teachers leave teaching because of the unruly and disruptive students, with lack of support from the school and parents. Still with lady you are too good to lose.


jackie(worcs) said...

Ann- fantastic news on you Ofsted 'good' - what a confidence boost. You were so brave to go back into teaching after your previous experiences and Im so pleased that its all working out for you!
Jackie :-)