I met a new young teacher the other day. She had only been teaching a few years and was fresh with the fire of enthusiasm, love of children, and her new job.
Why then did I have that sinking image of yet another lamb going to the slaughter on the altar of the education system?
Because I’ve seen it happen so many times. And because only a few minutes into our conversation she’s voicing her shock and dismay over the incessant and destructive testing of children, the disruptive effect of SATs and learning objectives wasting their time when all she wants to do is inspire kids to learn. She also talks about the awful pressure teachers are put under, often bringing out the less pleasant side of personalities, in their fear to survive.
Since she and many, many other teachers think that schooling is totally losing its way with the education of the young, since thousands and thousands of parents are opting to home educate, since parents of school children are becoming increasingly anxious, and since many teacher/parents are also taking their children out of school because they know that what goes on there is not good for kids’ development, it beggars belief that the politicians who’ve created this increasingly damaging system can remain so staggeringly blind and ignorant to what’s really happening
What’s really happening is that parents and teachers and children are leaving the system in droves. You’d think politicians would at least be intelligent enough to ask why that is.
I worry this new teacher will be another one, poor lamb! I wonder how long her enthusiasm and passion will last before it’s tarnished by the pitiful processing of kids that politics demands of teachers and another enthusiastic teacher is lost.
A good teacher can ignite the fire of learning passion.
I see too many ending up doing the opposite because, so sadly, their own fires inevitably become extinguished.