It’s not just parents of school children who are disillusioned with the education system and moving away from it. It’s the teachers too as we regularly read about.
And you have to wonder why that is.
I was talking to another young teacher recently who, despite her ‘outstanding’ teaching, was also looking to leave the classroom behind as she’d become so disillusioned with the job.
I asked her why she wanted out. And this is what she told me:
I’m leaving after five years, firstly because of workload. We work from 7:30-5pm Monday to Friday then at least one day spent working at the weekend, plus planning at home during the holidays.
Plans are incredibly in depth for every lesson and to resource and deliver them, with children’s work then assessed and tracked continuously, becomes overwhelming. That’s not to mention the ongoing threat of Ofsted, being observed by senior leaders, the continual change of plans for various visitors and then the complete lack of engagement by parents. Plus this year funding has been cut so drastically that many teachers are spending their own money trying to resource their lessons.
Secondly, there’s just so many lessons being taught everyday that children are being inundated with so much technical information there’s little time to consolidate or reflect. All this is tricky in a well behaved class but when some children in mainstream education have specialist or mental health needs, the teacher must use even more time to differentiate or manage that behaviour which means other children are being left out. The alternative leaves those children who need the most support being looked after by teaching assistants who have the least experience.
Finally and more importantly though, I’m leaving because I just feel that mainstream education, which focuses on attainment and targets and tests, is outdated and doesn’t prepare children for today’s world. I believe that education should be child-led; that it should be brought out of the classroom, yet without another overhaul of the system. I don’t see how that’s possible. So, I can’t stay working to the bone in a system I can’t get behind and I no longer believe in.
So sad that our children are going to lose another inspirational teacher, like so many already lost. (See this article here).
It says an awful lot about the system when, not only do parents feel they want to leave it behind and provide something different for their kids through home educating, but there are so many professionals abandoning it too!