Rules are always made about others, never about oneself. When something draconian is brought in, playing to the gallery, it’s nauseating.
I’ve been in many jobs not education related and they’ve ranged from the cushy [civil servant] to the tough [storeman and head of a school]. This blog has many times been down on today’s so-called education, lefty teachers and teacher training – all of that.
One thing it is not down on is the holidays. I’d like to put a two year curriculum into your hands, with your targets for 80% of the students in your class, give you 35 chavs of both sexes in a middling urban area, two-thirds of them ethnic and ask you to get on with it. How many days would you last? How many hours?
If Gove had said let’s rearrange summer holidays – fine, let’s. Let’s make them three lots of three weeks and one lot of four weeks in summer. Not a problem. Good for parents, good for staff, good for children.
But the idea of teacher bashing from a position of complete non-understanding of what’s involved – Gove can go take a hike. Some comments at the Telegraph:
As an overpaid teacher who enjoys a cushy job with excessive holidays it never ceases to amaze me that the many posters on threads such as this who work in jobs so much harder than ours for poor pay and no holidays never think of re-training to become a teacher.
After all there is a shortage of teachers in Britain so they should be able to get a job, then they can stop whinging about how easy it is to be a teacher and enjoy a cushy overpaid job.
If this nutty idea goes ahead, there’ll be an even bigger shortage. This whole story is cynical populism, designed to bring out the foaming-mouthed teacher-haters, and it’s worked a treat.
Sure enough, one idiot with no understanding whatever:
Teachers….Man up and work normal hours.
I’ll say it again – I’ve been in jobs which officially worked longer hours per day and days per year but stated hours were actual hours. They’re not with teachers of any merit.
Here’s a comment on that:
Started work at 7.45 this morning, taught 5 hours of lessons, ran the admin for my form, lost my protected preparation time to dealing with a parent, left school at 4.30, just about to start the evening’s marking and prep for tomorrow. Expect to finish around 10.30pm. That’s an average day and I work most of the weekends and a large part of the holidays.
Most of the teachers I know work exactly the same hours.
I can confirm that in the private sector at least, that is so. A typical day will come out to around 8-9 hours once you have it down to a fine art and then maybe 6 hours on the weekend planning the next week, often on a Sunday evening.
The stress level can vary enormously as you’re dealing with limited people who have no stake in things being calm and collected. One does get on top of it and then it’s not so stressful but I’ve seen staff under great strain.
Don’t get me wrong – many criticisms are valid:
Performance management for teachers is non existent. When has a teacher been dismissed for poor performance? I mean for example turning up for work every day on time but doing a bad job?
The low performers get nudged out to leave with a glowing reference in order to palm them off to the next unfortunate school to fall for it.
In the private sector they do but I take the point. And:
GCSE’s – you couldn’t make it up. Teachers allowing kids to re-submit course work 6 and 7 times until its at the right level.
Special intervention classes to get people upto the holy grail “C” grade. Thus devaluing any children who are actually at that level.
That’s so and needs to be addressed. Heads need to roll. But that’s a different issue to holidays. I can only say walk a mile in a teacher’s shoes and see what you say then about his or her holidays.