March 7, 2011

A broken record


There’s a good article in the paper today about teaching conditions with the headline “More teachers, but fewer staying the course”. 

A team of education researchers who have spent the past nine years interviewing teachers… argue that chronic teacher shortages won't be solved as long as governments keep failing to confront the reasons why large numbers of teachers desert their jobs early.

"Teaching is one of the few professions where beginners are put into the deep end, almost thoughtlessly. If governments are serious about reducing attrition rates and improving the quality of teaching, then where are the structured, systematic programs that ease teachers into the complexity and diversity of their work?"

Does the exhaustion ever stop?  The fatigue after teaching (or at least attempting to teach, I’m pretty sure there was close to no learning going on in class today) sets in after the adrenalin wears off and it’s hours since the students have left the school but I still haven’t recovered.  I sound like a broken record both on this blog and in class. 


“Adam, get your feet off the chair” every 5 minutes.  “Adam, if I see you put your feet up again, I’m writing a behaviour report.”  “OK I’m writing up a report.”

“Ok listening now.  I’m counting to 3.”  “Shut up guys, she’s counting!”


I’ve been getting a lot better at managing behaviour.  Now I just need to figure out how to stop them from saying classic lines like, “I’m gonna stab you in the face”.


So much patience required to teach children.  They’re at a senior school but some have the maturity of a 13 year olds.  I keep hearing their voices in my head, around and around and around.


A positive story today:  one of the most disengaged students, a young teenage mum, worked the hardest today.  She was amazing, on-task, keen to do all the work and super engaged.  She was recently suspended for a week and usually has a teacher’s aide with her to help.  I’m really happy to see her working hard and being excited about human rights.  She wrote a story about a homeless girl who had been raped.  In the story, the girl gets picked up by a man and she thinks he’s going to rape her too, but he ends up marrying her and providing a home and security and they live happily ever after. 

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