Is the new teacher career strategy a game-changer?

Teaching is about adjusting to the here-and-now of particular students. Things that work one day may not work the next. What can be done quickly with one group has to be taken very slowly with another group. What one student finds easy to understand may confuse another student. In order to navigate the complexity of the circumstances in which the teacher works, it is not possible just to follow a recipe. As a teacher, you must make adaptations. Tes reports.

If ever we had a dissection of the art of great teaching, real teaching, it is here, in this glorious reminder that teachers are engaged in something profound, complex and not prone to shortcuts or quick fixes.

That’s why we should welcome the government’s commitment to developing a long-awaited teacher career strategy; a plan that begins with a stronger, more robust emphasis on initial teacher induction and then explores the training requirements a teacher might need as their career unfolds. It’s why we should welcome a commitment to a small-scale experiment around teacher sabbaticals.

A sabbatical in which, for example, a teacher enters a university department to undertake research, or goes into industry to look at the application of their subject in the real world, serves many useful purposes. It gives us a way of providing more development opportunities and retaining some of our most experienced teachers. And it brings back new ideas and expertise into our schools, further professionalising our profession.

It may just be that the government’s plans for a teacher career strategy – together with the freeing up of some of the weight of accountability measures that the secretary of state announced last week, and a renewed commitment to cutting teacher workload – could be the game-changer we’ve so long awaited.

There’s still a long way to go. But we may be seeing the first signs of a new environment; one which gives us greater confidence and time to focus on the art of teaching, and spend less time looking over our shoulder at the demands of an over-stringent accountability system.

Read the full article Is the new teacher career strategy a game-changer?

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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