Secret Teacher: we need to stay positive for the sake of our students

The first Secret Teacher of the new year acknowledges that 2013 was a very challenging year for teachers but then suggests there are some positive things that can be picked out too. This is from the Guardian

…Ofsted finally saw sense and confirmed that they do not favour “a particular teaching style”. This goes some way to shifting the focus of what we do back to our students and, hopefully, as a result will remind us every day of the reasons each of us choose to teach.

(For a longer, and brilliant, explanation about why this is such a good result for teachers, see the Why that Ofsted news is so important post on the Scenes from the Battleground blog.)

The ability to collaborate with like-minded people has never been so readily available, and technology can bridge the miles between us all. If you aren’t on Twitter, just do it – once you get over the initial information overload, and accept that you are never going to read every tweet, it’s the best motivation ever.

This summer will see the result of the changes to the school league tables. As a maths teacher, I know the importance that is placed on school league tables and even though they will still exist in 2014, these changes should make comparisons fairer, and may even be a move away from the extremely blunt measure of five A*-Cs, including English and maths.

We have yet another change to the curriculum. But let’s be honest, we’re getting good at dealing with these changes now. It’s really no biggie. In fact, it will give us the opportunity to fine-tune and develop our best practice further and ditch the bits that don’t work so well. I am really excited about what we’re going to do and how we are going to implement these changes.

Teaching is a rewarding career that allows us to make a difference.I truly believe that teaching is, for 99.9% of the time, the best job in the world. Trust me, I have other careers behind me to make some comparisons. The impact we can make as teachers is immense – every day we have the opportunity to make a difference.

Hopefully, on new year’s eves in years to come, some of the students I’ve taught might be sitting around and mention me as someone who made a difference to them. That’s my aim. I’d be happy for just one student to say that I encouraged them to do something differently to achieve their goals. Some of you will have been lucky enough to know you have made a profound difference to someone, but in most cases we’ll never know about it. Either way, we can’t achieve this without positivity, optimism and resilience.

This week’s Secret Teacher works at a secondary school in the midlands.

More at:  Secret Teacher: we need to stay positive for the sake of our students

Your thoughts on this Secret Teacher’s desire to remain positive? What would you pick out from the last year that gives you a sense of optimism? Please share in the comments or on twitter… 

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