Why aren’t teachers treated as professionals?

On Friday I was walking around my classroom checking pupils’ progress and I noticed one of them had written God (in terms of Christianity) with a lowercase ‘g’. She had done so in a pencil so I sat down with her, rubbed out the ‘g’ and asked if she knew why I had done it. She asked: “Is it because it is a name?” I said yes and we discussed further that this might change if it were a different religion and she put in a capital with her pencil. Fingers crossed, she’ll recall this for next lesson, a good example of live marking. But, of course, there’s no evidence that this took place. One teacher writes in Tes.

What if this was the case for all my books? What if there was no written marking, no green pen, no WWW or EBI? Would it matter to those who came in and looked? I’m not sure anymore.

Sometimes I get the feeling that simply sitting down talking, and well, teaching, pupils just isn’t enough. Surely it should be.

I can tell you about my pupils, I can tell you what I have done, how they’ve progressed in my subject. When you want to know about my class, just ask.

I could write it on a lesson plan, a seating plan, in marking but guess what’s quicker? Asking me.

I get that it takes longer to go around and ask everyone if they know their pupils and checking they’ve made a difference. But imagine what it could do for teachers’ sense of professionalism if the four following changes were made:

  1. It was made clear that the SLT don’t expect to see lots of marking, but instead lots of lines through the work and rubbing out.

  2. Staff are spoken to after an observation before it’s written up. Allowing them to explain the lesson opens a dialogue and ensures that any important parts weren’t missed.

  3. Allow evidence to be kept in a teacher’s head. It’s a waste of time to ask a teacher to write something out, and the time could be better spent. If they can’t prove it, then suggest writing it might be a good strategy for that individual (not a policy for all).

  4. Trust the outcomes and trust the teacher. They’re the professional after all.

Read the full article Why aren’t teachers treated as professionals?

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

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