It was at 7.30 on a Friday evening, having obediently “rounded the corners” of the pictures I was using for my classroom display, that I realised I wanted to leave teaching. I had stayed late in preparation for a school governors review the following Monday. One former teacher writes in the Yorkshire Post.
We had been told to get “something on every wall” by the assistant head in charge of classroom displays (yes, such a title does exist). This is just an example of the menial tasks undertaken by teachers to please the powers that be that have no discernible use to students.
This is not meant as the rant of a disgruntled former teacher – though I am. Nor is it meant to frustrate those who work similarly hard or harder in their own careers. It is meant to give an insight into what teachers actually do – and why we are leaving the profession in our droves.
For me, the kids were never the problem. Behaviour management comes under your remit as a teacher. It’s a skill. A skill that you can work on. Something you can get better at. Something you control.
Beyond your control are the hours spent each week on activities that your school requires you to do. Some of these tasks benefit the students, but most (unbelievably) do not.
The data entry in duplicate or triplicate that’s never looked at or used. The multiple stamps (my record was eight) you’re required to use in every student’s book when marking every fortnight.
The strict guidelines on what has to be included in every lesson, removing the possibility of implementing any real teaching style or an atmosphere of enthusiasm among the students.
The meetings. The pointless meetings. The irony of a two-hour seminar on the “work-life balance”. Being talked through time-management, marking timetables and various other superficial, patronising methods of finding that elusive “work-life balance”. The teachers in attendance thinking only about what they could be doing with the two hours that they were wasting.
The convoluted behaviour management strategies that teachers, students and parents never truly understand.
Read the full article Why mountains of admin and pointless meetings made me quit teaching
Does all this sound too familiar? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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