In 2013 I heard plenty of arguments and debates discussing whether it was becoming too easy to get into teaching, as I’m sure you are all aware, the rules around the employment of unqualified teachers were relaxed in some selected state schools. Rather than covering this aged topic again I’d rather now look at whether the profession of teaching is now getting easier or harder and also how this might affect teachers all over the UK, both qualified and unqualified.
Teaching is certainly an undervalued role especially within the UK and not many people actually take the time to understand what a difficult profession it is.
I’m not for one minute suggesting that Teaching is now an easy job to do by asking whether it’s getting easier, but the increased amount of training that these teachers receive whilst in their position must go some way towards making their jobs easier? Further to that there are now all manner of technologies including data tracking systems and interactive whiteboards available to a high number of teachers, surely their jobs are getting easier? Well you might think so but I certainly don’t.
On the subject of teacher training, yes they are learning things that can potentially help them better their teaching methods and better manage a classroom; however, time is priceless to teachers everywhere as lesson planning takes up so much of it. While it’s all good and well to give teachers access to more and more training, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have time for it.
Time constraints are also the reason that I don’t see data tracking systems and interactive whiteboards as a massive advantage, for younger teachers that might be more in tune with technology they can be easier to get used to; however, what happens if for instance a supply teacher comes in to cover a lesson, having never worked with an interactive whiteboard? Do we expect the supply teaching agency to deliver the training on a ‘just-in-case’ basis? I don’t think we can. My point is that these technologies take time to get used to and sap up valuable planning time.
I can see the benefits of this technology and particularly the introduction of technologies for pupils to use. The lives of young people revolve around technology and giving them access to the tools they use at home can encourage them to engage with their learning. These tools can help a teacher make learning more fun, without losing purpose and direction.
Further to the above, teachers nowadays have lost a massive amount of control over what they can do to manage their classroom, a trend that is set to continue. Now of course practices such as caning are not applicable in today’s world but I think that for some children this loss of power has lead to a loss of fear and thus, a lack of respect. Some children of the current generation don’t respect the police, so what chance does a teacher have? Schools and supply teaching agencies can’t be expected to keep up with the developing world of teaching with increased training sessions and technologies.
So what’s the solution? Well the problem is that teachers, both full-time and supple alike, are just too stretched and busy, they need to be better supported. Supplying tools that will help teachers network with each other and learn from their colleagues is the solution, let teachers properly support each other. Technology is always changing but the way in which children best learn isn’t.