Saturday, 23 October 2010

Those who can, do: those who can't, teach

I was rather touched this week to read about the poor guy who gained the dubious honour of being the first teacher "banned for life for being useless". Part of me feels to compelled to say that some of my old schoolmasters were regarded as pretty useless, but largely escaped the consequences of it - apart from being played up by us all the time! And that was the main yardstick by which we all judged a "good" teacher, basically because if the teacher couldn't keep order in lessons, no-one learned anything. Or at the very least, it was an uphill struggle.

And I'd therefore argue that it's every bit as important for today's pupils as it was for us... and for the same reason. However, that doesn't seem to have featured in the General Teaching Council's reasoning, perhaps because it's a tricky thing to measure or quantify. They cite poor lesson planning (which for us was a non-issue: all the teacher had to do was remember where we'd got to in the textbook and carry on from where we'd left off) and delayed marking (which a lot of our Masters were guilty of, although we did always get our homework back eventually).

But then - and it isn't clear what standards prevailed at the school concerned here - teaching an O-level stream or A-level set in a Grammar School would at least in theory have attracted a high standard of applicant, as well as giving our Headmaster an incentive to do something about anyone who didn't come up to scratch.

No comments:

Post a Comment