Friday, January 13, 2012

Getting rid of under-performing Teachers

Whilst I'm all in favour of getting rid of hopeless teachers, the problem we have is that teachers are being pressurised by their schools, their training and Ofsted themselves to adopt teaching methods that would be considered barking mad by any intelligent outsider.

Bright parents (and pupils) just laugh at nonsense such as 'peer reviews', 'question grading', 'market place activities' and all the other bizarre things that we are encouraged to waste the pupils' time with. However these practices get you lots of praise from those whom you must answer to, so what should a poor teacher do?

There is also a move to allow parents to come into lessons to see how the teacher performs. I think that many parents should be forced to attend school to see how poorly their own child behaves.

15 comments:

musicalj2 said...

I was given a Kindle for Christmas and have been recuperating from a serious operation whilst reading your books. I failed my first year TP in the 70's and went into other career(s). I can only thank God I did. I knew the writing was on the wall when a fellow student gave me her essay to read, containing 147 spelling mistakes. Her Main Subject? Need you ask - English!

Anonymous said...

I listened to two representatives of your proffession on 5 Live this morning arguing that an 'appalling teacher' was not the same as one that 'under performs' FFS

Sue Sims said...

I asked my (bright) Year 12 English Language AS group yesterday what they thought about the various techniques teachers are now supposed to employ. They all agreed that they hated group work more than anything else, and most enjoyed 'chalk-and-talk', with discussion input from the class. As one of them said: "What's the point of spending an hour trying to work out what you could tell us in five minutes?"

Boy on a bike said...

I went to a P&C meeting last year where the Principal proudly demonstrated their new system for in-class teacher evaluations, and the teachers scored highest if they spent a lot of time doing group work etc, and minimal points if they stuck with chalk and talk.

Oh dear.....time to find another school.

Anonymous said...

To Sue Simms
If you don't know the difference, then I am amazed.

If you have worked something out for yourself, then you will never forget how to do it and you will also have a sense of achievement from doing so.

Compare that to having something given to you on a plate without having to work for it.

You are supposed to be teaching the kids to think for themselves, not spoon feeding them to pass the exams.

Dack said...

Like the 'uncaring' nurses... they create the beast then persecute it.

Anonymous said...

The idea of getting parents in (it would have to be without their childs's knowledge) to see how badly their child behaves is pure genius.

If only there was a way round the child protection laws so that lessons could be filmed secretly.

The TEFL Tradesman said...

I honestly think that they should bring back the village stocks for bad students AND bad teachers.

It would do the profession AND our education system a whole world of good!

Malcolm said...

I took early redundancy last year after being branded a failing teacher, even though pupil progress in my class was always the highest in the school. The Head said that this wasn't the point, I wasn't teaching in the "new" correct fashion.

Anonymous said...

"I think that many parents should be forced to attend school to see how poorly their own child behaves. "

Me too!

In fact, I used to invite them. Maybe CCTV would help?

Anonymous said...

Sue Simms--I agree with your pupils. Why should every member of the class reinvent the wheel? Anonymous--I used to get FE students who could neither accept/assimilate conventional wisdom, served up on a plate, or work out their own salvation. What then? Their learning journey then becomes long and time consuming quite often stopping short of the destination.
We can't all work out our own versions of Pythagoras' theorem, logarithms, sine (etc) rule, formula for solving quadratic equations, Faraday's right/left hand rule, Kirschoff's law, Ohm's law, values for atmospheric pressure.....These are passed on via books and lectures, then by use in written exercises. Many of my students couldn't tell the difference between a 45 degree setsquare and a 60/30, or calculate the perimeter of a circle.
As for Pi, that's a button on the calculator, but they can't attribute a value to it(three and one seventh, 22/7, 3.142...how then, can they assess whether the answer displayed on their calculator is somewhere near right?
FE students arrive from school incapable of listening quietly, and accepting that performing written work, including calculations may benefit them in the long term.
I've given up, how do the Germans do it? Every German I meet seems well educated and at least bilingual (with a better command of English than many of my students!)

Anonymous said...

I come from South Africa and our education system is failing our kids. A lot of the teaching methods work in theory, but in practice it doesn't work for a class oof 39-40 students with limited resources ( and no assistant) available. However, I disagree with your comment on peer review. In my experience, if the student is made aware of the seriousness of the issue, they work extremely well! I often find that students value the oraise of their peers much higher than that of their teachers. If used correctly it can serve as a powerful motivational tool.

Anonymous said...

I come from South Africa and our education system is failing our kids. A lot of the teaching methods work in theory, but in practice it doesn't work for a class oof 30-40 students with limited resources ( and no assistent) available. However, I disagree with the comment on peer reviews. In my experience, if the student is made aware of the seriousness of the issue, they work extremely well! I often find that students value the praise of their peers much higher than that of their teachers. If used correctly it can serve as a powerful motivational tool, as well as give an inside glance to the piggyback riders in group work.

Anonymous said...

I hinted to an unruly class that, from the following term, tutors would be wearing cameras similar to police ones, in order that their behaviour could be recorded and displayed to parents, guardians and Senior management, for disciplinary purposes.

Their shocked reaction confirmed for me a long held belief that lack of good records of poor behaviour in schools, and anonymity in the street give children carte blanche to behave as they choose. They were not keen on their misdemeanours being recorded.

Stephan White said...

I think that many parents should be forced to attend school to see how poorly their own child behaves.
Glyn Willmoth