Sunday, November 09, 2008

Education, Education, Education

Sorry about the lack of posts, but I'm still wrestling with the cretins at '3' who no longer broadcast the internet in my area. I'm actually starting to wonder whether a former disgruntled pupil has somehow got a job as an engineer with them and is taking revenge on me. Mind you, as all my former pupils were disgruntled, tracking down the culprit will not be easy.

Here's a good post by 'Nightjack', which neatly sums up the problems in many State Schools. I can vividly remember two occasions where my boss virtually begged me not to phone the Police after a parent threatened me.

State Education suffers from two problems. The first is the behaviour of some pupils and their parents. The second is the Teachers. It is a big taboo in the profession to mention this, but we have an ever increasing number of gullible staff who have been brainwashed by their Training Courses into believing that discipline is a naughty word and that their job is to introduce endless new teaching methods whilst pandering to every whim of each child in their care.

The selection process for promotion then continues to weed out those with the courage to enforce good behaviour, leaving us with a huge number of weak Heads who are afraid to take action because they are not strong enough to resist the pressure from the Government to reduce Expulsions.

There's another article on a similar topic here, and just in case you think that I might be exaggerating the madness in our education system then have a read of this


Anonymous said...

Spot on Mr Chalk, you have summed up the problems with our state system in a nutshell. I have always wondered why the head teachers' unions don't fight many of these new initiatives - thus protecting both their staff and pupils - but yes, it's clear that they have often got where they are because they DON'T. I have also seen for myself how an excellent teacher can be villified and weeded out - at my child's school.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more. Teacher training is now nothing more than a political correctness indoctrination camp. I despair at the lack of subject knowledge combined with an inability to control a class, that is the trademark of so many new teachers.

Anonymous said...

I knew I shouldn't have opened that reflexology link. Now I want to punch someone.

I have written on another forum about the violent assault at our school in which, surprise surprise Somalian boys were centre-stage, although all the other races were quick enough to join in. Of the four main thugs, one is back in school because he said sorry (so that's alright then) but none of the other three is permanently excluded in a way that would spell out to them and the rest of the school that this is armed, premediated, serious criminal violence that hospitalised the single SEN epileptic victim for a fortnight.

They've been found "alternative provision", a part-time timetable of Understanding Chats and self-esteem raising at some fund-sucking quasi-charitable Cuddle-Club. It keeps them off our permanent exclusion statistics but avoids what would have been a walk-out by staff who were disgusted at the gutlessness of our inclusion-at-any-cost policy when it comes to dealing with scum.

Anonymous said...

In many ways, teachers have themselves to blame if there is a second assault on staff in the school.

If a worker in industry (in a fair-sized, unionised firm) suffered facial injuries because a machine threw something out at them, the machine would not run again until the fault was fixed. Teachers, it seems, are ready to accept assault.

I know the above is unfair to many teachers, but too many seem to be willing to go along with assaults either to keep the school's good name (hah!) or to avoid being singled out as a moaner.

This must stop. Teachers' unions must take action after attacks on staff. By law, there must be a safety committee in unionised firms with union representation on the committee. Schools are mostly unionised.

Under the Health & Safety at Work Act (HASAWA), the school owes a duty to its employees to ensure that they work in a safe environment. The duty to pupils is a bit more vague, revolving around loco parentis.

I would suggest that the Department for Education and Young Thugs adopts the following standards:

1) Any physical assault on a member of staff (teaching or otherwise) by anyone is reported to the police, and all assistance is given to to the police.

2) That until the issue is resolved, the school will refuse to accommodate the pupil.

3) Any pupil found to have assaulted a member of staff (on a balance of probability basis) will be expelled.

4) Any other person found to have assaulted a member of staff (on a balance of probability basis) will be banned from the premises and an ASBO sought.

5) Any serious assault on a pupil will be dealt with as if they were a member of staff.

6) We should stop using the expressions "permanent exclusion" instead of "expulsion", and "student" for persons under minimum school leaving age.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link. After my most recent enquiry took me into the heart of darkness experience of 3 local secondary schools, I don't know how teachers even begin to stand it. At least I only have one hand tied behind my back,

Anonymous said...

"It is a big taboo in the profession to mention this, but we have an ever increasing number of gullible staff who have been brainwashed by their Training Courses into believing that discipline is a naughty word and that their job is to introduce endless new teaching methods whilst pandering to every whim of each child in their care"

It's not that I don't WANT to discipline the kids, it's that my admin screws me whenever I want to give a detention or a failing grade, and the kids know that getting Mommy to call the school and say teacher was mean to her precious baby frees them from any consequences.


2nd year teacher.

Anonymous said...

Meg, there is nothing whatsoever stopping you from putting a child in detention. If they don't turn up then it is up to you to make sure that they regret that decision.

What more do teachers want? As a parent I'm sick of hearing them moan but never answer the question:

"What exactly have you actually done to help yoursekf?"

Anonymous said...

Meg, So what if Mummy calls the school? Do you not imagine that in every other profession, customers complain just as much if not more?

I'm a surveyor and they phone up wanting me to change a report all the time but so what? Stick to your guns and don't be afraid of doing the right thing.

Anonymous said...

MarkUK - I think that most schools would say that the points you have listed are, in fact, enshrined in their policy.
In theory.
In practice? Not so much.

One of the schools I teach at has a big poster in every room that sets out the disciplinary procedure. One point on it is that swearing at a member of staff will mean the pupil is automatically excluded for one day.
A colleage of mine was told to f-off last week. The kid remained in school that day, the next day, the day after...
When I hand out a detention and the kid doesn't turn up, they're supposed to incur a further detention with the head. We're getting our "didn't attend" notes back, with "give them another chance" written on them. We used to have a "three strikes" system in lessons, which all the kids were familiar with - but we were told at the beginning of the year that we can't use that any more. As to what has been put in place instead? Nobody is really sure...
All of which sort of echoes what Meg said about being screwed at every turn by SMT.
And then if you get an angry parent on the phone, you're the one having to be immediately on the defensive, because it's often assumed that you've done something to upset the little bundle of joy.

Oh, and where do WE get our foot-massages?

Anonymous said...

Caz, why are any of you teaching a pupil who has told one of your colleagues to F*** Off?

The answer is unfortunately that too many teachers lack the bottle to actually DO anything about their problems. Whining about them is so much easier.

If the staff at your school allow the Head to just get away with backtracking on previously agreed policies, then frankly they deserve everything they get.

Anonymous said...

A member of satff came to me today to complain about one of the classes in my year group. About a third of the class, all boys, had just ignored her in the lesson. She had given them extra work and written a discipline memo and was handing it to me to pass the problem on. I advised her that the only way to get their attention was to keep them in detention during break or at lunchtime - a meaningful sanction that would at least signal to them that good manners are expected in class. She turned her back on me and walked off.

She won't follow up on the extra work that they've been given and expects me to force them to respect her. This is not uncommon in the school in which I work. There are many staff who lack the ability or motivation to follow through on their own discipline problems, therefore nipping simple issue in the bud before they escalate into real problems. They have to work to motivate the pupils but want someone else to do this for them. I end up telling these pupils off all the time and then the law of diminishing returns sets in - they begin to ignore me too. As a Year Head I need to get to know these pupils not be constantly badgering them. A lot of the problems are down to poor teaching, poor procedures and lack of personality from staff.

I now what the solution is in our school - better leadership to enforce a workable procedure and ensure that each member of the staff pullls their weight. This is a team game, let's play it like one.

Anonymous said...

I now what the solution is in our school.
Yes, I can see you do.

Anonymous said...

"I now what the solution is"

Yes, recruit some teachers who can spell.

Anonymous said...

Well said 'anonymous Year Head.'

I get loads of demands for 'support' from new staff only to be met by blank expresssions when you ask them what they have actually done themselves.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid everyone has missed a point here. By preventing action from being taken in an assault case, Mr Chalk's supervisor has become an accessory after the fact and consequently is guilty of an offence. He is also probably guilty of perjury and if he discussed it with the senior management team all of them are guilty of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

It is your duty, Mr Chalk, to have these criminals arrested.

Anonymous said...

I agree Chalky Baby... the only foot massage theyouldbe getting is a quick dose of bastinado

BTW: how long have you been a teacher. ( I can't really say: "in the "profession", any more. Can I?)