So we seem to be facing a shortage of teachers again. This has happened roughly every ten years since the Pyramids were built, usually because either:
1) The economy is booming, or
2) There has been lots of bad publicity about pay and conditions in teaching.
As always, the problem is most acute in the important subjects (A shortage of Drama Teachers would simply be cause for celebration).
Anyway, the Government has brought in a new program called 'Schools Direct' where you train at a school and get paid. Sounds like a good idea. However it's only accepted about half as many trainee teachers as hoped because:
1) Not enough schools have agreed to provide the training, either on ideological grounds or because they aren't being paid enough.
2) Nobody thought to advertise it.
3) Maybe, as with all targets, the numbers were a bit arbitrary anyway.
Heads of participating schools haven't been too impressed by some of the candidates they've received. This isn't surprising when you bear in mind that all the new comedy Universities are churning out hundreds of tonnes of dross each year.
'Half of Teacher Training places unfilled' makes a good headline, but the publicity it generates will be enough to boost the numbers by the time the courses start- you mark my words. (Just don't mark the applicants' words).
I'm confused. The last I heard in the UK was mass redundancies in teaching. For the first time it was no longer the secure profession it had been.
The TES boards seemed full of teachers who were resigned to never teaching full time again.
If this is the case then why the recruitment crisis?
I agree that the best place to learn teaching is in a school. Yet, without the preliminary theoretical input first, it's just a case of copying the teachers that you observe, which is a very limited approach to the job. You need to prepare for the 'teaching practice' element by some serious study, otherwise it's just a joke.
I mean, would you feel happy about flying in a plane where the pilot had learned 'on the job'? Would you be keen to have your criminal case handled by a solicitor who had never studied the theory of law, and had just sat behind another solicitor for a year or so? And you can argue the same for doctors and nurses, etc.
Unless, of course, you're happy for your kids to be taught by someone like Frank.
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