I had to stop myself poking my eye out with a fork as I read the latest thoughts on education from the politicians as we get ready to go into battle season.
Many of the people I’m influnced by in education have written on this and have been vocal. ….and they are not wrong.
I have no idea what politicians think they are doing by promising huge amounts of money to “poor children” but without proper vision, guidance and enterprise, no amount of well meaning celebrities dressing down for visits to schools are going to convince me it’s a good idea.
Just what is it our darling politicians think they are helping?
Of course there are obvious things like resources and extra classes but a new text book wont change attitudes, give wifi access, build confidence or fan a flame of passion.
When I was PT, I couldn’t commit to a lot of extra classes after school as I had a wee lady who needed picked up so i started doing saturday sessions. Most of the girls in my dept were happy to pitch in where they could and did so happily. We were fuelled with coffee and pain au chocolat and so were the weans. They came in for the morning, were fed, watered and had a quiet place to work with no bells.
We originally took a bit of stick for it but when we explained we couldnt stay during the week, things changed.
Hungry weans cant work. Stressed out weans cant concentrate.
Teachers with emails pinging cant work. Teachers with deadlines, paper mountains of evidence to compile and insufficient training cant teach.
We had a lovely time on a saturday and our own wee people did too.
I have to admit that as a pupil who came from an area that would be in receipt of a lot of the poor weans cash, the difference was the teacher.
Having worked since the start of my teaching career in areas that will no doubt be labelled for the poor weans money, the difference was the teaching staff.
Staff who could inspire, encourage and show that weans could do it. Teachers who did everything wirh the child at the centre. Who sometimes took risks with the process of learning to engage young people. Who invested in themselves to be the best teacher they could possibly be. Teachers who worked with children who had no confidence or belief in themselves. Teachers who taught from the heart. ( and were like burst couches through the emotional energy they invested every day)
Testing weans constantly wont improve standards.
Labelling schools wont help either.
But then what would I know? ……