It’s good to talk…

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It’s good to talk as the advert used to say. I have not really found the inspiration or perhaps the inclination to write for a bit as I have been engaged in various conversations for about 2 months. I guess I was out there living it rather than observing or waiting for it to happen to me. So many times I have heard myself saying I have a blog piece cooking, then I would get scunnered and think I’ll not bother. The more I think about the various conversations I have, then I think they would form a good platform to build on for reflection and going forwarding the blog this summer.
So thinking about one of my favourite subjects:poverty and education. I was at a round table discussion and we were asked to consider how the poverty agenda prevented us from delivering language learning in schools.
So, having taken the fork out my eye,mopped the blood up from my ears and took pins out of the voodoo doll I had under the seat, I said nothing.
“You are very quiet” it’s hard to talk when you have taken a vow of silence and are simultaneously doing your best Kevin the teenager impression by rolling your eyes and feigning indifference.
And then just like the anger character in inside out, I blew. Beautifully so with a very polite, “really? What is actually wrong with you?” Or something equally as articulate.
You see, I am sick of the this bandwagon. Weans in poor areas can’t learn. End of. Why do we give them creative subjects? Why do they need a language? What is the point of learning about history when everyone is deid?
Why should the fact that we are teaching in areas of social deprivation have any impact on our ability to offer parity of curriculum as their pals 15minutes down the road?
So the dander was up and I was on for a “discussion” And I believe there were some golden nuggets …..My Big agenda in learning is that everyone is able to access a language on their learning and the poverty is not about the learners. The poverty is very often OUR poverty of learning. Our poverty of aspiration,our poverty of vision and our poverty of taking a chance.
I read a great quote about how community is what lifts children out of Hayley….well, we need to be that community. We need to be able to deal with the problems right in front of us. If young people come to school hungry, then we need to feed them. If staff don’t see a point in young Pepe learning a subject then we’re dot make sure that attitude is challenged.if staff are not at the top of their game, we need to support them properly to make sure they are. ( or am I being 50 shades of black and white?)
Headlines in newspapers about provisions for children in deprived areas don’t help. Headlines about the withdrawal of support for things in areas of deprivation don’t help.
Headlines about giving more money to schools in areas of deprivation don’t help.
If we keep banging on about poverty and deprivation preventing learners from learning, all we are doing is reinforcing the label.
So back to the chat…..
I argued that we had to take the poverty agenda away from our ability to deliver quality learning experiences for our young people.
Teachers who are motivated, supported,connected and encouraged will make sure the young people in their care are looked after,stimulated and encouraged to do their best. They will make sure they pushed to achieve and attain to their very best.
Equality of curriculum and excellent teaching…..
I do love a chat.

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