On Sunday I read a brilliant post by @thatboycanteach about his reasons for moving schools.
The post really struck a chord with me. This wasn’t because I have worked in a school like that as I have been lucky enough to have only worked in schools where I have felt valued. The post struck a chord because I felt that we are all in the situation that he describes.
I feel that the teaching profession is not supported at all by the current government. As an example, a recent speech given by minister Nick Gibb was very critical of teachers generally. How can we do our job effectively if we are criticised in that way?
New things are being implemented without due consultation or time being taken to check that they are the right thing to do. Levels were abolished without any clear structure put in place to replace them leaving schools scrabbling around in the dark regarding assessment. The new Sats tests and writing exemplifications seem to me to be actually harmful. So many of us disagree with the way things are being done this year but our opinion is being completely ignored.
The lack of organisation and time allowed for the implementation of new requirements is having a huge impact on workload especially for teachers in years 2 and 6. So much for a government that told us that it was sympathetic to our worries over workload.
Unreasonable deadlines such as the writing levels needing to be completed 4 weeks earlier than previously will add increased stress to both children and pupils.
@thatboycanteach got out of his unsustainable position by moving schools but how can we as teachers get out of our position? The only way out is to leave teaching but that is not a solution that solves anything. Who will teach our children if those of us who care about our work leave? There is a shortage of teachers already. More will leave if things carry on as they are. Personally, I will carry on to the best of my ability. My Head Teacher will support me and my colleagues and I still feel that I can make a difference. Other people may feel that they need to leave and find a job with less stress, less hours or simply because they want to feel valued again and who can blame them?
I am not politically minded at all (it drives my OH mad sometimes) and I have never taken any part in industrial action. However, I feel that something has to be done to show that we care too much about our pupils to let them and us be treated in this way. I feel that a boycott of Sats may be the only answer or at least a boycott of the writing part of the process. We can continue to teach and do our jobs properly but do not need to take part in a process that is harmful to the children in our care. I’m not prepared to label my children as below the required standard when they are working at a level that was perfectly acceptable 9 months ago
The NAHT emailed the D of E and asked for a response within 7 days. Those 7 days are now up and so we will see what happens next. My hope is that the teaching unions will work together and that things can be changed.