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Opinion: What teachers should be taught before stepping into the classroom

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The Educator | 19 Apr 2016, 08:18 AM Agree 0
Teaching is tough, and we need to stop hiding it, writes teacher and education sociologist, Naomi Barnes.
  • Jacqui | 19 Apr 2016, 02:16 PM Agree 0
    I am a leader of a Primary school. Over the last 15 years of being a school leader I have supported a large number of new teachers as they have begun their teaching careers. For many new teachers there is a sense that a bubble bursts, when they realise that the theories they learnt at uni, and things that might have worked on Prac don't always work. They have to deal with the fact that they are working with students, who all have their own personalities and none of them come with an instruction booklet. Put 30 of them together in a class and you have a minefield of possibilities. Teachers not only have to deal with the students, there are the parents and their colleagues as well. Add to that an increasing amount of paper work and it's no wonder new (and indeed not so new) teachers struggle. However once over the initial shock and with resilience and perseverance and an understanding that you need to be flexible and willing to learn and that you are going to stuff up. I have seen some very good new teachers, who wanted to quit, hang in and become outstanding. They have needed support and I have often wondered how uni could prepare teachers better. Some do it better than others. We do need new teachers to understand that it is hard, perhaps showing them examples of good teachers not coping would be helpful for them occasionally. We want them to see great examples, however sometimes I think it would be good for them to hear and see the messy side of teaching a bit more before they get out there as well.
  • Steve | 19 Apr 2016, 02:44 PM Agree 0
    I don't disagree that our vocation has its 'tough' aspects - but it is more than balanced by the wondrous outcomes we help facilitate and bear witness to! Sir John Jones describes great teachers as 'magic weavers' - and he's right! Teaching is not a job, it's a vocation focused on the most precious commodity our society has - our children and, yes, even the teenagers!
  • Peter | 22 Apr 2016, 11:44 AM Agree 0
    No time to go to the pub!
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