Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Teachers As Pupils

Generally we’ve been lucking running A City Adventure as teacher training days for Creative Partnerships. Initial outings brought together coordinators from a range of schools, a self-selecting group of open and enthusiastic people. Later we progressed to delivering whole school staff training days, again to open and receptive schools. As the City Adventure’s reputation has grown so amongst the ripe and eager, harder cases have been thrown our way.

As a rule Primary Schools tend to be the most fun, their smaller staff teams tend to have a good rapport, exploration, playfulness and creativity seem to be closer to their everyday world. Secondary schools seem more prone to cliques, amongst the bright and energetic there are usually scattered a few who harbour closed minds and a siege mentality.

Friday’s City Adventure was a tough one. In the afternoon’s theory section I was reminded how like a class of secondary students a class of teachers can be. All my old class-mates were suddenly there, the open, the intelligent, the keen, the quiet, the reflective, the shy, the voluble and the jokers alongside the closed, limited, disaffected, reactionary, pessimistic, aggressive and cynical.

Of those who were determined to hate every minute, I wondered how they would approach teaching youthful versions of themselves. Could I keep them in detention? Could I call their parents in? If only I could grade them. At least I don’t have to work with them and Eve won’t be taught by them.


I wouldn't be so sure that Eve won't be taught by them. Some really crap teachers get (quite rightly) driven out by performance management and then become supply teachers, popping up in the most unlikely places.
I am constantly surprised by how crap some teachers are. I know that there are thousands and thousands of dedicated, talented professionals out there who take pride in motivating their students and pleasure in their jobs. But there are also teachers who are not like that. Surely if you hate something that much, you should think about doing something else? It goes for everything I think - but in teaching doubly so, because you have so much effect on other people's lives.
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