Today’s educational climate is off. It’s no longer about teaching, imparting information, and encouragement. More and more seasoned teachers in both primary and secondary schools are leaving the profession and are going on to try new things. Why is this? I guess it’s hard to receive so much flak from the students, the parents, the teachers and OFSTED. I get that it can drain a person, and the amount of money a teacher receives is shocking, especially when you consider what exactly they’re being paid to do.
A lot of these teachers are being replaced by NQTs (Newly Qualified Teachers) who come in fresh-faced, hopeful, and eager to change the world, with misconceptions of how the education system works; or weak teachers from the bottom of the barrel who are frankly taking advantage of the depletion of good teachers, and can rise up in the ranks quickly. Think about it like this, if you need to replace a teacher by September, and only one person comes for the interviews in July, what do you do?
I don’t say this to insult hard working people. I have the upmost respect for anyone who goes into the education profession with a genuine desire to help children learn and make the most out of their lives.
Being a teacher is a hard job, and to say it’s fulfilling will depend on who you ask. I know plenty of people who’ve always wanted to educate, but once they were actually living the dream, it was more of a nightmare. It’s a shame that these teachers are petering out.
What does this mean for the upcoming generation of youngsters who still have to go through the school system until they are eighteen? If we aren’t careful, we’ll see that wa de goat du, de kid falla (Jamaican Proverb). If children are solely educated by their schools, there becomes a risk of adopting behavioural cues and beliefs from rudimentary teachers. As someone who is still in education, I have seen this behaviour from time to time.
With access to everything via search engines and social networks, there is nothing stopping us from finding out things that the school system has left out. This can be anything from sexual health to your individual histories (no more Henry VIII, folks).
And that brings up another point. What exactly are we being taught? While what you learn in school will bear some importance, especially if you have plans to go to college or university, other things matter. Let’s not be so quick to see “being educated” as having eleven or twelve A*-C’s, especially when none of those qualifications give you a good understanding on how to be financially literate, or how to live without your parents.
It’s a serious privilege to have free education, but that can’t be your only form of education.
I can’t tell you how many times I was either taught by my peers, or had to educate myself. It’s all well and good to know a lot of things on your syllabus, but doing your research can provide more than knowledge. It can provide wisdom. It can show you a different perspective and open your mind. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not adding it to your fruit salad. Wisdom seems to be what curriculums are lacking – school is largely a memory contest. And as for staffing, unseasoned teachers are literally that – unseasoned. They’re plain, safe, and lack that flair that comes with experience. While that may be fine for the foundation of your learning, it cannot be 100% of what you know.
Education is more than what you get from a classroom.
Written by Jaz Morrison.
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