Lesson 79 Babies and Bathwater

Lesson 79 on Disempowerment.

I’ve havered on about inspection, because once the tick box thing happened in education, good people who loved their work started to get stressed and the joy began to go out of it.

At Owen’s school one teacher refused to be intimidated – Miss Maverick. Her only compromise was to write things down in the agreed format, though I have my suspicions that she did not always stick rigorously to the lesson plans submitted for scrutiny.

Other teachers gave up some approaches they knew worked well with their pupils, because they didn’t fit in easily with government requirements.  When Ofsted was coming, you couldn’t afford to take any unnecessary chances.

It was most difficult with the youngest.  The sparkly new timetable covered every possible requirement and recommendation, but it was heavy going for all concerned.  Before, the day had been organised to take advantage of the times when pupils were at their brightest and reserve till after lunch the activities suitable for when they were less able to concentrate.  Now, in order to fit everything in, there wasn’t so much flexibility.

Mrs Reception was particularly dutiful in implementing to the letter everything recommended for her age group.  Some of it was an uphill struggle.  It hadn’t been designed with the needs of her pupils in mind. It didn’t suit their attention span or level of afternoon tiredness. At the end of one wearisome day, she turned to me in frustration.

” I know we’ve got to do all these things, but sometimes I wish I could just get on and teach!