Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Stop the World - Teachers Need to Get Off!

Education is being reinvented.  This is not just a "tune up" of the existing education system.  It is a whole rethink of the purpose of education, with all the flow on effects of curriculum design, teaching design, learning design, and still teachers have to carry on.

  • The 30 children are still turning up at the classroom door every day. 
  • Duty still has to be done at interval and lunchtime. 
  • The working parents are still breathing sighs of relief as they drop their children off before the call of their own industrious travails.  
  • The helicopter parents are still hovering, criticising, stirring discontent in their social spheres.
  •  The MOE is still looking for the elusive literacy and numeracy improvements,  or searching for some nebulous positive relationship between cohorts in the analysis of NCEA achievement. 
  • The BOTs and the Principals are still trying to push the school to climb the league tables in an effort to make theirs the most desirable school to attend.
And the list of the everyday demands of schooling goes on.  It is hard to look past the metaphor of building the aeroplane while it is flying.
As a result, we have a number of different "types" of teachers emerging.  My own opinion of educators oscillates wildly between unbridled excitement at the potential and burgeoning talents of some of them and utter despair at the complete lack of understanding and willingness to adapt of others.  Of course, the reality is probably somewhere in the middle, but I think it is a reflection of the environment we are in.  
What we really, really want is to stop the education world for a while, all re-imagine what it could and should be, and then build the infrastructure and capability to achieve it, giving time for teachers to re-educate themselves and not fall back into the same old "safe" practices that they have used for years, or that others have passed on because it worked for them.  

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