ON TEACHING – A PERSONAL REFLECTION

For teachers graduating into our classrooms, it is often not a case of what they know or what they don’t about teaching methodology. Their introduction is often one of shock when they realise they are dealing with increasingly non-compliant children. While teaching practices can be put into place, they don’t wash with children who are deliberately defiant and behaviourally dysfunctional. Some of that may be down to identifying ‘syndrome’ issues that can be worked on and corrected. Many children however, are knowingly and wilfully defiant.

I have talked with many teachers who report of having to spend most of every day on managing and disciplining children, with very little time left for teaching. Sadly, blame for what goes wrong is directly blamed on school leaders and teachers.

For teachers graduating into our classrooms, it is often not a case of what they know or what they don’t about teaching methodology. Their introduction is often one of shock when they realise they are dealing with increasingly non-compliant children. While teaching practices can be put into place, they don’t wash with children who are deliberately defiant and behaviourally dysfunctional. Some of that may be down to identifying ‘syndrome’ issues that can be worked on and corrected. Many children however, are knowingly and wilfully defiant.

I have talked with many teachers who report of having to spend most of every day on managing and disciplining children, with very little time left for teaching. Sadly, blame for what goes wrong is directly blamed on school leaders and teachers.

Some years ago, during a session in which school leaders were (again) be taken to task about classroom occurrences and teaching shortfalls, I asked a key leader whether Australia’s Prime Minister and Education Minister were aware of these issues. They answer was they were aware, but didn’t want to know about such matters. That day, as a school principal, I began to actively think about retirement. On reflection, it was this conversation and an awareness of political response and lack of concern for teachers and leaders, that placed a career end-date in my mind.

Some years ago, during a session in which school leaders were (again) be taken to task about classroom occurrences and teaching shortfalls, I asked a key leader whether Australia’s Prime Minister and Education Minister were aware of these issues. They answer was they were aware, but didn’t want to know about such matters. That day, as a school principal, I began to actively think about retirement. On reflection, it was this conversation and an awareness of political response and lack of concern for teachers and leaders, that placed a career end-date in my mind.

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