THE ESSENCE OF EDUCATION

THOUGHTS FOR PRESERVICE AND BEGINNING TEACHERS (34)

I was a school principal for over 40 years and have worked in all sorts of circumstances in both WA (briefly) then the Northern Territory. One of the things that has worried me over the years and one that has time and again proven to be true, is that models of operation replacing (superseding) earlier models always seem to be inferior to what is being replaced. Now you may accuse me of viewing things through rose coloured glasses but I do remember the challenges of now historical circumstances. What has changes over the years is that faith and trust along with appreciation placed in teachers and school leaders has largely dissipated.

Where there was appreciation there is now expectation. Where trust was placed in the judgement of teachers, there is now suspicion. What used to be accepted as anecdotal confirmation of progress is no longer acceptable ; everything has to be deeply, externally and empirically tested and teacher judgements are treated with suspicious disbelief.

There used to be joy in teaching and the profession was one people wanted to join. These days there is an increasing reluctance and teachers are largely wan, overtired, overworked and altogether dispirited.

Enjoy education and teaching but PLEASE beware of the pitfalls.

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