EDUCATIONAL CHALLENGES

• It is impossible to fail preservice teachers who are not up to the mark when it comes to their preparation for full time teaching. Provided they satisfy academic requirements required, having them terminated because of poor or inept teaching in classrooms during practice teaching rounds. It seems that universities are prepared to graduate people who are in no way ready for teaching, leaving it to schools to which they are appointed to complete the training job.

• It is often impossible for schools to performance manage teachers who should be dismissed or retired for poor performance and who refuse to respond to collegiate assistance and support to improve. The performance management5 process is tortuous, long winded, time consuming and allows many possibilities for those being performance managed to disengage from the process while continuing in our classrooms. Processes are very heavily weighted in favour of those being performance managed.

• It is often impossible for schools to be involved as fully in staff selection to vacant positions as might be desirable. Government schools particularly, are hamstrung by the fact that teachers with permanent status have to be placed in positions. Misfits of people in to positions is left to school principals and leadership teams to manage. Finding positions for teachers, means departments of education have done their job.

• Staff performance is overdone in terms of paperwork required and time consumed by this as a formal exercise. The process generally involves a panel of two or three people sitting with the staffer and going through key performance indicators. The far better ways of working with staff in development is to sit and converse with a brief summative statement to guide and confirm the conversation. Far too much time is wasted on pointless process.

• Formal school reports have become an exercise in the production of all encompassing voluminous documents due by a particular point in time each year. Countless hours involving a significant number of staff are devoted to preparing these reports for education departments that generally minimally inform central policies and directions. This time could be far better devoted to working toward school development and student outcomes. Far too much reporting is about cementing processes of accountability and justification. In essence it is energy sapping, time consuming and utterly frustrating to the intent of what schools should be about – developing students.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.