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Teaching was for drifters during the 1970s, man

Eton head master Tony Little poses an interesting philosophical question ("Teaching: a vocation or a 'congenial' job?", 5 July). I disagree that most teachers today drift into the profession. But they certainly did in the 1970s. As North London Collegiate School headmistress Bernice McCabe says, teaching, with its long holidays, was then regarded as an agreeable way to perpetuate a student lifestyle and as a ticket to ride. That does not mean, however, that we were bad teachers. What started as an extended vacation became a vocation - and teachers were all the better for that earlier experience. But that was in a world without Ofsted and continuous Govian revolution. Today, many young teachers have a strong sense of vocation and that's good for the profession. Yet I cannot help feeling that they are missing out on a more easy-going era when teachers were given time to find themselves and gradually evolve into great pedagogues.

Stan Labovitch, Secondary teacher, Windsor.

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