30 years ago

2nd July 2004 at 01:00
Time marches on . . . or does it? Not much, according to a piece by D R Cole in The TES Scotland of July 5, 1974:

"It could be that I am just a rotten teacher," one of my colleagues told me as she explained her reasons for leaving teaching . . .

"I feel that I cannot go on working on my own, in isolation. I feel that, because there is so little working together, there is no development in school. I feel that I can change nothing on my own. I am being forced to do things that are alien to my nature - belting children is only one of them.

"I do not feel that what I am doing is the best way of educating children.

I feel guilty about deserting my colleagues; they do their best and try hard but they make complaints and yet will not do anything about it. I feel frustrated, isolated and exhausted."

Another young teacher I know is leaving because he feels he cannot be bothered with the "couldn't care less" attitude of his pupils. He sees this as stemming from the attitudes of parents and society who think of school just as somewhere children go . . .

The Sunday Times careers advisory service reports that by June 2, 1974, by far the largest group seeking advice on changing career were teachers.

Teachers should be informing the public of their criticisms . . . to criticise the school system implies no criticism of one's friends or colleagues.

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