A simple 'thank you' would help

14th April 2000 at 01:00
I WAS shocked to hear this week that a colleague has handed in their notice, due to complete demoralisation.

This is a teacher who was so committed to teaching. A teacher who brought out the very best in their children, and always managed to get 110 per cent from them. A teacher who lived for the job.

I undertook my training at the end of the Eighties, at a time of great upheaval in the teaching profession. The original national curriculum was being rushed into schools, and I saw many teachers demoralised by the torrent of blame over the state of education.

It is 10 years later and still teachers are being blamed for all that is apparently wrong. I cannot think of another profession which has undertaken so many new ideas, strategies and approaches in such a short space of time.

Have we been rewarded for our tolerance and patience? No we have not. Intead we have, on an almost daily basis, been kicked in the teeth and raked across the coals by ministers, educational chiefs and anyone else who feels that every problem in the country has been caused by teachers.

Does Tony Blair's Government not realise that by using this unvarying ritual of blame that it is pushing the profession to breaking point? Surely teachers deserve praise for taking on so many new ideas?

If teachers could be told just once or twice that we are doing a good job within the classroom, or that our efforts to run the after-school clubs had been noticed, or if we heard the words "Thank you" occasionally, we would feel better.

It would be a starting point for improving the rock-bottom state of teachers' morale that has become so apparent within the job.

Simon Widdowson

3 Rockery Gardens



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