Am I a wet-nurse?

3rd February 2006 at 00:00
Agony Uncleanswers your questions

As a newly qualified teacher, I am amazed at how much I have to do for students. Nothing in my training prepared me for this spoon-feeding. I worry that I'm doing the work for them. Indeed, they seem to expect that.

Is it the norm now for students simply to fill in the blanks? Attempts by me to train them to think and work independently have so far failed.

Doing students' coursework is clearly against the rules. This issue was recently top of the agenda, and parents were mostly blamed. Plagiarism, mostly from the internet, was also highlighted. But the issue you raise was not discussed. Teaching strategies are at fault here. Coursework is moderated, but the system - however well-intentioned - is open to misuse.

Spoon-feeding is easier than teaching, and is tempting for tired teachers faced with a plethora of learning styles to cater for. You must show your students how you expect them to write coursework. Highlight concrete examples of what you mean, particularly in terms of descriptive and analytical language. (Demonstrations will need to be differentiated.) This will help them understand what good work looks like and can be used as a reference point for you and the students when they begin the coursework proper. Do regular formative assessment on the coursework, and suggest through question and answer, rather than stating where the gaps in the coursework are - again referring to the work you have offered as a guide.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now