Dear David...;Letter

23rd May 1997 at 01:00
The TES is publishing readers' open letters to David Blunkett in an occasional series:

It goes without saying that we need a heavy input of resources if Labour's pledge to improve education is to be taken seriously.

However the main priority, which will cost nothing, must be to restore teacher morale.

I'm sure I'm not the only teacher in recent years who has felt battered and abused by the constant barrage of attacks on the profession. Stopping this is the first step to improving morale.

You must recognise that good teachers use a variety of strategies and techniques to help pupils learn effectively. You must acknowledge that methodologies are drawn from a continuum which extends from those labelled "traditional" to those of the "progressive" persuasion. There is no single way to teach.

The resource we need most is time. Like many dedicated teachers, I feel increasingly that I am on a relentless treadmill. I am concerned for my own psychological, emotional and physical welfare, and that of my colleagues. Much as I love teaching, per se, I find myself constantly re-evaluating my future in the profession.

Finally, any future changes should be made gradually after prolonged discussion with teachers and other concerned professionals. Like most teachers in this difficult and demanding job, I long to feel supported by the Secretary of State rather than maligned. Can you help, David?

HAMISH WILSON Head of drama Hitchin Boys' School Hitchin Hertfordshire

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