Finding praise in a reprimand

20th May 2005 at 01:00
In response to the reprimand I received from Rory Mackenzie in last week's TES Scotland, I should learn that messing with a headteacher of a school of high reputation is never a good idea, particularly when I am a mere serf in the educational hierarchy.

He clearly wanted to put this probationer teacher in her place and has succeeded in doing so. I was surprised to receive such a personal rebuke, as I was merely commenting on his previous printed comments.

Mr Mackenzie is clearly angry with my interpretation of his comments but, if he thinks his views have been misrepresented, he should be directing his angst towards those involved in publishing his comments. I merely wrote a response to some remarks made by him.

Furthermore, I do feel he was rather harsh to say I was "shooting from the hip" regarding my comments on cuts to budgets. I stand by these comments as they referred to my experience of being a student at Moray House during the last four years. Cuts did result in vastly oversubscribed tutorials.

Similarly, my experience of being a parent of primary age children did make me aware of cuts the headteacher of my sons' school faced. Perhaps Peter Peacock is getting to grips with these issues now, as Mr Mackenzie suggests, and maybe the budgets in secondary schools such as his have been protected.

I am heartened by this too but, for those of us teaching in rundown buildings, the promised funds cannot come quickly enough. On a positive note, Mr Mackenzie does close by complimenting me on being an extremely competent and committed teacher. Thanks Mr Mackenzie but, as you have no idea who I am or what my teaching is like, then perhaps it is not appropriate to comment on me personally.

Marian Rae Probationer teacher

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