Letters extra: The price of failure

5th December 2003 at 00:00

I read with interest the articlenbsp;concerning Ben McLeod (TES, 21 November), who had failed his induction year, in spite of a successful PGCE, and lost his appeal. The article left the impression that he had wilfully taught badly and failed to respond to assistance.

I suspect this is not the case, and that he and I have a lot in common. I am currently on an extension placement on my PGCE after problems with class management which prevented me from passing last term. It was a most frustrating term, where no amount of hard work seemed to improve things.

The best tutor always recognised that I persevered, and, like all good teachers, emphasised my positive aspects. Much of the language I heard on my course, however, seemed most intimidating: 'You should be able to do this by now'.

Teacher recruitment adverts give the impression that anyone can do it - this is obviously not the case. Ben McLeod deserves to succeed in something, and I am sure he will.
Chris Bluemel
Hereford

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