Online opinion

18th March 2011 at 00:00
Readers respond to articles on the TESS website

- Superb interview with Sharleen Spiteri (My best teacher, 4 March). It resonates with me a lot. I was a deaf and disabled child in the '70s, so the schools made no effort to teach me, even though I made it clear that I wanted to learn. They would just tell me it was a waste of time to teach the "retarded". Thanks to their attitude, after learning little at school, I went on to mainstream college, had no disabled student support and passed my A-levels, mainly with As. And then got a first-class BA in English at university, also with no help. And then very narrowly missed a first on my MA, also with no help. If my schools hadn't patronised and insulted me, I'm sure I wouldn't have been so driven to succeed!


- I wrote last week's letter, "Anger over accountability", but not its headline. I gave a robust response to the culture of judgmentalism which is imposing views and causing harm through not taking into account differing contexts, underlying values and models of education, finding out what we are dealing with, or what we are trying to achieve. My letter was a plea for debate, respect and dialogue, in all weathers, towards a new professional culture of grace and reciprocity. So: no anger.


- If there's any value to the TV series Jamie's Dream School, it's to show anyone who thinks teachers have it made exactly what teachers have to contend with, not for an hour a week, but week in, week out, year in, year out, when they walk into work every morning.


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