READING your "My Best Teacher" column, I feel robbed. I have no memories of inspirational teachers; only memories of the angry, the impatient, the could-not-give-a-damn and the have-not-got-a-hope varieties.
Memories of the primary teacher who so destroyed my confidence in writing my mother had teach me to write again. Memories of the secondary French teacher with such a violent, unpredictable temper, we would sit, feeling sick, waiting for the next outburst of screamed abuse.
Memories of being forced to choose my A-levels on the criteria of the teachers' ability to get me through the exam, rather than the subjects I wanted to study.
Now my elder child is about to enter the school system. I am horrified to discover that it is still virtually impossible to get rid of inadequate teachers and that there is still no way of testing a tacher's all round ability or succcess. I get very angry when I hear reports of teachers' resistance to performance-related pay.
Since I graduated 13 years ago I have held many jobs and every year of my working life I have had a perfomance-related pay rise. The appraisal system used to assess performance can also be used to identify training needs and support weak individuals; to encourage teamwork; allows a fair and consistent way of assessing for promotion and gives a record of ability which is useful for those wishing to move jobs.
I want performance-related pay for teachers. That way my son and my daughter may be spared the angry, the impatient and the could-not-give-a-damn varieties. That way, maybe they will have memories of their "best teacher".
23 Barberry Rise
Vale of Glamorgan