Pretension not pay is the deterrent

6th October 2000 at 01:00
BARELY three weeks into my post-graduate certificate in education and fellow trainees are already scrambling for the lifeboats. Two more this week from my own tutor group. Vanished.

I wonder what they will do now with all those folders full of guff: the record of professional development; the student handbook; the timetables; the reams of guides for this, that and the undigestible; the wads of recommended reading; the swathes of schemes of work; the dire brochures on ICT tests, literacy tests, numeracy tests; the sheaves of bulletins on standards of attainment, rules of assessment and codes of conduct regarding health and safety, multiculturalism, teacher law and keys to deciphering OFSTED reports.

Day in, day out our diligent tutors deliver breezy disquisitions on such matters as method an power teaching, structured weighting of delivery, harmonic language and end-user receptivity, and we tutees are then divided into fours and fives to carry out small group tasks, such as debating the efficacy of PowerPoint presentations to a bottom set Year 9 French class.

Are British governments really serious about wanting to attract larger numbers of teachers? If so, why do they persist in making the whole business of becoming a teacher so unattractive?

Bursaries and shortage-subject sweeteners are laughably desperate ploys. Certainly a little bit of extra cash never comes amiss, but it is not going to alleviate the absurdity, the prodigious waste of material and resources, the dumbing frenzy and self-absorbed pretentiousness that is this course.

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