Public will pick up the negative slant

21st February 1997 at 00:00
Case study. Lesley Studley, 40, postgraduate certificate in education student at Leicester University, doing practice at Rushey Mead primary school, Leicester. Late entrant to teaching - was formerly a bank clerk and then a teaching assistant while doing a degree in the evenings.

I already feel quite confident about teaching reading, and I covered English grammar quite extensively on my degree course in humanities. Also, the PGCE is giving us plenty of practical and theoretical advice. I'm aware that phonics is important, but it doesn't work with every child. The course gives us lots of different approaches. Whether students learn to practise interactive whole-class teaching will depend on the schools they do their teaching practice in. At Rushy Mead, we do.

In general I think the curriculum is a good idea if it makes sure that standards are consistent across the country, but a lot of places will say they are doing it all already, and some people might find the suggestion that they are not doing it quite offensive.

I don't think the announcement will do much for the image of the profession among the general public. People read about reforms and then automatically assume that all teachers are leaving college unqualified to teach the basics. They always pick up on the negative. I went into teaching in spite of what I knew about pressures on teachers because I thought that teaching a child to read is the most rewarding thing you can do.

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