Teaching was for drifters during the 1970s, man

12th July 2013 at 01:00

Eton head master Tony Little poses an interesting philosophical question ("Teaching: a vocation or a 'congenial' job?", 5 July). I disagree that most teachers today drift into the profession. But they certainly did in the 1970s. As North London Collegiate School headmistress Bernice McCabe says, teaching, with its long holidays, was then regarded as an agreeable way to perpetuate a student lifestyle and as a ticket to ride. That does not mean, however, that we were bad teachers. What started as an extended vacation became a vocation - and teachers were all the better for that earlier experience. But that was in a world without Ofsted and continuous Govian revolution. Today, many young teachers have a strong sense of vocation and that's good for the profession. Yet I cannot help feeling that they are missing out on a more easy-going era when teachers were given time to find themselves and gradually evolve into great pedagogues.

Stan Labovitch, Secondary teacher, Windsor.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today