Top students are not best teachers;Letter

29th January 1999 at 00:00
LAST year saw the end of the disastrous government advertising campaign to attract graduates into teaching, which featured a number of celebrities praising the teachers they respected for affecting their career decisions.

The relationship between student and teacher is, and has always been, one of mutual disrespect. Closing the boundaries between the two will do nothing to help the authority of teachers and subsequent discipline in the classroom. Individuals do not choose teaching to shape the next David Beckham or Jeremy Paxman.

I, and many of my colleagues, chose teaching over other careers for one reason alone, it was the only one available. With a third-class degree from a "modern university" many potential employees would not even respond to my application.

However, the ability to teach cannot be judged purely on academic qualifications. The Government should not be briefing its advertising agencies to attract high-flier graduates who will always be looking to further their career opportunities through fast-track promotions. I believe that the graduate with a third class degree, because of too many extra-curricular commitments as a student, is the ideal teacher.

It is they who will be truly committed to teaching, as it is the only career open to them.

Nick Welford

Science department

Chipping Camden high school

Gloucester

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