Valued in Chile

4th December 1998 at 00:00
I HAVE recently returned from Chile where I was providing in-service in early years education for teachers in bilingual schools. Several of them have visited primary schools here to observe British practice.

Their comments have been overwhelmingly positive. In particular, they were impressed by "wonderful" displays of children's work, excellent rapport between pupils and teachers, children's high levels of autonomy and independence as a result of systematic training, parental involvement, organisation and varied groups to suit different activities, high levels of professionalism and rigorous planning and assessment.

One teacher said: "I didn't see a single bad lesson." Their only adverse observation was that teachers work very long hours outwith school times, have too much paperwork and seem very tired, demoralised and stressed.

What a pity we have to wait for overseas visitors to give us the kind of feedback we need in order to restore vitality, energy and self-confidence to our increasingly exhausted profession.

Audrey McIlvain

McKenzie Road, Buckie


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