Yearning to be free

4th August 2006 at 01:00
I am bored. I am a teacher with the responsibility to "educate" young and old and it isn't interesting any longer. Not even close. I feel I am unable to make decisions that might benefit my students. If it doesn't have a government stamp of approval then it doesn't count. Next stop, assessment criteria three! No wonder the profession struggles to recruit staff. Where is the fun in not contributing positively to the profession and, more importantly, to feel part of the debate rather than just serving the dictates of indicators and targets?

It is an ineluctable fact that teaching is a creative profession and yet under the present system, teachers have little scope to act on their creative impulses. Your frustration is reflected further up the ladder by frustrated principals wishing to create something bespoke but having their hands tied by financial reliance. It was interesting to read Michael Austin's (former principal of Accrington and Rossendale College) account in FEFocus recently in which he said that there is no fun in doing someone else's bidding 100 per cent of the time. Could the key be greater financial independence? Ideally, this should result in colleges making decisions to suit their local needs rather than those of government. Maybe then, this freedom will filter down and teachers will be able to contribute to, rather than just deliver, teaching.

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