What keeps me – a 40-something primary teacher, four years into my second career – awake at night? Too many things to list on a Sunday afternoon while that pile of marking awaits. But, briefly...
I fear not just for the impact on the education of my own children (who have at least five more years left in school) as the system implodes as a result of the exodus of thousands of fantastically skilful and brilliantly dedicated teachers. But I fear, too, for the youngest school starters; I shudder to think about the paucity of experience and expertise among their teachers that they will encounter during their time in school.
I am also deeply concerned about the impact on the morale of the superb colleagues around me as they are micromanaged to the nth degree in a culture in which creativity and risk-taking is stifled through fear of making mistakes. But I fear – no, I know – too that these experiences are all too common in other schools, too.
I worry not just for the impact that the weight of work demands from an excessively large senior leadership team (who have little or no current experience of the job today of the classroom teacher), has on my own work-life balance and on my health and wellbeing, but also on those around me and those in exactly my predicament.
But I fear, most of all, about the impact of all this on a superbly dedicated and successful primary teacher of 20 years' experience: my wife, who, quite simply, has had enough and is looking for her way out. Hers, I am certain, is a story replicated in schools and homes across the country.
The writer wishes to remain anonymous
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