ROBOTIC TEACHING AND LEARNING

There is an alarming trend to describe kids, reading levels, mathematical attainment in numerical terms. We are assigning a number or grade next to each student in some vain attempt to make teaching and learning “safe” and easier. This will NEVER work. We are missing the point of education and we are not allowing children to use their creativity and grow- we are literally stifling their learning.

George Monbiot, writing in the Guardian argues that,

“Children earn best when teaching aligns with their natural exuberance, energy and curiosity. So why are they dragooned into rows and made to sit still while they are stuffed with facts?

We succeed in adulthood through collaboration. So why is collaboration in tests and exams called cheating?

Governments claim to want to reduce the number of children being excluded from school. So why are their curriculums and tests so narrow that they alienate any child whose mind does not work in a particular way?

The best teachers use their character, creativity and inspiration to trigger children’s instinct to learn. So why are character, creativity and inspiration suppressed by a stifling regime of micromanagement?”

Publishers are making a fortune writing formulaic programs that reduce teachers to little more than robots and put children into learning strait jackets! Schools buy these programs as they think they will force standards up and make sure teachers don’t make mistakes.

Teachers are being reduced to program administrators and not encouraged to use their valuable insights and judgement.

The whole explicit teaching movement was meant to raise teaching standards and ensure children were taught effectively so all could learn. It was never meant to crush children’s creativity and force children to learn in ways that don’t work for them.

Our unhappy children are paying the price. Everyday I work with children who are trying to fit this outmoded factory mode of education and giving up.

For the sake of our children, we need to utilise pedagogically sound teaching practices and encourage teachers to teach and not become program robots.

To read the whole article by George Monbiot:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/15/robots-schools-teaching-children-redundant-testing-learn-future

Please follow and like us:

SELF-CARE FOR TEACHERS

Thank goodness the holidays are nearly here.

Teachers look tired, children are grouchy and we all need sleep!

As a group, teachers are not great at self-care. They are so used to putting students first they forget that when the well is empty the water cannot flow.

No matter how talented and passionate- when a teacher runs on empty they CANNOT function, their health suffers and children do not learn effectively.

Most teachers spend a substantial amount of their holidays planning, making teaching materials and catching up on reference material.

Some of this is normal in any profession but due to the high stress levels of teaching, better self-care is a MUST for teachers.

An excellent website “Mindful teachers” points out:

 “Self-care is far from self-indulgent, especially among those of us who are committed to serving others. It isn’t about being selfish or shirking our responsibilities. It’s about figuring out what aspects of our work and schedules we have control over and making choices about how to most effectively spend our time and energy.”

It then goes on to offer tips, links, reflections, and mindfulness practices to help teachers cope with some common challenges. This link is well worth exploring to help all teachers retain their sense of balance and be able to give 100% within their careers.

I wish all my colleagues a wonderful break with plenty of sleep, fun and a good dollop of self-indulgence!

If all this fails- try chocolate!

http://www.mindfulteachers.org/p/self-care-resources.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FORMULAIC LEARNING

Please follow and like us: