Katherine Birbalsingh What Teachers Are Telling Me In Private Emails

I love Katherine Birbalsingh. While her work focuses on what is wrong in education with a view to inspiring change, as does mine on this blog, her focus is most definitely on the students. Whereas mine is on the wellbeing of teachers. I think her cause is much more admirable.

In the two posts I have linked to below, she shares some of the things that have been sent to her by teachers in private emails. I’d like to highlight those parts that are relevant to my message.

Good teachers who lead from the front are being criticised in lesson observations, even those with excellent results.”

“…my current school was graded ‘outstanding’ for behaviour despite a child spitting in a TA’s face in full view of an inspector…”

“I have come to the realisation how the system is letting ME down. I am desperately unhappy in my job…”

“What currently passes for an education can often be accurately described as an eleven-year box-ticking exercise…”

“…too scared to voice out for fear of reprisal by the ruthless system in place.”

“I believe that the education system in this country is now in a complete mess.”

I must say that I am quite shocked at the unprofessional nature of some of the comments, and also the suggestion that these emails are fictional. It is typical of the culture in education that a professional issue degenerates quickly into name calling, attacks on reputations and personal opinions that have no place in a discussion of this sorts. It is credit to Birbalsingh and typical of her gutsy behaviour that these comments remain in place for us to read.

I did enjoy some of the debate. I generally agree with some of the comments that the education system is so bad that a lot of change that needs to happen is actually too complex to implement. I am very interested in the idea that if all schools charged fees then there would be a marked change for the better: that certainly sparked some thoughts. These are the sort of interesting and helpful debates that need to occur on blogs like this. Not things like the following comment:

“…you horrible little cnut.”



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