By: Faye Jones, Student Voices Writer
It is a fact that teachers have been an essential part of our education for centuries. However, recent research has suggested that teachers are now being treated as commodities. As a society have we suddenly became ignorant to the dedication teachers put in to work? And has this lack of interest lead to a decrease in the standards of teaching?
Today, teachers are being paid buttons compared to other- quite frankly- less important professions. Also, while many are under the illusion that a teacher’s work ends with the school bell, like students, it most assuredly does not, and can often lead to work consuming most of their free time. This means many teachers put their personal relationship and their health on the line in order to teach your son/daughter. This has led to a loss of 50,000 teachers last year! And it doesn’t stop there! This loss has left schools desperate for teachers and meant they have had to employ underemployed/less qualified teachers in their classrooms! Surely people can see that all these factors have a knock-on effect! Bad pay, means more skilled teachers are forced to leave the profession, meaning more less qualified teachers are getting jobs, meaning our kids are not getting the quality of learning we expect, therefore it’s the children who suffer when they try to get a job with 6 D’s, 4 U and a C at GCSE and one A-Level! Now, instead of being seen as a job that requires skills and qualifications, it is seen as a job that you go into when you can’t think of anything better to do! Society sees little need for teachers to have deep content knowledge or strong pedagogical expertise.
Not only this but because schools are strapped for teachers they are employing under-qualified people to teach lessons. For example, in my old school there were many examples of the two different ways this point can branch into. Firstly, they were employing people who did not have the qualifications to teach the particular subject, and then spent some of the school budget to have them go on a “crash-course” for a month so they could teach us. Secondly, we had science teachers and media teachers trying to teach us PE and drama! Needless to say that I struggled in these subjects, and required extra revision time from other teachers. The problem with the first scenario is that the school is wasting money in order to find teachers for each class, and the problem with the second one is that students are unable to learn and forced to use up valuable time form other teachers, which can lead to them falling behind with their work load if they accept and of course if they don’t then the student falls behind. The uneducated child is then forced to try and seek employment, while the stressed out teachers will probably end up leaving the profession. As you can see no one benefits from this cycle!
Recently, George Osborne released the budget for 2016, stating that there will be extra funding so that every school will be in the process of becoming an academy by 2022. A quarter of secondary schools will be able to opt into offering a longer school day from September 2017. And the government will look at teaching maths to all pupils until they are 18 year olds. And while these promises do look all fine and dandy, nothing has been done to the standards of teaching or the environment which has caused teachers so much aggravation for so long! Things need to be done! I am sick of seeing old bus drivers attempting to teach maths, or seeing students just about able to spell A* with no hope in hell of ever getting one!
Recently, I read an article saying how teachers were now too “soft” and that even in “his day” all the teachers’ were “complaining” about was the lack of bourbon biscuits in the staff room. I personally don’t know where this writer went to school, but I feel quite jealous that that’s all his teachers had to complain about! Either that or he was too ignorant- like most people now-a-days- to actually see the tremendous amount of work they put in, and what they actually contribute to society. I fully support teachers when they strike. I believe they are taking action in helping to reform the conditions they are asked to work, which in most schools are horrendous. I would be very surprised to walk into any school around the country and find the only way teachers are being mistreated is because they can’t double dunk their biscuits! In 561 B.C Confucious became known as the most knowledgeable/learned man of all time, and then became what is considered the first private teacher in history. However, even before then there were priests and prophets who- by default- became someone who would today be considered a teacher. In Ancient Greece “teachers” were well respected and held high in society. So, from that long ago to now…what the HELL happened? Why are teachers so under appreciated? Have we all become spoilt on the opportunities available to us because of teachers? Or are we all just simply selfish? People now brush teachers’ concerns and opinions aside, where as in Ancient times they would carry great weight and considered the most important opinions available.
While, I could never address all the burning issues that aggravate me so much about this topic, it is important to note that there are so many other aspects that make teaching one of the hardest jobs in today’s society. Whether these issues are social, economic or political. The next time you see a teacher I implore you to ask about their workload, to ask how much spare time they have. Because I guarantee you that if you are someone who thinks teaching is an easy job, you will be shocked by their response. Teachers give up so much time for their students and their students’ families, to a point were it is very unlikely that they will have a chance to have any free time for themselves. They manage to balance so much and achieve so much, while asking for so little in return, the only comparison I could ever make is to some form of superhero. Putting other people’s needs-whether they are grateful or not- in front of their own time and time again! It is so frustrating! Yet they put up with it? They are the ones educating young people in order for them to succeed in the future, and without them I would dread to think of the bleak future that we would be faced with. It is time to stop treating teachers as commodities, and value them for the pillars of society that they are…and maybe stock up the staff room biscuit tin now and then!
Meet the author:
I am 16 and currently studying English Literature, English Language and Government and Politics at Liverpool College. I am extremely opinionated and enjoy a good debate! And I encourage anyone to try and prove me wrong. So far I have only lived in Liverpool but have huge aspirations to move elsewhere and travel! While, I do enjoy discussing multiple topics I have a passion for education and politics!
Forget Wonder woman or Batman, teachers are the modern day super heroes Reviewed by Admin on 18:29 Rating: