Happy now Mr Gove!

11 years ago I started my teaching career (oh my goodness, has it really been that long!). Along with 4 other newly qualified teachers, we were young, enthusiastic and determined to make a difference to the children we taught. Whilst one of the girls has moved away the other 3 remain and we are close friends. We’ve been through a lot together; engagements, marriages, break ups, house moves, babies, miscarriages, good times and the bad.
During those years the job we started out with has changed dramatically, but what hasn’t changed is we still want to do the best for the students we teach. In maths alone we have changed from linear exams to modular and now back to linear. We have changed from a 3 tier exam system to 2, changed exam boards, functional skills were brought into promote more “real-life” maths to now be told this has made it too easy so we’ll be moving back to more rigorous testing! My A-level students found out after starting their courses January exams would be scrapped and the latest brainwave is that first entry exam results are the only ones that count on school league tables. And to add insult to injury we find these things out via the news headlines and there’s never a grace period, these things start with almost immediate effect. My poor head of department didn’t sleep at all after the last headline! How can we prepare our students the best way we can when we never know what is going on?
So whilst Mr Gove is sat cosy in his office, we are the ones at the chalk face trying to implement his latest initiative. Along with the planning, marking, target setting and other admin stuff that has to be done, many of our staff are regularly working until 11pm every night of the week. Yesterday it all became too much and one of my closest friends at work had enough and fainted in school as a result of stress and overworking. She is one of the nicest people I have ever met and gives everything for the kids she teaches but her body was telling her enough is enough! She’s not the only one reaching breaking point and it’s not even half term yet.
So are you happy now, you are driving fantastic teachers to exhaustion because they simply can’t give any more than they are doing. Mr Gove, you’d achieve an A* at being out of touch with real education and real teachers …on your first attempt!


  1. Colette B
    October 17, 2013 / 8:55 am

    I hope your friend is ok & takes the time she needs to recover.
    I’ve been teaching for 10 years & like you feel it has changed beyond recognition in many ways yet the focus & the reason why we do it remains the same – securing the best outcomes for our children. I wish these ppl implementing their ridiculous policies actually understood our jobs. What makes them think they know better than we do? The phrase “walk a mile in their shoes” springs to mind.
    Hope you are able to take some time to relax over half term x

    • notafrumpymum
      October 17, 2013 / 11:43 am

      Can’t wait for half term! I agree, it feels like the last people to ever be consulted are the teachers who are doing the job. Can’t help feeling I did a better job when we weren’t so stressed trying to get our heads round the latest initiative, and when kids didn’t see themselves as statistics on a schools league table!

  2. Bristol girl
    October 17, 2013 / 11:29 am

    Here here! Well said.

    • notafrumpymum
      October 17, 2013 / 11:43 am

      Thank you x

  3. October 17, 2013 / 4:44 pm

    If I could I’d like this a thousand times over.

    I see a lot of this at work. I don’t often get angry – I like to think that people always have the best intentions at heart. But the things that politicians in education are doing to other human beings, all in the name of their own gain… it’s not right. It does make me angry and frustrated because this is just taking advantage of people who went into a profession because they had the interests of others at heart 🙁

    We’re all mathematicians in our department – we’re the data team! One of us is an ex-teacher – it all got too much and data is an easier life.

  4. October 17, 2013 / 6:22 pm

    Well said.
    It’s one thing to come up with these daft ideas, but as the man isn’t actually the one to implement them he has no real experience of their practicality or success.
    It would be nice if he could actually ask the teachers and students what would work, rather than silly assumptions which cost more money, effort and time to implement only to be scrapped when the next minister wants to make their mark.
    I do hope your friend is okay and you’re all able to find some down time during half term

  5. October 18, 2013 / 6:10 pm

    I can’t believe how much they expect teachers to do these days. It’s ridiculous!! I hope you get a chance at some relaxing time over the weekend and half term. xx

  6. October 18, 2013 / 8:03 pm

    Absolutely well said! I hope you have a real break over the half term and things look up soon. My husband is a teacher and he is absolutely knackered with it all. x

  7. afamilydayout
    October 19, 2013 / 9:03 am

    A friend sent me a link earlier to a new spoof book on Amazon – “Everything I know about teaching by Micahel Gove” – look it up and read the reviews, priceless!

  8. October 20, 2013 / 9:05 am

    I hope half-term gives you both a rest. It just doesn’t work to turn students and teachers into data! It’s really terrible for both!

    • notafrumpymum
      October 20, 2013 / 10:23 am

      Completely agree! Children need to know teachers care about them as people rather than just what result they can get.

  9. October 20, 2013 / 1:40 pm

    I couldn’t agree more, I hope your friend feels better soon x

  10. October 20, 2013 / 7:32 pm

    You’re doing one of the most important jobs out there and I can’t believe how much pressure you’re under.

  11. October 20, 2013 / 8:41 pm

    It’s a difficult job – I really hope your friend is ok x

  12. MyLifeAsAMummy
    October 21, 2013 / 10:21 am

    Well said!!! They don’t seem to realise these Government people how much pressure and stress they put on people because they have never been in the situation, they just sit back from a distance and fling these new rules at you!

    I really do admire teachers for all they do and the poor pay they receive for it

    Thank you for linking up with The Weekend Blog Hop

    Laura x x x

  13. Kate
    October 21, 2013 / 10:36 pm

    I have the utmost respect for teachers, you all have a lot to put up with. Changing goalposts is so stressful, especially when one of the most important aspects to teaching is consistency!

  14. October 24, 2013 / 8:59 pm

    Just came across your blog via BritMums and must say I couldn’t agree more. This is why, after 12 years in the job, I am no longer a teacher – tired of being a plaything of every purveyor of a new political or social ideology, testing out their ideas for a brave new world on teachers and, even worse, children. I’m done with teaching, and I’ll be home educating my son – I know what sort of education I want him to have, and I’m pretty sure I won’t be changing my mind every 2 years!

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