When I first started this blog, it was primarily to be a way to record my boys early years, and whilst I figured my job would creep into it from time to time it’s starting to become a bit of a regular fixture on here. I’ve already blogged today but after seeing this advert tonight I couldn’t not respond!
I am a Maths teacher. I studied Maths at GCSE and A-level. Okay, I did an Economics degree, but within that was a high Maths content. I went on to do my secondary Maths PGCE and have been working as a qualified Maths teacher for 11 years. Looking at this ad, why exactly did I bother?
A minimum of 4 GCSE’s A*-C, including English and Maths. What a joke! I can’t speak for English, but on a Maths GCSE paper you need approx 30% to get a grade C (obviously this varies slightly from year to year). So we could be in a position where someone is teaching our students who themselves wouldn’t be able to answer 70% of a higher tier paper. This just isn’t good enough for our kids. They deserve someone who is qualified and has studied the subject they teach and can pass that enthusiasm and knowledge onto the next generation.
Please don’t think I am saying you to need to be a Maths genius to teach, I’m not. In my experience some of the best mathematicians I have known have made for terrible teachers as they couldn’t understand why kids found the subject difficult. But there has to more than a very basic knowledge of Maths to be able to pass it on.
And what about the emotional training of becoming a teacher. Teenagers are tricky customers. They have mood swings, they’re vulnerable, they think they know it all and they are not easy to handle. This is where teacher training comes in, and teachers are taught how to manage some very sensitive situations! More and more this job becomes less about children as individuals and more about bits of data on a spreadsheet, and that saddens me more than you’ll ever know.
But it seems all of the time, training and money that had been put into teachers has been a waste as Mr Gove appears to think that anyone can do it! Well, I’m sorry, but my child deserves better than a minimum of 4 GCSE’s and I hope that other parents feel the same!