Recently, I read a post from @disidealist that gave all the reasons that have kept me in the classroom for more than 30 years and more particularly, why I have stayed in “bog standard” comprehensives in deprived areas. One rarely hears the notion of service these days and I hadn’t heard anyone elucidate the desire to serve their community in locally managed and accountable institutions before. I am glad that these notions have not become extinct.
These altruisms do not provide sufficient motivation to ward off the battering of the primitive practise of ‘school improvement’ in the modern era, a policy which becomes ever more oxymoronic the more it is applied. The privatisation of education has been camouflaged with ‘raising standards’ and schools continue to be executed by OFSTED the brunt of these dogmas is bourne by teachers. Another installment in the ‘sinking school’ blogs is due but I will persist a little longer in its classrooms because of this:
“I could never thank you enough for everything you have done for me over the past 2 years. You may not realise this, but you have given me hope throughout the hardest times and helped me reach the light at the end of a very dark tunnel. You are an incredible teacher and I will never forget you.”
The student involved didn’t realise that this quote equally applied to them. The joy I felt at their recovery from depression and the limitation of the damage to a grade or so after the extended absence, the self harm and the complete loss of self belief, the joy at seeing them laugh, the satisfaction at their recovery of study and self confidence has “given me hope throughout the hardest times”. This is why I teach. The students give so much more than they take.
And yes, I had a lump in my throat and something in my eye…