Welcome to Wednesday! It’s me. I’m here to talk about something which is quite dear to my heart… education. As you all know I work in a primary school and am currently doing my degree and everything going well I should be doing a teacher training course in September. I can’t wait. I’ve never not wanted to be a teacher. Yes, I’ve wanted to be other things and yes I’ve had other passions and done other jobs, but teaching is the one thing that has given me most happiness. I know that it’s the one job I’m MEANT to do. I know it’s not easy. I’ve lived it, worked it and seen it with my own eyes for the past 7 years. I have the experience. It’s the one thing I have the passion for.
BUT there’s something I need to talk about…
Every day you will read the news and you will see news articles saying things such as “Teachers need to teach this“, “Teachers need to teach that“, “Had I been taught this when I was at school that would’ve been better“, “There needs to room in the curriculum for this/that/the other“. Just doing a quick search on Twitter and news outlets you’ll find things about financial matters, internet security, sex and relationships among other things that teachers SHOULD be teaching.
Now… I’m not saying these things aren’t important but I am saying that teachers have a curriculum, prescribed to us by the government, that we must follow. These things that change daily, that are suggested daily, are NOT NECESSARILY part the curriculum. Things such as digital literacy and internet safety ARE on the curriculum. We can’t MAKE children listen to us. We can’t MAKE children NOT go on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. We can’t STOP children bullying. We do a brilliant job of educating children about how to safely use social media, how to behave online, the dangers of cyber bullying and how to be good citizens. I can’t speak for every school but you ask any teacher and they will tell you that YES they do teach that. That is in their lesson plans. It is part of their whole school initiative to make children safe online/in school/at home but we can’t ENFORCE it. We aren’t in control of what happens to children outside of school. Certain things are out of our control.
These other things which are suggested are great, we need to grow with the technology and the society that we are in… but where does that leave teachers? We can’t teach EVERYTHING. There’s not enough time in the day. There’s so many other things that teachers are now becoming. Teachers, counsellors, friends, mentors… yes this comes with the job but shouldn’t there be a shared responsibility. Since when did the line blur between what teachers teach and what parents talk to their children about? I’m not saying there should be a book listing what teachers teach (but essentially that’s the curriculum) and what parents should be in charge of instilling in their children, but I do think parents need to take a role in their children’s upbringing and education as much as teachers.
I don’t want this to become an argument saying “parents do nothing” because I know parents have an incredibly complex and difficult role in their children’s lives but there is so much onus on teachers now that it’s becoming stifling.
An ever changing world needs ever changing and adaptable teachers, but there needs to be some shared responsibility with everyone involved in a child’s life.