Please excuse me while I rant

I just wonder sometimes where education has gone wrong.

With kids whose experience of Maths has been failure and confusion, I like to build up their confidence by spending long enough on a topic for them really to feel they understand it. To go fairy-step by fairy-step so they’re saying “This is easy, Miss” in that lovely tone of utter surprise. I like to seize on opportunities to do something that’s fun, like tying learning about money into putting together a Christmas wish list (cutting and pasting the toy section of an Argos catalogue onto a Christmas stocking cutout and listing the prices and what coins you could use to buy them, or what change you’d get from a £20 note – i.e. very little!) and learning to tell the time by making clocks and calendars.

And do you know what? It works. I have few children in my groups who are afraid of maths any more, and all are making outstanding progress. BUT

I am no longer to do this. I have been given my orders. I an to adhere more closely to the national curriculum. This esteemed document informs me that within the next three weeks leading up to Christmas I am to teach my nine-and-ten-year-olds: the time, weighing, measuring, capacity, using metric and imperial measure, adding, subtracting mentally and on paper, basic decimals, multiplication tables, worded problems, coordinates, transformations and number sequences. Whether they are ready for it or not.

Why do I do this job? Why? Why? Why? Does my professional integrity and expertise count for nothing?

5 thoughts on “Please excuse me while I rant

  1. Breathe, smudgie!! Sympathy. but if you’re in the state sector, there’s not a lot you can do about it, is there? good luck trying to keep your integrity AND your job!! (I wish I’d learned maths from someone like you – I’m still terrified by anything more complicated than adding whole numbers, and that’s with fingers!)

  2. Darling, you’re a teacher … no one in government cares what you think … and don’t get me started on parents! (and no, I’m not a teacher … but my parents were and I ran a school office for five years … in Australia, yes, but I really can’t imagine that govt depts are much different world over). Those in the know value you though!

  3. This bit caught my eye: "weighing, measuring, capacity, using metric and imperial measure," What is the point of making the poor kids learn Imperial measures when the only time they’ll come across them is buying pints of milk? Unless they happen to come to me for cookery lessons, of course, because I learned to cook from my mum, who cooks in imperial. Damn stupid idea, but that’s the DFES for you… (Is it the DFES these days? I get confused).

  4. This bit caught my eye: "weighing, measuring, capacity, using metric and imperial measure," What is the point of making the poor kids learn Imperial measures when the only time they’ll come across them is buying pints of milk? Unless they happen to come to me for cookery lessons, of course, because I learned to cook from my mum, who cooks in imperial. Damn stupid idea, but that’s the DFES for you… (Is it the DFES these days? I get confused).

  5. ((Smudgie))

    You’re a darn good teacher and I’m sure you’ll find a way to ensure your talent and your unique and joyful style shines though. God bless.

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