I should be wise enough not to let my anger rise just because of a mere education blog… I should be..
But this by apparently ‘The most influential blog on education in the UK’ scratched a tender spot and I have to reply.
How the hell do you coast when you are faced with 30 children whom you have to teach and lead and cajole and re-teach and help and support and scold and listen to? At what time during the lesson are you coasting? Or are you coasting when are marking till late in the evening? Maybe you are taking it easy at the very moment you awake and your first thought of the day is “I haven’t photocopied those resources for lesson 1?” Maybe you are relaxing during the 3 hour “5 minutes an appointment” parents evening you had that started 10 minutes after a full teaching day?
Luckily there is a list in the article showing you how to spot a coasting teacher. Like a David Attenborough documentary we are shown all the characteristics that make up this mythical species. I think I know what these terms mean and so i have rephrased them
How to spot a coasting teacher?
- They move with all the energy of a stone trough – They are so genuinely full on exhausted you should be grateful they haven’t phoned in sick
- They are happy not to fulfill their potential – They are desperately trying to maintain some sort of work life which taking another responsibility with no extra time would destroy
- They feel under attack by any new initiative – You should think through your latest management issue and whether the improvement in learning it creates actually balances out the extra work it creates
- They see progress as a threat – Define progress
- They toe the line but reluctantly – They haven’t the confidence that their head teacher and leadership team will see any questioning of new ideas as anything other than subordination
- They have a closed-door policy – Your observation policy is threatening not supportive. Sort it out
- They spread negativity like Japanese knot-weed – Because they lack the confidence to speak to you (see 5) they talk to other teachers about changes to their work day. Its what people do in the staff room.
- They say ‘full circle’, ‘when I qualified we …’ and ‘mark my words’ – They have built up years of experience in the classroom (maybe more than the leadership team) you should value this.
- They pride themselves on being dinosaurs. They know that how things were done ‘back then’ still has some relevance and you shouldn’t throw all past knowledge out for the latest fad some new assistant head teacher has just introduced to the school at the least training day.
- They have a sour face. WHICH IS CAUSED AS YOU DONT APPRECIATE HOW HARD THEY ARE WORKING AND HOW WELL THEY ARE DOING THEIR JOB DESPITE ALL THE CONSTANT CHANGES AND SCRUTINY YOU APPLY TO THEIR DAILY WORKING LIFE
Sorry for the red font and the block capitals. but sometimes their symbolism is apt
Finally, I have written this myself and not paid someone else to write my own posts for me on my own blog 😉