Pissed off by a poster

I know I should let it go, move on and worry about bigger things. But today this cheery poster got my goat.


First of all I will say that some bits I can go with:

  1. Pupils going out into the world to do wonderful things
  2. Imparting knowledge
  3. Listening without judgement (though this last one for me is an aim not an accomplishment)

But the rest are ridiculous and plain old exploitative . Look at these two

  • To be magnificent inspite of late nights and early mornings
  • To give meaningful feedback even if my pile of books seems endless

If these things are happening, then you need to be speaking to your line manager about workload or finding out if there is a shortcut you are uninformed about. Worse still, if you put up these statements in your class or staffroom, then you are normalising overwork and promoting the idea that teachers should put their job before the rest of their life.

I love teaching but that doesn’t mean people should take advantage of me and expect endless piles of books in my care to receive detailed written feedback nor should they demand I sacrifice my sleep for it. If you want me to “fulfil my side of the teaching and learning partnership” then give me conditions that help me do my job more effectively and more skillfully, don’t heap on the work and ask me to sign an allegiance saying I will complete all the work thrown at me no what impact it has on me, my partner, my family, my life or my health.

People who do or expect this are people who say teaching is a vocation not a job. And people who say such a thing are more likely than most to herd and harass teachers out of the profession.

This is an awful poster.

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5 thoughts on “Pissed off by a poster

  1. Relax ! Don’t do it ! Get kids to do their homework on paper. Throw it away immediately and make up the marks . Throw all ks3 exams in the bin and make up marks. Only input positive data showing masses of progress. Go out with you family and get some sleep. Show 15 mins fun ‘video snips to kids at the start and end of every lesson. Play games in the lesson. Have some fun Sign on with a supply agency and retire ftom full time work. You only have one life!

  2. I’m with you – I want to be a good teacher but not in the least bit interested in the matyrdom stuff that goes with it – I think it’s representative of the teaching as a vocation school of thought.

  3. […] speakers telling us that “teaching is a way of being, not just a job.” And it’s in motivational posters telling us that we should “give meaningful feedback on students’ work even if [our] pile of books […]

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