Some teachers on twitter have criticised these early blog posts because I’ve “never taught”. Apart from from 14 weeks teaching practice, that’s true, but my writing (so far) hasn’t been about teaching. It’s been about my attempts, as a newbie, to understand the theories and philosophies behind the Scottish education system. Firstly I don’t think the CfE materials we’re given during our training year are user friendly enough.
I said in my first post that I didn’t like the way the Experiences and Outcomes are written. On reflection maybe there isn’t that much wrong with them. Maybe, years from now, I’ll see that there is a significant difference between (random example) :
– Throughout the writing process, I can review and edit my writing to ensure that it meets its purpose and communicates meaning at first reading. LIT 3-23a
– Throughout the writing process, I can review and edit my writing independently to ensure that it meets its purpose and communicates meaning at first reading. LIT 4-23a
My real problem is that as a new teacher starting out these aren’t helpful at all. For us, right at the start of our careers, we need everything to be laid out as simply and succinctly as possible. Planning lessons for the first time, dealing with behaviour and completing coursework for university takes up pretty much 100% of our time and attention. Seriously, who has time to sit and commit to memory 317 pages of Curriculum guidelines?
Please Education Scotland / teacher training colleges – just tell us what to teach and how to teach it. Let us master the basics before we move on. Tell us how to deal with the kids who laugh at us, swear at us, talk over us. Tell us the small things we can do that get big results. Teach us routines that work, and have been proven to work over time.
Honestly, all the other stuff, the stuff about the Effective Contributors and the Responsible Citizens and whatever, we ignore it. It’s not meaningful for us. Save that for after we’ve been teaching for five years and are starting to have a clue about what we’re doing. Our stressed wee brains can only take in so much information at a time. What’s the analogy comparing an NQT to a medical student performing heart surgery after one year’s training? Help us out. Keep it simple, then build.