Education New Years Resolutions

These are some New Years resolutions I suggest the Education sector should take on for 2011:

1. Stop Putting Unnecessary Pressure on Teachers – Sure it is important to scrutinise teachers and ensure that poor teachers don’t preside over a classroom.  But if you base whether a teacher is good or otherwise on a test you run the risk of the following consequences:

  • Teachers teach to a test rather than typical authentic teaching
  • Inexperienced teachers will be frightened off from continuing in the profession due to the pressure to perform
  • Teachers will be labelled in a manner we have never seen before
  • Some good teachers will be mistakenly called poor based on circumstances partly beyond their control.

2. Continue Fighting Bullying – 2011 has to be dedicated to making students feel better about school, by striving to create an environment that is tolerant and bully-free.  School cultures must change where necessary.  Exterior programs are fine, but they are often at the mercy of endemic school culture deficiencies.

3. Stop Playing Public and Private Schools Against Each Other – The media has been chipping away at this one.  Comparing public and private schools for funding and achievement can be counter-productive.  Instead of pitting them against each other, Governments should be trying to improve the quality of all sectors for all people.  Let both Public and Private schools flourish.

4. Pressure the Education Union – The Education Union needs to step up and show us they are relevant.  Of late they have come across as pussy cats, giving in to big issues without even a fight.  The rule that all teachers in a school must be Union members before they even consult with the staff about conditions and wages, puts teachers under pressure from colleagues to sign up whether they want to or can afford to.  This is not acceptable.

5. Lessons Must Come Alive – The trend towards direct instruction teaching means lessons are becoming more turgid and less engaging.  Similarly, there needs to be a greater emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking.

6. Forget about the National Curriculum – The draft was a huge disappointment.  New curriculums don’t change outcomes.  Improved conditions and support does.

7. Look After New Teachers – This includes improving the quality of teacher training, which at the moment is not up to scratch.  New teachers require more support.  The idea of filling holes by putting new teachers in remote schools is just the tonic for scaring away potentially phenomenal teachers.  Don’t let them sink or swim, but rather, put structures in place that allows them to be nurtured and supported in the crucial early years.

Please feel free to add some of your own suggestions.

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8 Responses to “Education New Years Resolutions”

  1. theteachingwhore Says:

    Good suggestions. At our school, everyone does not have to belong to the union in order to get advice/help from it–maybe it differs by state.

  2. Novroz Says:

    Good resolutions. I’m glad I don’t have to deal with bullying as it is not often happens in my country.

    I agree on the curriculum. Indonesian Curriculum also needs a lot of changes

  3. Matthew Fears Says:

    I think the school systems should teach the basics (reading, writing, simple math) during the elementary years.

    By the time the kids get to middle school the system should start gearing kids toward their interest and teach them self discovery. Kids should have more room to think freely and teachers should be able to help stable their minds.

    At the time of high school kids should be learning their fields of interest as well as learning how to handle stress and self care. http://365daysofselfcare.com/ When the kids graduate they should be able to create their own work and not have to fear seeking a job. The technology age kids are more independant and the schools should support that.

    Lastly I think teachers should get paid more according to their success rate of the kids that learn under them. The more successful the kids are the more the teacher should get paid. This should work by the kids returning some of their success to the teachers(sort of like private schools that ask for donations from alums), maybe a predetermined percentage. With that system teachers will feel they can do the job they love and get appropiete compensation and support for it. Also teachers would have more concern for the work they do.

    As you can see, I think the whole system should change

  4. melodydemone Says:

    Hey, where were you when I was at school lol. It’s great to see there are some teachers that care and are passionate about their craft. You are definitely needed. A for excellence and a * for effort. Keep up the good work 🙂

  5. Amanda Says:

    That’s interesting. I’ve “taught” for years, in that I’ve put together a weekly Bible study for junior high aged students. However, the first thing that was glaringly obvious to me the first day of my mild/moderate credential student teaching was how much education is completely driven by state curriculum (I know you’re in Australia!).
    That driving force doesn’t seem necessarily bad – nor does it seem good. When I taught the weekly Bible study, it was GREAT to be able to function in creativity. To make the lessons I wrote come alive and to fully engage the kids.
    I thought that’s what teaching was about: imparting knowledge in a meaningful way. I’m curious to see how much I actually teach and how much I simply recite. Ah, well time will tell! =)

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