My brain is slowly kicking back into life after weeks spent marking coursework. This enforced, unpaid slavery to the exam boards has left me resentful and rebellious. It has also caused me to question my role as a teacher. These thought processes have been fed, as usual, by my twitter PLN. At the risk of sounding like an e-stalker Steve Wheeler has once again put in words what I'm struggling to express. In his post A Digital Heretic he uses the metaphor that I find myself using all the time - the little boy in the emperor's new clothes story. Time after time I find myself spluttering at the blatantly obvious stupidity or mind numbing lack of understanding. Maybe it's coming into education in my 40s after a career in banking ( I know - hang my head in shame ) but I am repeatedly gob smacked at how things are done in schools. The disorganisation, the chaos and the lack of planning and forward thinking leave me stunned. Wouldn't last five minutes in industry is another of my ( annoying ) catchphrases. Not keeping my gob shut is no doubt going to cost me dear in the career progression stakes.
And yet, and yet. Before this starts to sound like a slagging off teaching post I have to add that this job makes me think more than any other job ever has and despite the workload gives me more job satisfaction than I ever thought possible. Daily I'm challenged about not only what I do but also why and how I do it.
In my last post I discussed my concerns about how ICT as a discrete subject is developing. In response Nick Jackson sent me a link to his blog. I need to think further about this post but one phrase that jumped out at me immediately was 'a living contradiction'. I am a firm believer in using ICT to innovate, engage and support higher order thinking skills. And yet as soon as I get a KS4 class in front of me I forget all my principals and instincts and turn into a grade processing factory. And I'm very good at it. I consistently get significant value added scores with the vast majority of my students exceeding their TMGs. I can also console myself with the fact that my online resources allow personalised learning with students working independently at their own pace and achieving to their full potential. I pride myself on the fact that no student leaves my course without a qualification - whatever it takes. Trouble is I can't get the following quote from Peter Druker out of my head