Week 2 – Tough Young Teachers

So, I am finding it pretty hard to be able to blog every week. I don’t know how teachers manage it daily or weekly. Although, they may not have so many commitments outside of teaching too. But….here it is my second blog of 2014. I caught up last week on episode 1 and 2 of Tough Young Teachers on BBC3. It is a very accurate insight as to what goes on in most schools and it portrays how hard it can be when you get started. Below are the 6 young teachers that feature on the programme.

These young teachers are graduates of top universities and have been put on a ‘fast track’ with Teach First. After just 6 weeks training they are put into schools to teach their subject. It was evident from the start that they have a lot to learn. It is not easy after a year of teaching placements to go into a new career and try to make a difference, let alone after just 6 weeks. It did however, give me a chance to reflect on my experience in teaching so far.

I am in my fourth year and I am still learning new things and new ways of dealing with issues. I want to become the best teacher I can and I am always willing to learn to enable me to help the pupils. I got in to teaching because I wanted to help children achieve their potential, I understand that this is different for each individual and that it is not always possible to help all of them. Some get lost along the way due to personal reasons and lack of effort. I think many teachers will agree with me when I say it is almost impossible to do this when some kids don’t want to be helped (not though lack of trying). There are times when you can spend too much time with pupils that either misbehave or just don’t care that the ones that really need it or are struggling possibly get left behind. What made me laugh was when of the young teachers said “All of you are capable of an A*” this was immediately setting herself up to fail. There are times when it is a real achievement for some children to even scrape a D or a C. It is a great feeling when they are pleased with what they have achieved and knowing that you have helped. So for her to say that it was pretty ambitious.

Another thing about this programme that made me reflect on my own teaching was when one of the pupils Charles was teaching said “Respect is earned.” This made me think about my toughest group when I started teaching. A year 11 girls group who basically didn’t want to do anything. It took me until the February half term to win them over. Balancing and building the relationships with pupils is really hard and there is a very fine line. Sometimes they will take advantage if you let them get away with stuff, and other times they will point blank refuse to do things if you are too harsh straight away. It is something I feel I have improved as a teacher in the last few years. The pupils I teach are now pretty much where I want them. Experience in schools is vital to develop teachers. I really feel even the best graduates should go through a proper teaching qualification with placements before being thrown in at the deep end. We have already witnessed the lack of behaviour management going on and how difficult it is. Having a teacher observe you and support you is important. You then have other people to learn from too.

I do like this programme though and I am looking forward to episode 3. It’s great for the public to see what teachers actually have to put up with.

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