Newsletter 16 Teacher View of Teaching

Do we really know what teachers think and feel about teaching? It is my wish that we attempt to put this to scrutiny and ask teachers about their sentiments of their profession. The rector at UWC once said that of all the teachers studying part time a small fraction is studying in their field of teaching...most are studying to get out of teaching. Recent articles in newspapers are very concerned about this brain drain blaming ignorance about changing pension rules as culprit. The strong emerging independent school sector has distorted the teaching labour market in various ways. Poaching the very best the public sector has to offer by offering better services, better salaries and better conditions...and this is not only true for teachers but learners too. Imagine what this is doing to the morale and discipline in the public sector? The erosion of social cohesion through lower self-esteem is amongst the worst.

Allow me to end off with the encouraging words of Joanna Michelson of the CEL when she says that “Teaching is a complex and sophisticated endeavour. It involves thousands of decisions every day and requires teachers to constantly adjust their instructional practices to meet the needs of their students”.

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