What's happening to our schools?
This week my daughter will spend hours sitting tests in Maths (2 tests plus mental), English (Reading, Writing x2, Spelling) and Science (x2). Of course I understand the need to assess children's learning and assess the quality of teaching but she has been preparing for these tests for weeks and weeks. She has had mountains of homework and practice tests galore. She has been stressed about them because her teachers (all of whom are my friends and who I really like and respect) have not stopped talking about them for months. She is only a little girl! Surely school at this age should be about the enjoyment and excitement of learning. Surely there are better ways of judging the success of a school or of a child's progress than simply going by these tests!
I'm glad I'm not full time teaching anymore. The amount of work at our school would be a very funny joke if it were not a reality. Every day a new bit of paper is given to the staff with more to do in preparation for the OFSTED inspection. More and more and more paperwork, meetings, lists, reports, surveys, forms, check this and that is done. Most time is spent teaching but I would say the least time is spent preparing to teach which surely should be a priority. Ohhh I could go on and on but I won't. I'm cross because a very good friend and a superb, committed, experienced teacher is finding that school is asking way too much at the moment and needs to take some time out.
Ok that's my mini rant over! If you have children at school, give their teacher a nice smile next time you see them!