Showing posts with label rant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rant. Show all posts

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Promotional administrative positions as a career pathway for teachers

Administrative positions are seen as a career pathway for teachers. For two years I have said that this is a grave problem in the teaching system

a) It takes good teachers away from the classroom
b) These positions tend to rapidly turnover causing inconsistency in BMIS application
c) There is a vast gap between managing staff and managing children
d) Salary discrepancies cause dissatisfaction between teachers and those aspiring to higher salaries

L3CT causes similar issues
a) Only those with large amounts of time can produce the documentation required
b) It tends to inspire teachers to create a load of meaningless and ill-advised programs that are unsustainable and poorly implemented to satisfy L3CT criteria
c) There are clear issues over the values of L3CT criteria with the change away from developmental programs and back to direct instruction in support of gaining improved NAPLAN results

Where is the encouragement for good teachers to actually remain in the classroom and teach, or guide and mentor developing teachers (not just practicum students)? Why would you train new teachers if they will be competition for these aspirant positions? Can L3CT actually encourage teachers to stay in the classroom?

Once upon a time, teachers progressed through their classes and were given intellectually more challenging classes as time passed - growing their management skills through to HOLA/HOD (managing staff and students) and then progressed to Deputy and Principal. Those unable to make HOLA/HOD/Year leader work, would not get access to Deputy and similarly Principal. This system made sense. Hopefully if you weren't a good teacher, good manager of students and good manager of staff you would not get promotion.

This still applies in our older leaders (who also today have to be capable fundraisers and business managers) - but some of our new leaders that have devalued the classroom (many openly say that they hated teaching and wouldn't do it again) may be great at managing individual students but have forgotten the other side of the job (managing one student is not managing their behaviour in the classroom or their effect on others!).

I loved the idea of classroom first, but sadly now - it has just become another bit of rhetoric. We are now starting to base classes run each year on class sizes rather than need for providing opportunities for student excellence (lets hope that the error in this logic is quickly rectified!). We put students in classes that they will succeed in (even though potentially below their ability) to avoid poor graduation scores or TEE results being put in the newspaper.

We ignore the fact that our kids are excelling in individual fields and beating all rivals and bus them to other schools for higher subjects or give them distance learning "opportunities" rather than reward them for sticking it out in a low socio-economic school and being given their deserved small class advantage.

It's something that deserves further consideration beyond any budget issue as it is a case of equity for these children. We always worry about the financially challenged low achievers, but we need to consider that schools are places of learning foremost and our high achievers (whether teachers or students) deserve our support too.