The Professionals 

View from the Bottom

When I started to teach more than 30 years ago I ‘joined the profession’, I took the status seriously. No-one told me how to dress, what to do in the classroom, how to behave ‘off duty’, how to organise my classes, how to mark the pupils’ work or how I must address naughty children. There were no ‘non-negotiables’, few policies, one observation per term for the first year only, no ‘work scrutiny’, no drop- ins, no ‘learning walks’, no ‘support plans’ and no annual appraisal.

There was an expectation that you would dress appropriately, plan effective lessons according to the schools’ scheme of work (in your own style: pedagogy wasn’t a word that any teacher would recognise), behave in a “professional” manner as a leading member of your community and representative of your school, be able to justify your classroom organisation, mark the pupils books, ensure discipline and be accountable…

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