I am a teacher. However, I work in the private sector. Therefore, I am protected against some of the policy ideas teetering on the lips of politicians. That said, I still feel the outrage and indignation of state-employees school teachers.
Doctors working lives are intrusively and obstructively evaluated. They have to register every year and complete a mammoth appraisal and professional development portfolio. That may sound like a good thing, but that becomes effort doctors are putting in that is not going into practicing medicine. But doctors can’t stop putting effort into practicing medicine, so they have to find a way to do both. The result is tired doctors. Do you still like this appraisal idea? It gets worse: the appraisal blocks doctors from being able to go into private practices. Doctors who wanted that as a part of their professional progression now can’t, and so are leaving. And they are doing that in droves.
Given that those kind of working conditions create a brain drain in the profession, I think we should apply the same rules to teachers. Wait, no, I don’t think that at all. I think the NHS is a case study that shows it is an awful idea. And yet, the Labour Party plans to make teachers register and retrain every few years. Teachers’ time is already used up teaching the undisciplined, unmotivated and self-entitled spawn of the UK, and now we’re going to ask them to pay for the privilege. I feel an exodus coming on.
On a quick straw poll, which cannot be seen as reliable but must encourage some sort of research, my connections to state schools suggest another thing that could cause an exodus of teachers is scrapping the idea of teaching assistants. Teaching assistants are necessary in a large number of schools where classes of 30 simply cannot get behaviour management and education from one person. A class of 30 students is a class of 30 people, and even if they are well-behaved (they never are…) they need more attention. Friends of mine from state schools claim they will walk out (or, not renew their contracts) if the teaching assistant resource is ripped from under them: partly because the job will become that much harder and partly in protest of making good employees redundant.