People who have known me for some time could point to many statements about me they could confidently attest to be true: I am tall. I am sometimes rather scruffy. I like Indian food. I do not believe education should be selective, either in terms of children’s supposed academic ability or their family’s ability to pay.
However, the reason this is the first blog post I have written in some months is that, during this prolonged period of silence, I have done something I never thought I would. I have, as many of my former colleagues have put it, “turned to the dark side.” That’s right- I am now teaching Year 5 at a selective, fee-paying school.
“No!” you, my loyal readers, are no doubt crying, “how could you do this?” Well, I have been trying to prepare a carefully-worded defence of my decision but in truth it comes down to something very simple: Ofsted and national curriculum assessments have conspired to impose on state primary schools a system in which I no longer enjoyed working. I left. I still like teaching and it’s still the most effective way for me to make a living. I don’t think doing what I’m doing is any more or less harmful to our social fabric than giving up teaching altogether. My days are more enjoyable and less stressful and I have a greater degree of professional autonomy. So here I am.
I would still like to use this blog to support other teachers, especially those working in less comfortable conditions than my own. Instead of epic viral rants, however, my focus will be on actually doing the job- sharing resources and research, pooling ideas and discussing pedagogy and practice.
I believe that, for the majority of my subscribers, this blog will continue be interesting and entertaining. However, my revolution is over. I’m 34 and I go to garden centres on Saturdays.