Classroom Secrets on BBC1, anyone watch it?(8 Posts)
I was flicking through the channels and came accross this prog and OMGosh did my jaws drop, i know i've been out of teaching (in schools) for 6 years now but what the heck, is it really that bad in schools now?
This is the link to the bbc iplayer: www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b012ltz9/Classroom_Secrets/
As a (former) secondary teacher, nothing will surprise me. Especially how surprised I suspect the parents will be about their child's misbehaviour.
Gosh, don't remind me about secondary schools, i started training in secondary education, only did 6 months, i knew either i'd kill someone or get killed myslef! Since then i have always said that i would never ever send my kids to a secondary school!
Looks just like when I was at primary school! Only we weren't allowed to get up so much. Still, it's possible to engage in plenty of "low-level disruption" from one's seat... small wonder it takes a whole day at school to cover what HE kids can get through in less than an hour.
I counted just 24 children in that class. Think what it would be like with another half-dozen!
Just how did it ever come to the point where anyone at all could believe that this is how it is/has to be and even one teacher should have to teach under conditions like this?
I couldn't do it.
Beleive it was v v tame compared to a standard secondary classroom. Roughly the same number of disruptive elements (4-5 per class) as in any other class in the land but much low-level and localised than it could be and often is in 2ndary.
My DP and I were surprised by how much the kids moved around too. I certainly didn't dare get out of my seat for anything unless the teacher told me to. I thought there was a lot of chatter too but we did only see small bits of the teaching day.
I also found it interesting that the school clearly thought things were more or less OK. They seemed to believe there were improvements that could be made here and there but they were mostly on track. Ofsted appears to agree, having rated it "good." Not very high standards!
I remember visiting four primary schools when my eldest was coming up to Reception age. In each one, I was given a whistle-stop tour of all the classes. I know that is only a snapshot but... At the moment I poked my head in, few of the children seemed to be engaged in learning. In three of the four schools, out of all the children in all the classes, I would estimate about 20% appeared to be listening to a lesson or doing something constructive at the moment I saw them. (And that is just giving the appearance of doing something constructive; when I was that age I listened quietly and worked dutifully but little of what I was doing engaged me in the slightest. So I wouldn't say those 20% were all necessarily learning much.) The other 80% were staring into space, or getting up to mischief, or waiting while the teacher told someone off or handed out materials or checked work. It must have been soul-destroying for those kids, to spend most of their time just waiting.
The fourth school was much better, so that's where I sent my dd five years later when she wanted to try school. She didn't report much disruptive behaviour in the classroom there. Nevertheless, she said that she learned about the same amount in a day at school as she'd absorbed through autonomous education in a day at home, and school left her with virtually no time to see friends or pursue hobbies. So she came out again, convinced that even a very good school didn't hold a candle to home ed.
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