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'Teaching and Learning' Is it all that?

(12 Posts)
Bonhomie321 Fri 02-Jun-17 17:38:13

Since having my children, my career has been in the doldrums. I teach / taught a key subject at secondary level, and considering a move back, full time. I have kept my foot in, doing supply and lots of bits and bobs, keeping up to date with the changes at GCSE and ks2. However, the changes in the last 10 years (when I left full time after my daughter was born) are immense. I have seen initiatives come and go; arriving with great fanfare, and often just slipping away without a mention. A lot of these initiatives seem to be good practice and common sense just rebranded (or is this just me?). Some, however seem to be based on education psycho-babble (again, is this just me?). I have seen quite a number of young teachers enter the profession without degrees in their subject, climb the ladder having really got on board with Teaching and Learning. They are enthusiastic blog readers! I feel really old fashioned! Is Teaching and Learning' really all that, and do I have to jump on the bandwagon too if I hope to re establish my career?

OP’s posts: |
YogiYoni Sat 03-Jun-17 08:25:45

I'm a bit confused by your question. Surely 'teaching and learning' is what we do? Not a bandwagon to jump on?

or am I too young to understand?

Bonhomie321 Sat 03-Jun-17 10:38:25

Stupid title - of course learning and progression and student development is at the heart of education. I'm referring to Teaching and Learning (with capital letters) the term that features in job advertisements and role descriptors. I agree that it is the responsibility of everybody who works in a school, regardless of their job. It's the pointless rebranding of good practice (and sometimes the bad) that gets my goat, and is a factor that makes me think twice about resuming my career. I have seen many initiative come in and sink without a trace since I left full time classroom teaching, hence the cynical bandwagon comment. Perhaps my view comes from my experience of an individual school where members of the T&L group are particularly loud and enthusiastic about blogs and research read. Differentiation isn't new! ( results are still poor yet careers are flourishing). I am interested in whether this is the case in other schools.

OP’s posts: |
YogiYoni Sat 03-Jun-17 18:19:11

In my school Teaching and Learning isn't an initiative, it's just teaching. I'm not sure it's worth rethinking your whole career over?

GoldenFlamingo Sun 04-Jun-17 10:06:27

I agree.
And I am a fairly young teacher.
I've struggled to enjoy teaching because of the ridiculous pressure to appease by using the Head's/SLT's latest 'fad' only for it to be replaced 3 weeks later. My school is all based on sucking up by using said fad so obviously that SLT don't come and bollock you for 'not listening'.
It drives me mad.
Where is the trust in teacher's abilities and style?
The lack of consistency is infuriating. Just let teachers teach using a range of styles depending on what they are teaching and what suits their pupils.
None of it is impact focused. It is all about SLT getting their say and wanting their arse licked.
Let us get on with our jobs and focus on making the most impact we can in the most sustainable way for our, and our pupil's, wellbeing.

I am not saying I am not open to new ideas or feedback. I just hate the way it is presented as a life-changing idea and then seen as a crime if you don't adopt it instantly.

noblegiraffe Sun 04-Jun-17 10:24:48

Teaching and Learning isn't the name for a fad or any particular method, it's just a name for what goes on in the classroom.

So when Ofsted come in they look at 'Behaviour' 'Leadership' 'Teaching and Learning' etc.

nostaples Sun 04-Jun-17 10:34:02

I think Bonhomie is referring to the trends that come under the heading of teaching and learning and that introducing fads under that heading gives them a validation that they don't necessarily deserve. Like Golden, I agree with this. Too many trends are not grounded in good evidence or research and are soon discredited: learning styles and brain gym come to mind. Teachers have to spend too much time and energy getting on board with the latest trend and this can be at the expense of what evidence DOES show works. In my experience an awful lot of trainee teachers and NQTs are duped into producing all singing all dancing lessons where the emphasis is on fun and they don't have a sense of the long term strategies that work: repetition of skills and individual feedback, individual intervention, focus on rules and systems and practice.

YogiYoni Sun 04-Jun-17 10:42:02

Yes, what you're saying about fads makes sense, but suggesting 'teaching and learning' is a fad seems odd.

Op, if you're not happy with your school culture, look for a different one - my current school is very un-faddy for example.

GoldenFlamingo Sun 04-Jun-17 13:01:25

Yogi as other posters have pointed out, OP simply meant Teaching and Learning Fads when they wrote Teaching and Learning.

Sadly 'faddy' school cultures are growing more and more common. Especially in schools which need simple, tried and tested, focused teaching to help them improve - not 101 different methods, a new one each week simply being used to appease SLT and make SLT feel that they are doing something.

noblegiraffe Sun 04-Jun-17 14:44:17

But Teaching and Learning featuring job adverts and role descriptors is just a standard phrase and doesn't mean that the school is faddy or that the staff read blogs.

Nothing wrong with reading blogs, by the way. Many of them oppose faddy teaching and are an excellent source of CPD in a climate where CPD is hard to come by at work.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 04-Jun-17 14:57:03

Now is a good time to get back in if you are interested in solid subject focused pedagogy, because, ironically enough, it is the style du jour. And importantly, OFSTED is far less prescriptive now than in the last decade. Have a look at what Sean Harford is saying, which was born out in my most recent OFSTED experience about a year ago.

I also agree about blogs and CPD. I have learned a lot, and I have been a teacher a long time.

OneOfTheGrundys Tue 06-Jun-17 15:15:17

I love an edublog. Edutwitter can be useful too, if you can ignore the sniping that goes on sometimes.

I absolutely agree about it refreshing, inspiring and educating when cpd is thin on the ground. I find Ofsted on twitter is interesting actually.

Wrt slt and fads. I nod, pay lip service to them, do a bit for the odd obs and let them die quietly.

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