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AIBU

To think too much is expected of teachers these days

(183 Posts)
trisher Mon 26-Apr-21 10:22:05

Teachers now are expected to be knowledgeable about special needs, recognise and help with mental health problems, teach about sex and consent, provide counselling and fulfill heaps of other little requirements when they pop up. Wouldn't schools function far better if properly qualified non-teaching staff were available to deal with these problems and teachers were left to teach?

EllanVannin Mon 26-Apr-21 10:47:07

There was none of this in the 40's/ 50's what's happened, what's gone wrong with the world ?
In the " leaner " years I had a brilliant education in both primary and secondary school which I'm sure many others will vouch for and the majority left school with jobs to go to.

Lucca Mon 26-Apr-21 10:47:31

Yes yes and yes. As long as the non teaching people are properly trained and spend time in classrooms to see how teachers interact with students and the difficulties they face .

Sarnia Mon 26-Apr-21 11:27:01

Not to mention toilet training and knowing how to use a knife and fork.

trisher Mon 26-Apr-21 12:14:55

EllanVannin

There was none of this in the 40's/ 50's what's happened, what's gone wrong with the world ?
In the " leaner " years I had a brilliant education in both primary and secondary school which I'm sure many others will vouch for and the majority left school with jobs to go to.

In the40s &50s if you had a problem child you shipped them off elsewhere. Special needs schools for children who were different. Grammar schools sent children to secondary moderns, sec mods sent children to special or approved schools(if they were really bad). Now I am 100% for inclusion, the problem is it's been done on the cheap and instead of the expertise and services found in special schools being moved into mainstream they've just disappeared.

eazybee Mon 26-Apr-21 12:18:26

The lack of Special schools and units has contributed to many more classroom problems; mainstream schools are not suitable for the needs of all pupils.

Hithere Mon 26-Apr-21 12:20:26

Part of the challenge of teaching is recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of the students so they learn better.
The bond between student and teacher should facilitate identifying red flags.

The items in the original post are reasonable.
Now, if a child has a condition that the teacher recognizes and she/he is not trained to deal with, different arrangements are needed.

Bodily autonomy should the the rule everywhere, not just at home.
Sex education is just biology class, not all kids get this info at home, or the proper one.

Galaxy Mon 26-Apr-21 12:21:23

The situation for children with special needs in previous times was awful. The idea that there was some Golden age of education is not true. My children received a much better education than I did, and certainly much broader in terms of experiences.

midgey Mon 26-Apr-21 12:24:02

Part of the problem is that the curriculum is so rigid and Academies are out to make money. Tories have a great deal to answer for.....especially Mr Gove!

nanna8 Mon 26-Apr-21 12:52:06

Yes. Teachers are expected to be social workers, policemen and then teachers. They don’t get paid enough for what they have to do these days. Then there’s the parents...

Doodledog Mon 26-Apr-21 13:04:45

EllanVannin

There was none of this in the 40's/ 50's what's happened, what's gone wrong with the world ?
In the " leaner " years I had a brilliant education in both primary and secondary school which I'm sure many others will vouch for and the majority left school with jobs to go to.

What constitutes a 'brilliant' education?

I think that the attitude that education is (or should be) simply about fitting people for jobs is Gradgrindian and denies the majority a chance to appreciate life outside of work with an understanding of culture. Schools should not be machines churning out factory fodder or universities creators of a managerial class.

With regard to the OP, yes, I think that unless teachers are expected to have superpowers (in which case pay them super wages) they should be employed to teach, and social workers, psychologists, counsellors and so on should be the ones to fulfil these roles. The welfare state should ensure that children go to school fed, rested and able to learn, so that teachers can get on with what they are trained to do.

Unfortunately, there is so little provision of services for mental health issues, special needs of various types and such patchy help to alleviate poverty that too many children fall through the gaps unless teachers catch them.

MerylStreep Mon 26-Apr-21 13:07:46

Ah, the wonderful world of 50s education. My teacher hit me round the head so hard that my glasses went flying. Why, because I just couldn’t grasp maths.
That teacher went to prison ( later) for assault on a child.

Looking back I can see now all the children that were ‘on the spectrum’ Violence was used on these children.

Loislovesstewie Mon 26-Apr-21 13:12:15

As I said on a different post I am a retired homelessness officer. When I was working I undertook many duties that were not part of my job description, if you like I could provide a list. I think you will find that, contrary to what the press would have you believe, many local government workers do far more than what they should only do as part of the job description. The same applies to teachers who, I know, will go 'above and beyond'. We thought it was just common decency.

Hithere Mon 26-Apr-21 13:14:38

I had a learning disability that truly didnt let me grasp some concepts

Because the teachers were not minimally educated, theh justified my bad grades with "I was lazy and wanted to give them a hard time
If I only put more effort, I would do better"

If only a teacher would have suggested the possibility of a learning disability and please get that explored further with an specialist, what a difference it would have made

Instead, I became the girl who would get frustrated and difficult for no reason

Urmstongran Mon 26-Apr-21 13:52:11

A small correction:

The Labour Government under Tony Blair established academies through the Learning and Skills Act 2000, which amended the section of the Education Act 1996 relating to City Technology Colleges. They were first announced in a speech by David Blunkett, then Secretary of State for Education and Skills, in 2000.

Labour.
Not Conservative.

EllanVannin Mon 26-Apr-21 14:03:45

Yes,*MerylStreep*, at least in the 50's I left school able to spell and string a sentence together. Half the kids today can't even feed themselves when they start school let alone spell when they leave.
Perhaps tough love was the way to go in the 50's !

Aveline Mon 26-Apr-21 14:05:55

I agree trisher mainstreaming has indeed been done on the cheap. Teachers seem to be expected to do 101 things they certainly didn't have to do when I was at school. I think your suggestion is a good one.

growstuff Mon 26-Apr-21 14:10:31

Urmstongran

A small correction:

The Labour Government under Tony Blair established academies through the Learning and Skills Act 2000, which amended the section of the Education Act 1996 relating to City Technology Colleges. They were first announced in a speech by David Blunkett, then Secretary of State for Education and Skills, in 2000.

Labour.
Not Conservative.

The academies created during the Blair government were totally different from the ones which have been created since 2010. Gove piggy backed on Blair's legislation to create schools with completely different aims.

growstuff Mon 26-Apr-21 14:11:20

I'm afraid you've been like the teacher who marks a perfectly correct statement as wrong.

growstuff Mon 26-Apr-21 14:12:09

EllanVannin

Yes,*MerylStreep*, at least in the 50's I left school able to spell and string a sentence together. Half the kids today can't even feed themselves when they start school let alone spell when they leave.
Perhaps tough love was the way to go in the 50's !

What utter rot!

Hithere Mon 26-Apr-21 14:13:00

In my line of work and many others, we have a main function but has to be complemented by others
1. Skills to do our job
2. Know about the industry we are on
3. Know which new tools and techniques to do our jobs better
4. Keep our education up to date to match the times and market

Same with teachers, they are no exception to this rule

I guess the definition of "doing your job" has also changed with the decades

MerylStreep Mon 26-Apr-21 15:29:59

I grew up with 3 lads ( not related to me) who were all dyslexic.
All 3 were disruptive in class.
All 3 went onto be criminals. This is reflected now in our prison population.
BTW EllanVannin this same teacher had a name for the cane and slipper. He would make you say thank you after he hit you with either.
His other sadistic pleasure..... if you were in the corridor with your face against the wall he would crack his knuckles down the back of your head.
These experiences left me with a very bitter attitude towards teachers. But I have known ( in my adult years) some very nice ones 😁

Nanna58 Mon 26-Apr-21 15:38:55

Why on earth should it be unreasonable to expect teachers to know about Special Needs - I did, it was my job to know!! Did plenty that wasn’t too; supplying breakfast , clean underwear and sometimes just plain love:

Lucca Mon 26-Apr-21 15:55:21

Nanna58

Why on earth should it be unreasonable to expect teachers to know about Special Needs - I did, it was my job to know!! Did plenty that wasn’t too; supplying breakfast , clean underwear and sometimes just plain love:

Teachers do know about special needs obviously. The issue is that the strategies for helping SEN children often require resources which are not forthcoming.

Ellianne Mon 26-Apr-21 16:11:44

I think every child in school is special and deserving of support. Be it the child whose dog has just died, the child whose father is fighting in Iraq, the child who refuses to eat the school lunches, and all the other little requirements that pop up as you say trisher. Everything needs to be fitted into the day.
As a teacher I never took a lunch break, I never left the building before 7 pm. I wanted to help the children in a pastoral role as much as in an educational one. That could my child and I would want the teacher with the best experience of the whole pupil to be the one to respond. If it meant missing my swim, then so be it.
I have no idea if this value added is possible at secondary level, I have no idea if it works with more than 20 in a class, but fortunately we were able to crack it as near as possible.
I'm also guessing it helped that we were able to go beyond what was required in the curriculum by selecting the good bits and ditching the bad.
"Just doing your job" is a good description, treating it as a vocation goes one step beyond.