It is no wonder teachers’ nerves are frayed when they are faced with today’s many challenges – HeraldScotland

Posted: December 25, 2019 at 4:41 pm


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I HAVE great sympathy for the anonymous letter writer (December 19) who spoke about the difficulties wearing teachers down thanks to the behaviour in class of children from dysfunctional families where drug dependency and anti-social conduct is the milieu within which those youngsters have to operate at home

Socialisation is sorely needed in such cases but that is outwith the remit of a classroom teacher who has to herd at least 30 other young charges at the same time.

Specialist attention needs to be given to those who are in need of such remediation, and they have to be identified early in the educational cycle to afford them the chance of self- improvement. Even if it were to mean holding them back until they were ready to enter mainstream classes, it would be to the benefit of the teachers and all the pupils. It would mean more money having to be allocated to provide specialist facilitators to encourage better behaviour.

That would be a price worth paying.

However, there are other much more endemic problems teachers have to endure.

Low-level misbehaviour and inattention hamper proper classroom learning, which difficulty is compounded by the way classrooms are set up in groups these days.

A fair amount of teaching time is lost through the time consumed in bringing classes to order so that the lesson can be delivered.

There is also the ownership of (this reveals my age) of mobile phones which pupils bring to school and which create distraction.

Add to that the numbing complexity of the new curriculum which bogs teachers down so that they cannot function fully on the levels they know they could reach, if it were not for the deadening influence of the dumbed-down elements of what has to be taught.

Over and above we have the lack of adequate sanctions to discourage slackness and misconduct. School administrators, out of fear of adverse publicity, tend to take the side of the miscreants instead of supporting their staff members.

It is no wonder that the nerves of teachers are frayed when they are faced with such multiple challenges when they should be stretching their pupils instead of having them tread water for the first few years of school.

I just wonder whether parents should be asked, before their offspring will be accepted by the school, to sign a contract which states that pupils must come to school punctually, be properly equipped for what they have to do, show respect to their teachers and carry out what they are asked to do diligently. Failure to observe the contract would result in exclusion.

To all those who are at the chalkface (another reference which betrays my age) I extend my commiserations. I know you are doing the best job you can under those trying circumstances.

I just wish you had the conditions to allow you to do a much better job to improve Scotland's standing in the world of education

Denis Bruce, Bishopbriggs.

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It is no wonder teachers' nerves are frayed when they are faced with today's many challenges - HeraldScotland

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December 25th, 2019 at 4:41 pm

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