Regular readers will know that I am particularly concerned about the impact of the modern school environment on teachers’ personal wellbeing and notably the ways in which schools (inadvertently or otherwise) may be making that impact worse than it needs to be.
In my view, schools and the nation at large should be thankful that people are still prepared to do what is an exhausting and challenging job at all, without making matters worse through unrealistic demands and expectations.
The most immediate improvement would be brought about by creating space for teachers to do their job in a less pressurised and more considered way that also has a less detrimental effect on their personal wellbeing.
Finally, I believe that it is simply not acceptable for people to work under the constant anxiety and distress that the never-ending demands in many schools now seem to cause their staff. Working life should not feel like a punishment – least of all in a socially responsible job like teaching. And neglect of the staff is de facto a neglect of a school’s prime asset, quite apart from any moral considerations, and as foolish a policy as can be conceived.
A propos nothing more than my own curiosity, here is a not-especially scientific attempt to gauge whether the conditions outlined above are widespread. I have created a very simply one-question survey and ask readers to take a moment to complete it. I don’t use Twitter, but for once I urge readers to forward my post so as to maximise the survey size. The survey remains open for one week and I will publicise the results in the New Year.
Thank you; have a restful holiday.