Home > A Level, Education Policy, Maths, Teaching > Michael Rosen and the Revolution!

Michael Rosen and the Revolution!

Last week I was driving home and listening to Simon Mayo on radio two, he had former children’s laureate Michael Rosen on discussing a new book, which was all very interesting. The discussion then moved towards education. He spoke about children needing to be inspired, and wanting to pass on his love of reading to his children. This struck a chord, I want children to be inspired, I want to pass on my love of maths to the next generation (and I also hope to pass on my love of reading to my children). I feel I have started to pass on this love of maths, as I received a card from one of my y13 pupils with this inscription:



It was quite possibly the nicest thing I have ever read, and it made me feel great. It is moments like this that I came into the profession for. And I don’t just mean for the nice ego boost (which was great), but the line: “You have restored my faith in maths”. I feel that my job is not just to teach pupils maths. I need to inspire the next generation of mathematicians.  And I need to help pupils prepare for the real life post school.

The next thing Michael Rosen was asked by Simon Mayo was (and I paraphrase): “If you were the education secretary, what changes would you make?” and his answer really got me thinking. It was: (and again, I am paraphrasing): “The first think I would do would be to hand back my powers to the professionals.” He spoke eloquently and at some length about how education secretary after education secretary have come in and used the position as a political football. How various people in the role have come in to attack teachers, rather than to work with and help them. He spoke about the department of health and how they have major links with doctors when it comes to policy making and how education needs to be more like this. All these points hit home for me, and were very similar to a lot of the things mentioned in the May #blogsync (http://blogsync.edutronic.net/).

There was one final thing though, that got me thinking. He said that the way the culture was becoming, with league tables and performance related pay, that it seemed that the current regime were moving to pit teachers against each other, rather than working together. I think that if you look at education policy, it certainly does seem to be that way. The year before last I went to another school for a few days to complete training they were offering, during the time there I was speaking to the lady who ran the training and she told me she was becoming disillusioned with it all because her school were moving towards being a “teaching school” and that the D of E (that’s the Department of Education, not the Duke of Edinburgh!) has told her that she needed to start charging around 4 times as much as she did now to other schools to take up the training. We spoke about our ideals and both agreed that we should all be out to help each other wherever we can, because we all have a common goal, to improve the outcomes for young people. Rosen’s comments reminded me of this conversation, but also made me think of this picture I saw recently (which i can’t now find!), I had the words “The revolution will not be televised, it will be on the internet” on it. 

The reason it made me think of this is because it seems that we are living in a time where there is an online revolution going on. If you click on TES resources you can find tons of resources for your lessons, shared for free, by tons of teachers across the world. The internet is alive with blogs about great lesson ideas and how to improve your teaching. If you tweet “help, I can’t think what to do for a lesson on {insert topic here}” you instantly get loads of ideas tweeted back at you. On top of this is the teachmeet movement. Teachers, from NQTs to SLT members, are giving up their time, for free, to share their ideas and experiences with others. The common goal has been rediscovered online, against a backdrop of PRP and league tables the teachers are rebelling. We are sharing good practice freely and trying to help our colleague become the best they can be, while we strive to become the best we can be.

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  1. October 16, 2013 at 10:28 pm
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