Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

What Keeps Me Awake at Night - Head Down, Eyes Closed, Mouth Shut: Opinion

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

What Keeps Me Awake at Night - Head Down, Eyes Closed, Mouth Shut: Opinion

Article excerpt

As a trainee secondary citizenship teacher, I felt as if I had no voice. I had to bite my lip on numerous occasions when I saw or heard something I didn't agree with. After all, it's the professionals who know best, isn't it?

What can you do when the PE teacher, who has been at the school for more than 40 years, interrupts your lesson, saying "It's like a cafe in here with all the chatter going on", and proceeds to take over the class using all the old-fashioned techniques you are being trained to avoid? The "chatter" is actually discussion, but you wouldn't dare challenge this highly experienced and respected member of staff, especially when permanent staff members are too afraid to challenge him themselves.

Or how about when your mentor and head of citizenship tells you not to bother with group work in a lesson? How are you supposed to teach skills of participation and responsible action without doing group work? Better not challenge them on that, though, or you risk coming across as awkward and you may not meet the standards for the placement.

The same person then points you in the direction of some resources that teachers in the school have been using to teach citizenship. These resources have obviously been developed by a non-specialist because they contain inaccurate information. …

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