” How are we supposed to learn properly if the curriculum keeps constantly changing?” (My son, number 2, age 9)
as a fellow deputy head, I became overwhelmed with sadness. Not because I feel sad at the potential loss of yet another fellow colleague from the teaching army, but this time at the sheer challenge of being a parent of a child in the Guinea pig year 6.
Only two days ago I had to comfort a tearful 11 year old who happens to be my son, and reassure him that the testing and the results would not make me love him less. Nor that the testing or result define who he is or will even become but are just moments in his journey through this confused education system.
Suffice to say that I considered just then, that the pressure and anxiety that my son was exuding, could only have been as a result of the current climate in many primary schools across the country. There must be an ever growing number of teachers sharing the same feelings of exhaustion, confusion, disillusionment and pressure that is inexplicitly, unintentionally yet subliminally transferring to the children.
This also means there must be several mothers (and fathers), like me, consoling, comforting, encouraging and protecting their pre-secondary school children in the hope that not too much damage is being done to their child, their friends and in fact their whole generation. What has become of educating the whole child? I wonder how many other teachers of year 6 children are feeling the strain and making for the exit doors?
Can the government not see that the profession is heading for a crises? We need good teachers and good head teachers. The prospect of gaining this seems to be slipping by and by with each new day and every new change of mind , idea and initiative. Considering my aspiration to be a head, I would like to think that I would be bold enough to protect not just the children’s wellbeing and state of mind to endure changes ‘in the curriculum’ as my 9 year old stated, but also to protect the status and nobility of the profession, the high regard it ought to be held by and most importantly, the teachers who on the most part, deserve to be held in high esteem for what they endure in and outside of the school day.