I'm disgusted at Vince Cable's remarks about teachers, yesterday. And he knew exactly
what he was saying.
I am so proud to be a teacher and I know many others who are too.Like me, have given their lives to teaching.
So insults such as Mr Cable's are the last straw.
But I couldn't have written a better reply than one, which caught my eye, in The Guardian.
Well said that man! Here it is:
'There are few less edifying sights than politicians who haven’t been inside a school since they were 18, pronouncing on the problems of schools as they see it. As someone who worked in the private sector as an accountant, and then the public sector as a civil servant, for 15 years prior to career-changing to be a teacher, I found Cable’s comments deeply offensive. As would many of my colleagues who are also career-changers.
More to the point, even those who did not work outside teaching cannot be classified as knowing nothing about the world of work. I recognise that non-teachers really struggle with this (I did, before my career move), but schools ARE places of work. Places where the best part of a million people work, nationally. They have working hours, terms and conditions, targets, objectives, teams, hierarchies, professionals, budgets, meetings, support staff, and all the other panoply of guff which you’ll find in nearly every workplace. To say that people who go to work every day know absolutely nothing about the world of work is a clear indication that the person saying that does not class teaching as “work”. It’s an attitude which all teachers have come across time and time again. Somehow, working with young people as a teacher is seen as sub-standard, a bit of a doss, not a real job.
So what Cable did here was reveal his inner prejudice. It’s in-keeping with most politicians, and most media pundits. All of them are utterly convinced that their experience of not teaching means that they are automatically better qualified to say what should happen in schools than someone who is actually experienced in teaching, because teachers are sub-standard. This is the basis of Gove’s approach, which the LibDems have happily gone along with for four years now. You can dress it up however you like, but all teachers recognised exactly what Cable was saying, because they’ve grown wearily used to be treated with such contempt by politicians from all parties.
The second point – and it’s worth mentioning again – is that “teachers” is a meaningless term when it comes to careers advice. A history teacher is employed to teach history. A maths teacher is employed to teach maths. They don’t get to decide what’s on the examination syllabus, they don’t get to decide what curriculum can be offered to the students in their schools in terms of vocational/traditional subjects, and they don’t get to provide guidance to students on what careers to pursue. None of those things are done by teachers. The Government and exam board decide the first, the head and governors decide the second under pressure from the government, and the careers service provide the third.
So just to go back to Vince, he essentially both dismissed teaching as a real job, and then blamed teachers for not doing something which they are not paid, trained, expected or able to do. Good day at the office for Vince.'
Personally,I think Mr Cable should now apologise, personally, to every single teacher in the country.