Do teachers still get apples?
We’re not entirely sure whether pupils really did bring apples to school to thank their teachers.
It may just be from a dim and distant world of children’s books and black and white movies, but it would be nice to think that whatever the gesture, teachers continue to be valued by their charges in whatever way is now seen as appropriate by the kids of today.
Whilst well-educated children are the product of our schools, we must never forget that teachers are the ‘engine-room’ that create young adults entering the world at large, hopefully equipped to tackle employment and the rest of their lives with confidence.
People tend to think of schools as being designed just for the children and can forget the very real impact the workplace can have on the teaching staff, who after all work there year in year out and need to have the best possible environment available to give of their best too.
We recognise that teaching has changed – classrooms are no longer an environment of one talking to many – it is not always teacher at the front and concentration on a blackboard – or whiteboard these days. Increased use of technology means that children are often engaged on laptops and sharing information not only through the written word but also through video and presentations with high levels of visual content.
Teachers need to be able to engage with this – they need to be able to move around the room to see work on screen and have the flexibility to break up classes into smaller discussion and project groups, break out working and one to one tutoring. This completely changes the dynamics of the classroom and the people and furniture requirements within it.
Of course whilst the classroom remains the teacher’s natural habitat, we also need to remember that they need time away from the children, to prepare lessons, to engage with other teachers, have staff meetings, to eat and grab some ‘me’ time.
We need to confine cramped ‘back of house’ staffrooms to history and provide modern spaces that have good facilities, the opportunity to relax, high quality kitchen and toilet facilities that demonstrate that the school really isn’t just about the kids. Ultimately by keeping teachers refreshed, motivated and valued, we will in turn see the results in pupil performance.
Does your school treat teachers as well as their pupils? If not perhaps it’s time for a chat – we won’t just bring an apple – we’ll bring an orchard full of ideas.