What are you hoping to find under the Christmas tree?
Dear Mrs. Claus, I’ve already written to Father Christmas. I know he is very busy, so I thought I’d also write to you in the hope that you can help. Please can you pass this message on to every teacher, in every pocket of the U.K. I’d like school leaders to start making the changes we yearn for, rather than rely on policy-makers.
Over the past three months, I’ve had the privilege of working ~2,975 teachers; almost 5 times the total number of colleagues I have worked with over the past 24 years. It has been a fascinating experience and in my teacher-training role, I have already visited 23 schools in 4 countries, leading 50+ training events.
During each session, whether working with teachers or senior leaders, I survey the audience using Poll Everywhere to gauge the mood of each sector, reporting the same workload issue time and time again (example here). I suspect more school leaders will read this post than the other 50% reported who have not read this national publication!
So, Mrs. Claus, I am writing to you hoping that you will deliver the following:
Manifesto for Schools 2018:
- Stop grading teachers in lesson observations
- Facilitate all teachers to receive coaching
- Remove ‘numbers’ from marking policies
- Create a culture for teaching and learning, not a policy
- Remove ‘coloured pens’ from marking policies
- Pop the #DifferentiationBubble
- Stop grading work scrutinies
- Shift appraisal targets to research enquiry
- Pull down #OfSTEDBanners
- Dictate your workload – don’t let someone do it for you.
I hope you can make our wishes come true this year.
Wishing you and your school the very best for 2018 – let’s get rid of some of this nonsense – it’s so easy to do!