Dear Santa: Teaching Hopes for 2021 …

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Dear Santa


Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit in 2010, and today, he is one of the 'most followed educators'on social media in the world. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of...
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What are your education hopes and fears for teachers in 2021?

Dear Santa, I write to you so that you can pass this message on to everyone to help make education a better place for our teachers and pupils…

I’ve been writing to you for a few years now with mixed success.

I’ll forgive you. We’ve all been very busy with a global pandemic!

Santa, I have visions of you reading my letter on your digital device, rather than the traditional letter. I also suspect you’ve learned a few things from Zoom and Microsoft teams too!

Despite teachers across the world shifting their priorities to safety, then to remote learning and a recovery curriculum, there was some success from the letter I sent to you 12 months ago.

During the ‘strict lockdown’, hundreds of thousands of teachers used this period to upskill their professional development, with an enormous range of webinars being offered. Reference to neuroscience, access to research and reduced workload improved, despite the pressures of 2020. That’s a huge win, so thank you!

This year Santa, I’m going to keep my wishlist short, but keeping high expectations:

  1. For the media: I’d like you to work harder to change the perceptions of teaching with the general public.
  2. For politicians, please could you hold them to account for their decisions, even after they have left office; plus any incoming Education Secretary to be a former teacher.
  3. For school inspectors, one day we will all look back and laugh at the current school inspection process in this country and find it unbelievable that gradings were part and parcel of our education system. It needs rapid reform.
  4. For teachers, I’d like to see them have more allocated time to mark and plan lessons during the school day with a one-week sabbatical introduced, accruing for each year of service. This will encourage experienced teachers to continue to learn and stay. And whilst I’m at it, could you pay them a little more too?

Over the decades, teaching for a multitude of reasons has become more than just teaching, and whilst we try to keep our teachers focused on efforts inside the classroom, 2020 has simply highlighted what the profession has to endure.

It’s good to dream and I hope that you can deliver at least one of the above for 2021. I’ve been a good boy after all.

Much of the inequality exposed throughout the pandemic has been bubbling away for years. Government policy highlights how woeful education investment has been, which hinders our true potential…

Ross – age 47

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