What makes a good teacher today?
You may not recognise the good teacher of today. A budding technocrat ,schooled in the ‘new professionalism’ of ‘early interventions`, data analysis, AFL and mentoring - all backed by the wisdom of neuroscience, today’s good teacher is a different entity from that of a few years ago. Indeed, this new kind of teacher armed with ‘moral purpose’ appears to securing better exam results at many of the new academies and improving schools across the country. But is this model of professionalism what really represents today’s good teacher?
Is there still a space for a teacher who values - even if with a slightly heroic self-image - subject knowledge as the be all and end all of education? Does this ‘older’ kind of teacher still have the confidence to ignore pupil targets,Ofsted criteria and the tick box mentality in British schools today and really drive subject knowledge forward? Or, as the critics of this kind of teacher say, didn’t they actually fail a generation of students? And, given ther poor communication skills, weren’t they only really good for themselves, not their students? If so, why not accept the improved standards that have come with the new approaches - even if the price is a little sterility in the profession?
Kevin Rooney, Deputy Head of 6th Form and Head of Social Science at Bushey School