As a teacher, you get tons of criteria which tells you how to be the best teacher you can be. That piece of paper tells you some weird things that apparently qualify you as the best.
Apparently, to be an ‘outstanding’ teacher, you have to use lots of different and innovative resources to challenge the kids. But, really, do kids get challenged just because you use new ICT in your lessons? If you’re engaging, exciting and interesting as a teacher, would it reallt matter if you had slate and chalk or laptop to teach?
And did you know, you’re a rubbish teacher if your kids aren’t concentrating or keen on the stuff they’re learning? Seemingly, unless they’re always on task, the kids aren’t being taught properly. How many kids do you know that pay attention for anything, other than video games, for longer than ten minutes? And since when can you control what the kids say or do, or even how they act? I can tell you from experience, a student who doesn’t have something inside or outside of school distracting them is very rare.
Ofsteds opinions are almost never spot-on. Think aboit it: The schools are given some warning, this gives students and leadership the warning. Teachers teach everyday. That’s nothing different or new. The SLT (Senior Leadership Team) and the students are the ones that need the warning. They rarely act perfectly. Never, in any school, have I seen the SLT patrolling the corridors, popping into classrooms and supporting staff as much as when Ofsted are in. Is it good enough to only be that supportive when they are being assessed? As for the kids, they’re usually quite on and off. It just so happens, however, that during inspections, the bad ‘uns get worse, the good ‘uns get better.
Why don’t we make real changes about what we decide makes a school ‘outstanding’? Do we need to decide that based on whther the teachers can write down their lesson properly? Do we need to decide it based on whether you have clean walls in the school? Do we decide it based on the kids’ behaviour on one day? Why can’t there be a system in place where there are a series of inspections, completely out of the blue, over a one year period?
I think my department is outstanding. But due to a blip in the teaching of one lesson, the behaviour of one student, the cleanliness of the corridors around our classrooms, maybe we won’t be called that by Ofsted….