Tuesday, 11 June 2013

I think it is time to start blogging again: Pedagogy - but why?

I haven't been on here for what seems like a year (2 months in fact). I have been very busy expanding: www.bedfordtutor.co.uk and am pleased to say my hard work is finally paying off!

The tutoring phenomenon got me thinking about that wonderful word - pedagogy!  This is possibly one of the most clumsy examples of Greek vocabulary and one word that seems to jolt off your tongue!

But laying this aside, can you teach someone to teach? This has been debated on my Facebook page for a few days and everybody seems to disagree with one another. I am afraid I am still of the mindset that teaching is a vocation and something that certain people are simply 'born to do'. Whilst one may get better at educating, some people are always going to be better teachers than others. I have always felt the need to educate, but cannot exist in a bureaucratic classroom environment where the only creativity exists in the rarely used art cupboard. Computers are rapidly replacing the kinaesthetic activities that taught me to count, spell and recognise a great diving beetle from a dragonfly nymph, and I hate this! Bureaucracy ensnares the naive teacher like a piece of fly paper, taking away creativity and replacing it with a series of carefully modelled exams and a curriculum which sees a screen as the new human. Children need their progress to be tested, but children also need to be children. My pupils learn through enjoying themselves and I am determined to ensure they leave their sessions smiling and happy! Why does the government now insist people are taught to teach? My mum was never taught pedagogy, but she managed to get me to recite the alphabet at two years of age. My best friend never gained a PGCE, but he trained me in creative writing and helped me publish a book! Many people still think you need a PGCE to teach, but frankly, I think this is ridiculous. I have always been a natural teacher and don't think other naturals should have to spend £6000 just to gain a piece of paper saying 'they can teach!' Even with all these 'wonderful' rules and regulations, we still have some terrible educators working in our schools - why do you think the private tutoring business is booming? Although I agree teachers who work in schools need to be trained, I think this training needs to be altered to encourage them to be creative and love their subject - rather than obsessed by testing and continually checking progress. Children are being mentally damaged by continuous testing and need an environment where they can learn at a pace that is right for them. We are all different and it is time society understood this. Some children may be reading certain words at 3, others may not reach this stage until they are 6. My job is to help children reach their potential, not the government's. I am not a trained teacher under government guidelines, but I know I can teach and will continue to help struggling children. I have a TA certificate and a degree and am willing to show the world teaching is an art - not just a set of rules that can be understood by anybody who wishes to part with £6000. If you have something to give to the world - go on and deliver!

Rant over... :)