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Teaching Feature:

Teaching is becoming an unpopular profession. As of 2015, had been a

1.2% increase in number of teachers, but The School Workforce Census
says its still struggling with retaining a top quality workforce
- Less and less want to become teachers is this due to lack of pay?
Or high demands in the role: violent kids? Rude kids?
- 500 schools closed after teacher strike over pay poor treatment of
teachers actually affecting the quality of education? Something
needs to be done.
- Teacher opinions: paid well.
- Counter-opinion: not well, have more roles: safe guarding, etc.
- What about teachers w/ violent students? Do they think its worth it?
- Teacher/student scandals do teachers need to tiptoe around to
ensure they cant be accused? Lauren Cox relationship with 16 y/o
student. Simon Parsons sex w/ 17 y/o student. This mean its
harder to teach older than younger?
- Why are teachers no longer considered an authority? Banishment of
corporal punishment created a lack of respect for teachers? Is it
parents to blame? Has generation of students being physically
punished created generations of children who want to lash back at
- What can be done to stop this sort of behaviour talk to kids
behaviour expert
- What kind of incentives will get teachers back into teaching? Is there
something more that can be done?
- What does this mean for the future of education? With technological
advancements, will teachers become obsolete?
- In the meantime, teachers will continue to strike due to the
struggles they face and the lack they get back for it. They deserve
the most respect, yet get the least of it.

Being a teacher today means a very different thing than it did 30 years
ago. Today, a teachers relationship with their students is both more
relaxed, but trickier to navigate than it used to be. This is all due to new
laws, new technology and a new generation affected by all this. Joanne
Jennings, a primary school teacher, says teachers experience criticism
and a lack of respect in this day and age; maybe this is why 60% of
young people have never even considered a career in teaching.
Just last week, 500 schools were set to close due to a teacher strike in the
UK. This strike was a result of new graduates not being payed as much as
more experienced teachers, causing outrage in terms of rights to equal
pay. The Government has attempted to right this by offering bursaries to
people who study to go into teaching. However, these bursaries are
dependent on things like what subject you did, what form of degree you
obtained, or if you got a degree at all! For example, one of the best
bursaries on offer is 30,000 for anyone who achieves a 1st or a PhD in
Physics. While this is possibly a good incentive to go into teaching, clearly
something more is needed, because as of 2015, there had been a 1.2%
increase in the number of teachers, but The School Workforce Census says
its still struggling with retaining a top quality workforce.
One major issue that has come up a lot in the last decade, is UK teachers
being involved in sexually motivated crimes. In the last year, teacher
Lauren Cox was convicted for having a sexual relationship with one of her
sixteen year-old students, while Simon Parsons was convicted for having
sex with a seventeen-year-old student. Both were convicted of sexual
actions by a person in a position of trust, and were imprisoned. This is
something Jennings mentioned, saying teachers have more safeguarding
responsibilities than they used to, which is likely due to these sorts of
issues happening in schools. Maybe not so much in the primary schools
Jennings works in, but nonetheless they need to be prepared to defend
themselves against allegations of sexual abuse. These high safety
standards could be putting people off becoming teachers rather than the
pay, meaning the bursaries arent going to fix the problem. However,
being able to keep teachers out of trouble with sexual crimes is not
something that will happen easily because it is down to the few
individuals causing a scandal that reflects badly on all those who are in
their profession.
Another issue that has increased over the last decade is violence within
schools. Many primary schools in the UK are now struggling to keep
children with severe behaviour problems in mainstream school, in the
hopes of teaching them how to be civilised members of society. However,
if this is unsuccessful, the result is the violent incidents in senior schools;
just last year, in Aberdeen, a sixteen year- old boy was fatally stabbed in
an incident at his school. Yet, when given a proposal to search students for
weapons, teachers rejected the proposal, saying this would breach the
trust they have with students. Although the rest of the UK have agreed for
teachers to have the right to search students, Scottish teachers have

stood firm against it. It is sad that we now live in a world where action
such as this is considered, and although the Scottish teaching unions had
good intentions, the reality is that schools are no longer a safe place. This
is yet another stress for the already busy teacher to consider every day
before they head to work, and as Rachael Russell, a different primary
school teacher said, todays teachers are in strait jackets, and are very
limited in what they can do. In a world that has abolished corporal
punishment in schools, the line between students and teachers has
blurred, creating in a lack of respect between teachers and students.
Being a teacher in this modern world is extremely difficult, and there are
more rules and laws for things you cant do, than things you can.
We do get paid enough said Russell. We dont get enough freedom is
the biggest problem for teachers today. There are so many rules and
regulations, that teachers cant do anything creative without having to
consider any potential dangers to their pupils, or their careers. While the
banning of corporal punishment in schools made them safe places for
students, it has also allowed pupils to become violent towards teachers,
knowing there will be no consequences. So, while teachers may be paid
enough, new teachers are not. From their first day, they have to take on
all of these responsibilities and challenges for the children, without having
had the practice the existing teachers have had. In some ways, they will
have a harder time than more experienced teachers. The money isnt the
problem its what the money represents. The lower pay for new teachers
suggests they are not as valued by the Government, when in reality, the
only difference between new and existing teachers is experience.
Bursaries are not the way to encourage more people to become teachers.
Allowing teachers more opportunities for respect and creativity, without
reversing all the developments in laws to protect children, will make
people feel like teaching is actually worth doing.