"My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together." “When I hear people say politics and religion don't mix, I wonder what Bible they are reading.” (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)

"And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6.8

"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Philippians 4.19

"Work out your salvation with fear and trembling." Philippians 2.12

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Secret Teacher writes an honest letter home

The Secret Teacher writes a devastatingly honest letter that can never be posted. The letter that can't be sent to your pupils' parents is published here: "I'm part of the this system. And I had to confess"

I only teach your daughter one subject, RE, which she is forced to do and she isn't terribly interested in it. I see her once a week for 50 minutes. As there are 30 other students in the class this means that, if I did nothing else all lesson, I could spend about 100 seconds with her as an individual a week. To teach her, to get to know her, to understand her as a young person. But, as you well know, there are some children in her class who demand much more of my time. This inevitably means that some students will be left with nothing. Unfortunately, that applies to your child. I'll be honest, I haven't held a proper conversation with her in weeks.

I teach 400 children. Slightly more, actually, but we'll call it 400. That means your daughter counts for 0.25% of the children I teach. It is difficult for me to honestly and accurately tell you anything about her, so please forgive me if I speak in vague generalities at parents' evening and try to avoid using your daughter's name. I might have forgotten it.

Read more here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2012/may/19/secret-teacher-letter-home

I had to read it three times to be sure it wasn't me!

It is absolutely spot-on. The only gripe I have with it is that it doesn't deal with the divisive issue of the Exam Board's guided hours. For R.S. the guided hours are between 120 and 140 hours, as with all other Humanities subjects. However, in my experience History and Geography get well over the upper limit while R.S. - consigned to 1 lesson a week  -gets considerably less. It is at this point that managers tend to put emphasis on the word "guided", as if teaching well below the minimum is O.K and you are still expected to get the grades, while the teacher puts emphasis on 120-140, as in our teaching time should be somewhere between the two.


  1. The PowerPoint, scissors and glue bit is only too true. Our daughter is always complaining about this approach at her son's comprehensive (also in Yorkshire).

  2. To teach her, to get to know her, to understand her as a young person.

  3. I posted this on my Facebook. Thought my colleagues would appreciate your thinking. Paper Writing Services