Monday, 30 July 2007

One Year On

It's a year to the day since I retired from teaching. Thirty-four years in front of countless students teaching them History and latterly Citizenship as well. Did I enjoy it? Well, surprisingly given the press coverage of the number of teachers wanting to leave the profession, yes...every day. Do I miss it? I expected to as I always enjoyed it so much, but no. The transition from working to retirement can be difficult but I am enjoying retirement so much and have so many things to do (now when I want to do them) that being in front of a class seems a lifetime away. Certainly I miss talking with my fellow teachers, the debate on educational issues and even some of the students but I don't miss the job. As a friend said to me at her retirement party last week 'we've had our time' and I think I agree. Not that teaching has changed, it's still about getting students interested in your subject and through that developing their ability to learn (about themselves, their lives, priorities and choices as well as the subject itself). Not that league tables and regular inspections have restricted my ability to educate students as well as teaching what they need to get through. Not even the increasingly pointless dictats from central government about how to teach. It's just that being a teacher used to be a vocation, a way of making things better for generations of students and now it's a profession, a job just like everything else. This must sound as if I'm opposed to change...far from it. What we need is not the tinkering of cosmetic change and the bleatings of successive Education Secretaries about this week's initiative or that but radical change.

So why start a blog now? I've been thinking about it for long enough and thought it was time I 'bit the bullet'! The focus will be on History though I expect I'll comment on current affairs as well...there's some much to comment on! It will also give me a platform for developing ideas about History and especially my particular interests (Chartism and the Normans) and extend the materials contained on my website: http://uk.geocities.com/richardjohnbr@btopenworld.com/

So I hope you find it useful!

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