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'New' Issues in Teaching

Lynne is a Secondary Teacher with QTS who is currently working in schools through Protocol Education in Bristol. Here she shares her thoughts on 'new' issues in teaching.

As one goes through life it can be entertaining to see fashions come round again and watch the reappearance of miniskirts, drainpipe trousers – now called skinny jeans, I note – hot pants, platform shoes et al. What is not so entertaining as a teacher is to see the same educational issues reappearing unresolved.

I have before me an article from the Sunday Times of the 15th September 2013 in which a head teacher and a professor of applied sport speak of “horrific PE experiences” that turn girls off sport for life. I also have a piece written by me and published in the Independent in April 1991 in which, as a supply teacher, I described the “misery and embarrassment” I saw on the faces of girls  made to take part in activities at which they were clearly hopeless, their performance made worse by their nervousness and fear.

The head teacher, Hilary French of the Central Newcastle High School, refers to PE teachers humiliating girls; I wrote how humiliating games lessons can be for those who are overweight or lack coordination. Twenty-two years later and the same humiliating stuff is happening. Ms.French is more critical than me in condemning the “old-style barracking” by some teachers. My contention was that these PE staff were not unfeeling; they had always been good at games and did not know what it was to fear the ridicule of one’s peers.

Yet we both suggest that it does not have to be like this. I also wrote about witnessing a class led by a teacher sensitive to the girls’ needs where they did aerobics and different sorts of dance and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. They were in the warm and wearing comfortable clothes. Hilary French talks about using persuasive techniques to boost the girls’ confidence. What I hope is that someone will not be saying this all over again in 2035.

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Tags: Protocol Education, Teacher, physical education, humiliation,

Category: Australian Teachers

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