Thursday, 7 July 2011

One day left ... to COW2011 and retirement!

It is less than twenty four hours before COW2011 will have started ... and I would have finally retired from full-time teaching.

For the last ten years I have worked as a Consultant Teacher, which meant that I was under contract to various education establishments and organisations for various lengths of time. My main role has always been to show less experienced staff how to get the best from students. I have done this by showing them how I do it, and not just by telling them how.

It has not always been easy, and over the past few years I have felt less and less in step with the way education in the UK has been going. No one seems to take the long view any more, and I have become very disillusioned with the short-term and quick-fix attitude that those responsible for setting national education policy seem to have adopted, and the way that this has filtered down into the management of education at local level.

I suppose that it was time for me to accept that I although I was still a good teacher, who seemed to be able to guide and motivate some of the more deprived and disillusioned students in the schools where I worked, my 'style' of doing things was no longer acceptable to those that I worked for.

So what next after COW and a rest? I have ideas and plans ... and so does my wife ... but I have a sneaky feeling that I will still be involved in education is some shape or form again. Until then, I am going to enjoy my new-found freedom.

Off to COW tomorrow. I can hardly wait to get there.


  1. Your analysis of the current direction in education rings a lot of bells.

    Short-termism, lack of management direction, meaningless stuff done for immediate PR effect, no one taking responsibility unless it looks good for them etc etc.

    Enjoy your retirement :O)

  2. Boggler,

    I have a feeling that it will ring a lot of bells with a lot of people ... and not just in the world of education.

    Thanks for your good wishes.

    All the best,


  3. The bad news is that it's definitely not restricted to the teaching "industry".

    I experienced much the same in the IT industry.

    And speaking to a friend in the military, he reports that what's left of our armed forces seem to be heading in the same direction. When the punchline of a story is a civil servant telling a soldier "You can't put that in your report. It's not what the minister wants to hear." you have to wonder if you've inadvertently wandered into a Yes Minister episode. As a wise man once scribbled in the margin of an MOD report "Heaven help us if there is a war."

    Congratulations on your retirement, Bob. Have a great time at COW and (raises glass) here's to the next step, wherever it may lead you.

  4. Dr Vesuvius,

    Thanks for your good wishes. I hope that COW is going to be the start of a very long and happy retirement.

    I am not surprised by what you write in your comment about the problem being far more widespread than just education; just saddened.

    All the best,



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