I’ve had my profession on the brain lately. Students who are beginning their college education with an eye to teaching, students who want to know why I became a teacher, my college’s administrative meetings and course evaluations, colleagues around the country and overseas who are sharing their end-of-term triumphs and frustrations, even a few people who have actively attacked my role as a teacher: I’ve had a lot of opportunities in the past week or two to evaluate my profession as an educator.
Here in the States, educational funding isn’t a hot topic at this particular blip in the news cycle. We’re more concerned about the economy on a whole and the political gamesmanship surrounding it, so that when Congress rejected a recent proposal from President Obama that would have created more teaching positions across the country, the resulting news stories weren’t about the impacts on education but about the political wrangling between Democrats and Republicans in general and Congress and the President in particular.
But apparently, over in the UK, education is making the news. Or, at least educator Mike Tidd is making news out of it on his blog, miketidd.com: The role of geography in education. In his post yesterday, “Choose teaching – be a teacher,” Tidd writes about an impending reduction in teacher training positions at colleges and universities. “The Coalition wants more teachers to learn their skills on the job in schools rather than in training colleges,” he writes; but in his view (a right view, I think) “universities and teaching colleges offer fantastic teaching expertise and facilities that should be further funded.” He goes on to discuss the broad social importance and local community impact of education, quoting a fellow educator to help make his point: “I find that teaching is an ever-changing occupation that keeps you on your toes. To teach the future generation of Britain with a passionate voice can create change and can only be a benefit for the country,” according to Russell Wait, Curriculum Leader of Global Studies at Cove School in Hampshire.
For my American friends and colleagues, this quick British perspective is worth a read. It’s easy to get by turns both riled up and depressed by our own struggles to promote education and educational funding, but it’s also nice to know we’re not alone in our fight. (And for my British friends and readers: please comment! Here or on Mike Tidd’s post, either is fine with me!)
To read more, check out Mike Tidd’s “Choose teaching – be a teacher.”