“Trust teachers to get on with it”


I often hear this said; let teachers get on and do their job.

Whilst I agree in many senses from the perspective of a teacher, from the perspective of school leaders I’m not so sure.

Do teachers actually know how to ‘get on with it’?

It’s un-pc on forums and social media to even suggest it. It’s rarely discussed, almost taboo but there are teachers for whom letting them ‘get on with it’ might not be a good idea.

I ‘ummmed’ and ‘ahhhed’ about writing this blog and then someone on my Twitter feed retweeted this blog post about giving staff a loyalty card to track their CPD. It convinced me that this needs to be discussed amongst leaders.

Is it possible to leave teachers alone to do their own thing and just “trust teachers to get on with it”?

I think the very fact that this system has been established is because there are teachers that don’t engage pro-actively in their own CPD. They don’t take responsibility for improving teaching through appropriate professional development, they need to be cajoled or rewarded.

There are also teachers who don’t know how to speak to children, who don’t know how to foster and maintain pupils’ interest in the subject, don’t know how to clear rules and routines for behaviour in classrooms, don’t know how to impart knowledge and develop understanding through effective use of lesson time. I could go on.

However it is clearly listed in the Teacher Standards that teachers should be doing these things as a minimum.

In recent years the carrot and the stick has become pay; if you do your job you can progress on the pay scale. Doesn’t this in itself support the view that there are teachers who cannot ‘just get on with it’?

I’m not sure how to finish this blog post. Let me be clear I’m not criticising the blogger’s school decision; it highlights exactly the issue that leaders have. I think that I’m trying to say that letting teachers get on with it can be both dangerous and limiting;dangerous if a teacher isn’t doing the minimum and limiting if teachers don’t see development as key to their job.


3 thoughts on ““Trust teachers to get on with it”

  1. You are spot on . Every teacher deserves the best possible feedback and that includes telling them to do their job better and providing support .

  2. Hi Dawn, Interesting post. In my 8+ years of leading whole-school CPD in secondary schools, plus-150 staff in each, it is near-on impossible to differentiate whole-staff CPD for individuals. It has been a 8-year project to differentiate; recently sharing a CPD menu on my blog to raise awareness of ‘what is available’. However, despite promotion of CPD available to all – and a huge budget – to enable staff to engage, not all staff want CPD. There are a large majority of staff who do not engage – despite a school’s best efforts – with their own CPD (sadly) beyond standard school INSET days. This is a small mechanism to reward staff who actively go above and beyond the ‘typical diet’ made available. Thanks Ross.

  3. Pingback: For teaching to be effective you need to do this…. | missdcoxblog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s