Welcome (or welcome back) to the BattlegroundJanuary 3, 2008
Hello. This is the new location for the Scenes From The Battleground blog. Due to the demise of the INFET website I have had to find a new home here on edublogs.org
I am currently busy publicising this new location and sorting out the entries, some have suffered a little in the transfer (for instance some have changed my name to “James”) particularly where they were linked to other pages on INFET, but I will hope to get back to regular blogging ASAP. A small number of the older posts haven’t been transferred and I will be looking to revise and represent them. Apologies to anybody who had posted a comment that has now been lost due to the loss of INFET.
If you are new to this blog then allow me to reintroduce it:
It is intended to be an honest description of what is going on in secondary education in this country. The title of this blog indicates that I genuinely believe that education has become a battleground, or more accurately several different battlegrounds. Students who don’t want to study, managers who don’t want to manage, and even teachers who don’t want to teach are all too common obstructions for anyone that actually believes children should be learning in our schools. These everyday obstacles are combined with an entire education system that at every level doesn’t seem designed for education. For that reason it is often a fight to get to the point where the kind of teaching and learning, which would have been taken for granted less than a generation ago, can even take place.
This blog will detail both my personal experience of fighting the battle to teach and also my take on the system that has turned our schools into battlegrounds. I plan to include different types of writing throughout the blog. As well as those detailing my experiences as a secondary school teacher and will share opinions and advice related to this experience, other entries will discuss and comment on bigger issues relating to education, often in several parts under more general titles such as “Bad Ideas for Dealing with the Behaviour Crisis” and “The Laws Of Behaviour Management”.
I intend to rewrite and update the entries about the big issues (and this introduction) as I go. This is because over time I intend that they should form one single coherent viewpoint about the state of education today, and so as I develop my arguments further I may need to review what I have already written in light of further thoughts, and comments and discussion made about the content. I will bring any major redrafting to your attention when it happens.
The posts relating to personal experience I don’t intend to rewrite in any major way, although I will be grateful for any corrections to spelling and grammar. Please be aware that unlike most blogs these will not be in chronological order and wll not reflect the most recent events in my life as a teacher. They will mainly come from two different schools, the first is Woodrow Wilson School, a large city comprehensive with a very mixed intake where I taught immediately after I qualified. It went through a series of management changes and my time there was marked by infighting between Senior Management and the department I was working in, based on consistent efforts by Senior Management to blame all problems in the day to day running of the school on classroom teachers – the “culture of blame”. The second is Stafford Grove School, a school with a much more challenging intake but which had strong results when I joined. Over the time I was there I saw results tumble and my department fall apart and learnt first hand how complacency over discipline could create a disaster even in a school with a long history of effectiveness,
Finally I will be encouraging debate and discussion on the issues raised in my blog as I go. As well as the “comment” facility on the blog itself, I also intend to encourage discussion on the teacher forums I post to, particularly Opinion and Behaviour on TES. I look forward to reading your feedback.
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