Slow learner — 6 Comments

  1. For most teachers whom I’ve known, and in my own experience, there isn’t anyone to provide support for teachers except their friends in the same profession. Is that the head teacher’s role, or the departmental head?

    This seems a bit like pastoral ministry and the development in the area of Spiritual Direction/Accompanying/Friendship… is the beginning of recognizing that we all need someone to whom we can unburden. Someone who will listen with one ear on what God is saying too.

    And maybe too your blog is a reminder to those of us who meet teachers from time to time in the course of parish ministry that we need to have an ear open to hear more than the words that are said…

    Keep blogging Ian – what you say is often challenging and always interesting. And when do you think the bloggers might meet up?

  2. Ian

    Listening is a great skill and you seem blessed with it.

    When I am troubled by something that someone tells me, I go for a walk in the woods and talk to the trees. Somehow it works for me.

  3. I wouldn’t know whether you’re a good listener or not. You’re a good writer and poser of conundrums!

    Teachers are good, but many are reluctant. The extra workload involved with ‘pastoral’ type problems and ensuring equal opportunity, appropriate sexual behaviour, non villification and a million other moral lessons they have to teach leaves them exhausted! I have just spent the weekend with three teachers – believe me they feel like you . . they’d rather teach than have to listen to everyone’s problems.

  4. As a teacher who has put in 17 years of listening I’m looking forward to completing my next 16 years as quickly as possible so that I can retire early (albeit on a reduced pension). As Principal, DIYer, teacher, listener, policy doer etc. I’m tired of doing more than is required of me yet I still get a torrent of abuse for it.

    (Thanks Grannymar for pointing me to Ian’s article).

    I’m not looking for pity ….. I’ve come to accept my lot ….. I do my job to the best of my ability with the best of intentions …. with the welfare of the children being given priority ….. my conscience is clear …. I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t …. it’s a no win (not even a break even) situation.

    16 years and counting down …….

  5. Paddy,

    I talked to the teacher, whose class I have started to take for an hour on a Tuesday morning and asked who provided pastoral acre to the teachers.

    She smiled, “No-one.”

    Maybe our system needs more support structures? I don’t know – I only encounter it for two classes and one assembly a week.

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