That is such a nice thing for our future PM to say! It does of course reflect a hard core sentiment he holds, which is that teachers are not the elite. As a Conservative he knows that bankers are the elite – that is why they are paid so much in bonuses for sophisticated gambling – so sophisticated that nobody can figure it out until after the crisis hits. There was an excellent program on television about Obama’s first year showing what bankers did to cause each economic crisis in the last century.
Back to teachers. Last week I talked about schools closing because of the snow and the lack of ‘true grit’ in schools. I was told off for that – by my daughter, who is a teacher! The point is that we allow schools to follow an ageing model with lots of holidays including a long one in the summer. In fact I noticed that in private schools, such as the one our future PM attended, the holidays are even longer. But then at Eton they wear bizarre uniforms which went out of fashion about 100 years ago. Real visionaries!
Personally I think teachers are the elite, as are nurses, social workers and lots of other people we under value. I have been a school governor for about 7 years at two different schools and I can only admire the effort of our teachers. Imagine having to try to motivate, educate, control and encourage a group of about 30 kids with short attention spans, better things to do than being stuck in a classroom and far better at any technology the teacher has to use.
Imagine having to do all this and complete the piles of paperwork pushed their way by the tax sucking ‘elite’. Imagine the fact that they are forced to close schools because health and safety regulations will kill them if some poor child slips and falls. It is ok to do so when sledding, but not at school of course. After all, a kid could catch an education at school.
We all know by now that education is central to the future success of our nation, so teachers should be valued. That does not mean I think that school holidays are not too long, or school days should not be lengthened or even that teachers should be paid more. I do think teachers should be respected and valued and nourished. Really no different from any other valued employee. And what happens in business when the employee is no longer valued – the employee must move on. As a former boss of mine said, moving on is often a great learning opportunity.
So Mr Cameron, I will put your comment on your ever increasing pile of stupid comments. Teachers are the elite just as the entrepreneur should see the employees of his or her company as the elite. Treating them as the elite will get push them to achieve better results. Putting silly values on them like we seem to do with silly bankers leads to problems.