Should teachers be boring and predictable?
As critics of ourselves, (as if Ofsted and governors were not enough!!), we are in a constant search to find what makes a good teacher. There are many theories out there that offer help and advice on teaching and it is knowing which one is the best‚Ä¶ or the best suited to your style!
Here is an article if found on TES. You may agree, you may disagree with it. But it will be interesting to hear your feedback!
Be ‘boring and predictable’, teachers told ‚Äì and don’t nag
9th October 2015 at 18:11
Teachers should be ‚Äúboring and predictable‚Äù rather than trying to be ‚Äúmatey‚Äù with their students, independent school headteachers have said.
Former Eton headmaster Tony Little said that teachers and parents had a responsibility to offer ‚Äústability‚Äù to teenagers.
‚ÄúYoung people need to know where adults stand,‚Äù he said. ‚ÄúIt can be deeply disconcerting for a young person to have a teacher who is unpredictable.
‚ÄúThey come in one minute and they‚Äôre all matey and all over you, and the next minute they‚Äôre incredibly tough and disciplinarian. Those are teachers who frequently young people in the end don‚Äôt like and don‚Äôt connect with and don‚Äôt learn with, which is more to the point.
‚ÄúSo stability and reliability, these boring words, matter in the lives of teenagers.‚Äù
Leo Winkley, headmaster of St Peter‚Äôs boarding school in York and vice-chair of the Boarding Schools Association, said his advice to parents and teachers was that ‚Äúthe best thing they can do is be boring‚Äù.
‚ÄúBe reliable, be consistent and be predictable, because as you go though the adolescent journey there‚Äôs so much change around, and the last thing they need is unpredictability.‚Äù
Speaking at the annual gathering of the Headmasters‚Äô and Headmistresses‚Äô Conference, which represents elite private schools,¬†Mr Little also said that the ‚Äúworst thing‚Äù parents could do in trying to build a good relationship with their teenage children was to ‚Äúnag‚Äù them. He said the phrase ‚Äúand another thing‚Äù was ‚Äúthe most counterproductive phrase‚Äù a parent could use with a teenager because it caused them¬†to switch off.
He said the most-respected housemasters and housemistresses at boarding schools ‚Äúaren‚Äôt pushovers, they‚Äôre not the smiley, touch-feely types, they‚Äôre actually people who have standards, who expect them to be upheld, who are strict with them but they‚Äôre open, cheerful, direct and the young people feel these people care‚Äù.
Choosing the term ‚Äòboring‚Äô to describe teachers whom uphold morals and standards, I believe is incorrect. The word ‚Äòboring‚Äô conjures up all kinds of negative vibes, and to say teachers should be boring is ludicrous. ‚ÄòMilitary‚Äô may be a better choice of wording to describe the regimental duties of a teacher, a teacher that isn‚Äôt a pushover or soft touch. It is very agreeable that reliability and predictability, in the sense of ‚Äòwhat you see is what you get‚Äô, can be comforting for a student to know where they stand. You are not striving for every child to be your mate. However, we may remember the sticklers, but we do remember the fun teachers too! The ones that you could have a tiny bit of banter with, but you knew not to push it too far. The teachers that injected slight humour into a lesson, but you knew there was a serious part too. Philosophers, governors, Ofsted, even teachers themselves, all have ideas on what makes a perfect teacher, what we as teachers need to do is find the formula that best works for us! As peripatetic teachers, no school, no class of children, no child is the same. So adaptation is required until a niche is found.
What do you think makes a good teacher? (Why not share a blog)