Teaching is giving (giving is professionalism). When I teach I give. When I present I give vision, I give focus. When I differentiate, I give a bridge. When I resource, I give tools. When I mark work, I give ‘eye contact’ through that work. When I set targets, I build a shared vision. When I report, I recognise, I applaud or I care. When I monitor, I remember. When I plan, I give a whole world. When I include, I give patience, I entrust faith. When I tutor, I give the fence (zen wisdom would say: ‘to control your cow, put her in a large field’; Shunryu Suzuki Roshi).
Professionalism in teaching is not primarily getting reports in on time, it is not getting to lessons on time, it is not getting a certain percentage of my class a higher grade pass, it is not meeting OFSTED criteria. All of these are effects of my professionalism, not measures to make my professionalism better (as a colleague keeps on saying ‘your pig won’t get fat simply because you keep on weighing it). When you demand of my professionalism you are doing so outside of the educational interaction that is my day to day practice, and if I have to respond to your demands, my educational interaction is compromised and I am under pressure measured by criteria which are not necessarily requisite to my teaching.
I can only throw together an occasional good homework, inspired and serendipitous, while setting homeworks every week. I can only inspire one child with a vision for their work while teaching 340 others. I can only throw un-thought-through medium-term plans out when I am teaching 22 out of 25 periods a week. I can only think about my teaching with wistfulness and regret when I have to Plan, Differentiate, Assess, Report-on, set Targets, Mark, Monitor, be Inclusive, ensure Equal-opportunity etc. Take the above as an acronym: PARTIMMED!!!
We cannot do anything well because we can only devote ‘part’ of our ‘time’ to it because we have too much to service on top of teaching. The experience of this is stress.
communication & giving wormhole: Assessment for Learning: the Prologue
managerialism wormhole: Structural Time
performance management wormhole: compromised
professionalism & workload wormhole: the Hothousing of Teaching
Shunryu Suzuki Roshi wormhole: don’t move
teaching craft wormhole: Resource