Why Teaching is not a Profession Part 94

Teachers are threatening industrial action after claiming that they are being forced to work illegally long hours.

The NASUWT union said it would ballot members on a work-to-rule because of the "flagrant abuse" of their rights.

Its threat comes amid growing claims that head teachers are flouting new legislation that gives teachers half a day off a week for marking and lesson planning. They are also supposed to be exempt from administrative tasks such as photocopying and filing.

Professionals contract to achieve a goal, not argue about the time or methods of reaching that goal.

Accountants work long hours at tax and audit time, lawyers at trials, doctors in crises.

By arguing about whether they do photocopying or not, filing or not, whether they cover for absent colleagues or not, teachers are simply showing that they do not regard themselves as professionals.

Thus we shouldn\’t treat them as such.

Pay cuts all round, eh? You want demarcation lines like skilled manual workers? You get paid as such.

15 thoughts on “Why Teaching is not a Profession Part 94”

  1. “Pay cuts all round, eh? You want demarcation lines like skilled manual workers? You get paid as such”

    Absolutely. Like many police, many teachers become mentally warped as a consequence of being able to impose their will on others more vulnerable then themselves, largely without the consequence of significant penalties for the abuse of that power. As time passes, they become infantilised, thinking that everyone they encounter is a slightly dull child whose education is a waste of time; someone they’d rather not talk to when they could be discovering a prodigy.

    These characters are not professionals in the classical sense; what do they profess, and to whom? They should be made to stand in front of classes of 90; then they’d too busy to be complaining like a bunch of Kent miners.

    Better still, put them on PRP and four weeks’ holiday a year.

  2. I suspect quite a lot of teachers would be delighted to be paid as much as skilled manual workers.

    Taking a line through the plumbers and electricians of my acquaintance, there’s not one who could afford to take a teacher’s wage.

    Which just goes to show how much society values the various groups involved. And rightly so, imho.

  3. Teaching can be one of the easiest and most enjoyable jobs out there – I should know, I teach (although not, of course, for the state). I have fun all day and talk with a (literally) captive audience about stuff that interests me – by no means hard work, even if one includes longish days and photocopying – for pay which is okay (it’s not huge, but it’s more than adequate) and 17 weeks’ holiday a year. Speaking as a teacher, we have no room for complaint.

  4. My partner’s a teacher – she’s a head of department. she’ s been teaching about 10 years and she’s never been a union member, a decision she’s frequently had to defend to her colleagues, who are finally left to argue she should join just in case some scrote brings a complaint.

    She says that if any school took seriously a complaint against her, she would conclude she was working in the wrong place and would simply leave.

    She’s content with her salary. She’s said she’d never go on strike. She has the 2nd-best value added results in her school (achievement/predicted). I meet her students and they’re in thrall to her. A touch of the Jean Brodie, perhaps.

    Today, in her half term, she’s meeting some of her students at the zoo, to talk about animal behaviour. She’s organised it outside of school time because of the nightmare of health-and-safety at school.

    She’s not typical.

  5. “Professionals contract to achieve a goal, not argue about the time or methods of reaching that goal.”

    I agree Timmy. But they must be allowed freedom in their choice of methods. Like use of the strap, detention, and expulsion from the class with no bleating from the LEA.

  6. Should electricians and doctors have to do photocopying and filing as part of their everyday job description? What would they say?

    Teachers spend a lot of money on education to become licensed for a very specific job description.

    Those tasks in question, unless directly related to their classes, are the job description of other ‘professionals’ in the school. Teachers certainly have the right to complain if their jobs are being merged into other jobs. Any true ‘professional’ should and would. The only people that wouldn’t are low skill generalist workers/laborers.

  7. I think teachers are not considered as professions because they are not the ones who hire the ppl to the schools, they cannot decide on the code of ethics as doctors or other professionals does…

  8. Wow, this is ridiculous. It is hard to compare any profession with another as it is, but to say that teaching is not a profession because there are some out there who complain about copying papers? Hold on, take a step back. Open your mind a bit, please. Thank you, Chris, for being the one to defend on this point. Teaching is a profession, and why shouldn’t it be? I only teach part time, and yet it is a full time job. The hours I spend preparing, organizing, and traveling to the schools far outweigh the number of hours actually spent in the classroom.
    A teacher is and should be a professional, if not for the hours they put in during/after their job, for the amount of schooling put forward to be a teacher. Does a doctor not go to med school? Or an architect not spend five years training in his field? Professions are called Professions because they are careers that take a LOT of devoted time.
    Besides, why on earth would you send your children who is NOT a professional when it comes to their education???
    And yes, Nora, teaching is fun. But I know hundreds of people who daily wonder why I keep at it, “why anyone would teach”. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, and I give mad props to those who can handle it. On the same note, why would you spend your life doing something that wasn’t enjoyable? Why would a lawyer practice law, if he absolutely hated it? Why would a doctor work if he loathed the smell of blood or hated being around sick people?
    Give teachers a break! They bend over backwards to do their jobs. How many people do you know who’s profession it is to inspire people to do better?

  9. This author is really an idiot…How many Doctors, Tax Accountants and Lawyers file their papers and do their own Xeroxing. Just think about it ????????????????????

  10. I think (and hope) that the teachers’ concerns have to do primarily with the students. A teacher who has to spend their time photocopying and filing isn’t doing much engaging classroom instruction. The job of a teacher is to teach children. Of course paperwork is involved with ANY profession, and it is inevitable. When the paperwork begins to affect the job of the professional, they hire a secretary. Do you want a highly-qualified, knowledgeable worker? You pay them more. Why the discrepency with teaching? The education of the next generation isn’t that important to you?

  11. My beloved brothers God will bless u until u are tired of His blessing. how can they say teaching is not profession? perhaps the person is mad.

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