November 2: Teachers don’t deserve scorn for coping with challenges

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From: Brian Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.

IN his scornful attack on teachers, especially those who admit to thoughts of quitting but carry on, Lawrence J Sowden invites us to “delve through the archives of The Yorkshire Post and find any report appertaining to public sector workers when morale wasn’t at an all-time low – or now when they are being dragged screaming into the world the rest of us have inhabited for decades” (The Yorkshire Post, October 28).

We need delve no further back than three pages of the very same issue of this newspaper to find a report on the sentencing of a Bradford schoolboy for stabbing a teacher in school. I would also remind your correspondent that we are close to the anniversary of the sentence of the boy who killed Leeds teacher Ann Maguire, also in school.

Would the real world be the sleepy North Yorkshire village from which he writes? Many of those who sneer at today’s teachers attended grammar schools, public schools or comprehensives in affluent areas where, despite the pressure of preparation, marking and outside activities, the classroom challenge would bear no comparison with that of a school in even an average neighbourhood.

Some viewers were shocked by the documentary Educating Yorkshire. Believe me, the small Dewsbury school was a doddle compared to some.

The majority of young teachers who soldier on through tears and breakdowns should be given credit for doing so instead of being labelled wimps. Their detractors should be challenged to try their hand in an inner-city school for a few weeks.

From: Jo Conway, Adaptaboard Limited, Ellis Court, Harrogate.

CHILDREN are increasingly starting school with inadequate communication skills (The Yorkshire Post, October 27). Children from ever more affluent backgrounds are now being assessed as having inadequate skills on entry to school.

Why is this happening? How can Government targets be achieved? This situation is surely putting undue pressure on teachers when targets do not tally with the ability of pupils?

The over use of technology could in fact be actually increasing the decline of children’s intellectual and social intelligence. Human interaction and young children actively communicating ‘face to face’ in their early years, both at home and at school, is paramount to the successful acquisition of all children’s basic skills.