At 16.30h today I attended a Chartered Teacher seminar in Haddington. Don has already mentioned it on his web site.
It was interesting to go around the table and for people to introduce
themselves at the start of the session. There were a lot of people who spoke strongly
about the fact that the reason that they wanted to be a Chartered Teacher was because
they didn’t want to go into management. Maybe I was reading too much into it but
I got the impression from some people that they thought quite negatively about management
within their schools? Hopefully our philosophy of trying to challenge the traditional
management structures within East Lothian will
eventually change this thinking?
I’m in a fairly unique position. I am a PT on secondment as a senior manager who is trying to complete their Chartered Teacher award. Many people have asked me why I am doing this. My reason is simple. One day I would like to secure a permanent school management position but teaching is still at the heart of what I do. I can understand why school teachers do not want to become school managers but I can’t understand why school managers do not want to remain teachers. I look forward to my few hours of week of social education where I get to impart my knowledge on young minds. Maybe one day they will even let me teach a little more Geography again! So what are my reasons for wishing to achieve the award?
1) I want to be recognised for my classroom and reflective practice and at the moment the Chartered Teacher Award is one of the only mechanisms available for letting me do this.
2) As a senior manager I want to be able to empathise with Chartered Teachers and members of my school community who are completing or keen to complete the award.
3) I want to further my own learning.
4) I want to gain a Masters level professional qualification. I made the decision at the start that I would undertake the academic route to chartered teacher level – despite being advised that I would be able to successfully negotiate an APL claim with the GTC for all 11 modules. For me gaining the award is as much about the academic journey as it is about the status.
5) I want to challenge the system. Why can’t a PT or senior manager be a chartered teacher? Surely it’s a benchmarking standard as well as all the other things?
During the meeting we had an interesting discussion about how the Authority could better support Chartered Teachers. I suggested that there could be some sort of sharing of Chartered Teacher module experiences (a sort of Amazon customer review?). The Authority could also provide a library of books at Prestonpans Education Centre that could be loaned to people enrolling on the scheme. Another member of the group suggested mentoring for Chartered Teachers. I think this will be very useful for people who need a bit of help with modules. Someone who has experienced the academic pressures of a module first hand can often be a bettor mentor then their university tutor.
We also had a discussion about different providers. I have completed my modules with City and Guilds and Rocket Learning. Why, because they offer the most flexible and cheapest route. About £350 - £400 for a module and about £90 per APL claim. When I have completed my programme the whole thing will have cost me slightly less than doing a MEd and about half the price of doing a Chartered Teachers Award at one of the ‘traditional’ universities.
Finally, I have been spending a lot of time recently looking as school budget issues. The cuts are huge for next year. At the moment it is unclear to me where the money for Chartered Teachers comes from. As I understand it the money comes from the Executive, but it is not ring fenced and each Authority only gets a set amount. Surely the fairest way to distribute the finance would be for each Authority to apply to the Executive each year for their Chartered Teacher funding (based on how many Chartered Teachers they have). This money is then devolved to the schools.
One last point – it looks like we will soon have our own Chartered Teacher exc-el blog up and running. As long as we are careful about the categories and tags here. I think this could be a really useful resource.
NOTE: The video is of course a refection on everything that the Chartered Teacher is NOT. I've used it loads of times in presentations...I think its great!