Monday 25 September 2017

Adult disrespect weakens teachers

Madam – It was with horror I read Emer O'Kelly's vitriolic attack on the teaching profession (Sunday Independent, April 27, 2014). She must have had a dreadful school experience to vilify the entire profession with such a poisoned pen. I am dismayed that the Sunday Independent allowed such blatant discrimination and generalisation to take up space on what I always thought was a reasoned editorial policy. She was disgusting in her comments and inaccurate in her statements.

Yes, I am a teacher. One who entered the profession from another career choice. Much and all as she might scoff, I didn't enter teaching for the money or the holidays. I genuinely felt I had something to contribute. My daughter is a young teacher who also entered the profession as a response to an inspirational teacher she encountered. She chose her course despite having more than 100 points above what was necessary because she wanted to pass on a love of her subject, like the teacher who taught her. She will be waiting a long time to scale the dizzy heights of €60k, as I will myself.

The value of the new Junior Cert has been identified as being educationally unsound by many independent sources. Ms O'Kelly said that the JC exam is just mindless regurgitation. The current JC English exam asks that students provide or regurgitate information on just 17 per cent of the paper. That is 60 out of 360 marks. The rest is obtained by applying their skills and knowledge of different writing genre. An unforeseen aspect of the scrapping of the independent aspect of the JC exam is the elimination of a European accreditation to the exam. In addition, any student who has in the past applied to the UK UCAS system to pursue their third-level education will no longer be able to provide results equivalent to the GCSE to enhance the evidence based aspect of their application.

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