Bring back the magic!

For some years I have observed the argument within some education systems regarding whether it is qualifications or experience that teachers need to have before successfully gaining employment.   Many systems now require a Masters degree before a candidate will be considered, even when the candidate might have years and years of experience as a teachers.    What is important?

I had always sat on the Experience side of the fence, in that an experienced practitioner had a more developed set of teacher tools at their disposal.   Being in the classroom for a longer period allowed for more professional learning.   Now I am not ignoring the fact that some practitioners may end up stuck in their ways, however I believe most teachers, as professionals, would continue to develop from their continued experiences in the class with students.    How can studies in a university and a piece of paper compare with this?

I was quite happy in this belief until a colleague raised the issue of Qualification/Experience versus passion.   His comment grouped qualifications and experience together as opposed to seperate, against a passionate practitioner.   How could I agrue with this?      How can any number of years or number of pieces of paper compete against a person, passionate about what they do, about teaching and learning, about education?

Then I heard a gentleman from Google Education presenting at GESS 2013.   He mentioned making learning “magical”.   The term “magical” seems to match with my colleagues idea of “passion” but possibly building on it in terms of it being “magical” for the teacher and students.     I remember a comment I heard some year ago, that an Outstanding lesson “was one students will always remember”.    Isn’t this what teaching is all about, not about  Lesson Objectives on display on the board, 2 activities, a starter and a plenary; the checklist drive lesson?   Not dependent on whether the teacher has a Masters or 20 years of experience.   Teaching is all about a passion for supporting students to learn by making learning “magical”.

When was your last “magical” lesson?



Author: garyhenderson2014

Gary Henderson is currently the Director of IT in an Independent school in the UK. Prior to this he worked as the Head of Learning Technologies working with public and private schools across the Middle East. This includes leading the planning and development of IT within a number of new schools opening in the UAE. As a trained teacher with over 15 years working in education his experience includes UK state secondary schools, further education and higher education, as well as experience of various international schools teaching various curricula. This has led him to present at a number of educational conferences in the UK and Middle East.

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