There is a bit of a to-do in the MSM at present, with the LabourNazis saying that all teachers should embrace Marxism, have QTS, and other saying that it’s counterproductive. It rather depends what you want, as a nation, out of an “education system”, as if that entire term was not already tautological.
My own thoughts, reflecting on a longish life and how I got here, are this.
I don’t think I was every taught by a “qualified teacher”.
***Miss White was a WW1-widow who’d been teaching little boys for 39 years before she began to confiscate my dinky-toys.
***Mr Roberts was an ex-RSM who taught us maths and PT, had fought in Sicily and later was ordained as a CofE priest.
***Mr Woods had run a portion of Kenya the size of Wales. He taught History and Scripture. He explained patiently to us instead of a scripture lesson, why we needn’t be frightened of nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis. After that, none of us was afraid for we then knew what was going on and why. He thought that “knowledge can drive out fear”.
***Mr Warner was a chemistry graduate looking for any job he could get. He fired me off on exploring science, from which I never wavered and to which I returned in old age.
***Mr German Went Over The Top at Serre on 1st July 1916 with a Lancashire battalion, and lived to teach us Latin, Ancient History and Maths (at a turn.) In every first week of July, he’d scrap Latin for a lesson or two and teach us about the geopolitics of WW1. He was very bad-tempered but we forgave him for we thought it was “shell-shock”.
***Robert Roseveare taught A-level pure maths, and broke Enigma at Bletchley Park (we only learned that after he died not long ago.)
***(Dr) Barnes Wallis turned up when he still could (he was old) and taught us Mechanics and Properties of Matter for A-level Physics.
***David Miller was a concert pianist, and became our Head of Chemistry after he badly injured his hands in an accident. It’s also worth adding (I had forgotten) that he covertly taught us 6th former scientists the grand game of BRIDGE, in the Physics Library, at times when we were really supposed to be playing Rugby or uselessly running. He’d “sign off our “sick chits” for us to give to the “prefects” afterwards, so we’d not get detentions. He was a genuinely nice and kind man and we all loved him, even though he was short-tempered and bitter about his injuries.
***Michael Squibbs was quite mental, and taught us German better then the subsequent native speaker/student who took us over after a year. I therefore only got a “grade 6″: shame really.
*** Dennis “Batty” Barnham turned out to be a “spitfire ace” who defended Malta, shot down 7 enemy aircraft, and lived. From him we learned “the history of western architecture”, and he taught me personally how to _really really draw_ … As he put it, it was: “How To See The Picture Directly Onto Your Paper!” (I can still draw quite well.)
I haven’t mentioned them all, for memories of some others are hazy. There was also another fellow, Mr Collie, who insisted on discussing the latest Sino-Indian trans-Himalayan War with us when we were aged about 1o. We found it quite interesting and illuminating regarding international affairs, and it improved our geography comprehension as a result. And it had nowt to do with the maths lesson he was supposed to be taking.
None of these men – and one grumpy old woman – had a teaching Qualification. In 1960, indeed, Miss White decided it was perhaps time to marry again (she must have been about 62) and married a Mr Ashton, who had lost his wife in 1917 on some torpedoed ship or other.
Whenever I’m teaching, I try to be like one or more of these people.