I have been giving out about Droichead for quite some time so thought it might be a good idea to publish some suggestions as to how the Teaching Council might remedy their appalling handling of trying to
introduce impose it on schools. Here are my ideas.
- Spend 2016-17 piloting different models for Teacher Induction.
- Publish an FAQ responding to the criticisms and allegations of flaws of Droichead. (a paragraph – not the 230 page document that’s often touted as the oracle to this)
- Give students, teachers and principals carrots. (Partnerships with colleges, freeing up Teaching Principals, etc.)
- Attempt to resolve the two big issues that are brought up, i.e. increased workload and time allocation for this work.
- Be on the teachers’ side. The inspectors basically said they’re pulling out of probation. If a teaching principal decided tomorrow to simply stop teaching, would the Teaching Council be pushing for the rest of the staff to take on his work for nothing? Stand up to the inspectorate. Tell them that while you agree with them, the Teaching Profession cannot take on their probation work without ALL the resources they need. This includes time, payment, proper training, consistency, etc.
- Fight for resources. The Teaching Profession cannot self-regulate without extra resources. Middle management is gone but if it returns, it needs to have a new face, which might include induction. Cuts to wages, grants, etc. need to be restored and the Teaching Council needs to fight with its members for this before it can “impose” new measurements. A school should never have to run a cake sale to pay its bills and while this happens, a school can never be described as professional.
- Stop treating primary and secondary schools the same. Second level schools are completely different beasts to primary schools. They have far more funding and a completely different way of assessing and working with their students. It is like comparing Gardaí to Firemen and giving them the same expectations.
- Listen to the people on the ground. The CEC Reps and leadership in the INTO received a massive reality check over the last couple of weeks.
- Be grounded. The Teaching Council need to take criticisms on the chin. None of it is personal and taking the bother and time to engage with you takes up hours of time. Being defensive or simply arguing back to win the argument doesn’t do anything for anyone.
- This is the best piece of advice I ever received as a writer, but it completely works in any capacity. Sometimes, the criticism that makes you the most upset or angry, is the thing that needs to change.
I think these ten suggestions would go a long way to repairing the damage.