A recurring theme swirling round my addled brain centres on the cultish concept of management. One of my feeble excuses for not seriously seeking managerial promotion was the thought that I wouldn’t be good enough. Self-doubt reigned. Another was witnessing and observing managers around me, both immediate ones in the places I worked and the more distant ones such as CEOs and those in government. What I observed reinforced my self-doubt as I realised I wasn’t like them. They seemed to lack any self-doubt.
And so I remained a classroom teacher and even though I doubted my teaching abilities I persisted and eventually developed confidence and became a good enough teacher. Then along came ofsted and it’s inspection regime which has now morphed into the minds and bodies of current school managers. And no matter how these power purveyers portray themselves they remain ignorant of how they impact on those who are supposed to be teaching. This is compounded by the underlying deficit model; in the manager’s minds throughout the whole petty process of appraisal, observation, inspection, targets ad nauseum is what are the teachers not doing well enough.
I propose that such a regime does not promote better or more effective teaching, especially amongst those teachers like me who may well already suffer self-doubt. For one thing it is a ‘top down’ model, the people to whom the process is intended have little or no say in the process (I experienced much pathetic tokenism and platitudes). Towards the end of my teaching career I fantasized about giving anyone who’d observed/inspected one of my lessons an observation of their performance as an appraiser of my performance. Giving them a list of their failings, targets to work on and a grade of barely adequate. Call it 360 degree accountability.
But, of course, this simply repeats the failings of the systems we have, even though there would be some brief pleasure in returning the pleasure.
As our benighted country continues it’s sorry decline one theme recurs for me and that is managerial mismanagement. According to very recent data our productivity is even worse than previously thought, the Office for Budget Responsibility has downgraded this year’s productivity from 1.6% to 0.2% based on the last 5 year’s actual rates. Now which group of people have most responsibility for such low rates? Of course, it’s the poor bloody workers and their indolent ways. Nothing to do with those who have the power, the wealth, the control, the means.
These lords and ladies of misrule and mismanagement have given us a country riven by the brexit bollocks, falling living standards for the many, obscene housing costs (enriching whom?), a sickly health service and so on. Happy days.
Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.