James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Teacher asks: If you don't trust my grades, why do you trust us with your children?
18 August 2020, 11:32
This teacher made a powerful point to the government: If you don't trust the grades I gave, why do you trust me with teaching our children.
The government finally made a U-turn on Monday to allow pupils to use teachers' assessments as their grades after an algorithm reduced the marks of 40% of students.
Sam called James O'Brien to say that she sobbed when she heard about it because she was so pleased for the students that she had taught for five years.
But she said the government's original stance had been insulting to her and other teachers.
She stated: "If they mark down my grades that I went through, if my students don't get what I firmly believe they deserve, then what is the point of me doing this profession.
"On one hand they say 'you're so valuable, we need you because child protection referrals have dropped, we need you in the classroom to spot when the kids are suffering from mental health issues, we need you to teach drugs education and sex education, we need you to help these teenagers get through life.'
"But when it comes to my opinion on English Language and English Literature, the subject I am trained for, and on the individuals I've been teaching for a minimum of two years, then apparently, I don't actually know what I'm talking about.
"It's an awful phrase and it's used all the time: 'can we trust the teachers?'
"If you don't trust me to say what level a child deserves, why the hell are you trusting me with everything else that's on my shoulders?"
James was moved by her words, saying: "That's so insulting. That's such a powerful point.
"I realised when I sent my two off to school that essentially we were sending them off and trusting teachers with their lives every morning.
"Yet, when you come to us and say we need your help, we call you scabs and lefties and communists."