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Is it just me or are there too many PE tecahers doing guidance? Don´t get me wrong, there are some really hard working dedicated individuals who do the most amazing job... however, there does not seem to be the range of talent, skills and career know how a wider group of subject specilaists could provide. Discuss. Being a bit of a devil´s advocate but why is this? Be interested in other folk´s opinions. After all we are talking about an important aspect of the welfare of children being provided by a narrow section of the school community here.
There's certainly a lot of PE teachers in Guidance!
Maybe more apply for the positions. Perhaps they get to an age where they cant be bothered with running about outside in the cold and wet day after day. This is Scotland after all. Having said that, there should be a better mix. No disrespect intended, but PE teachers are not always the most 'academic' teachers, and may not have the knowledge to deliver guidance on many subjects. (that'll be another spanner in the works!)
It really does need to be brought out into the open though. Course choice, understanding aptitude, relating abilities to future professions ... even filling in basic UCAS forms etc There is a very limited skills set here.
One theory I heard is that teachers with "proper" academic degrees are not encouraged to go into guidance because there is NO shortage of PE teachers... whilst the number of other subject teachers is very limited.
Guidance has become a fast track into "management" these days... so why are non-PE teachers disadvantaged ?
In the end it is the quality of advice the pupil receives that really suffers... not to mention the further churning out of inadequate, over assertive, trainee managers we have to suffer at a later date. Is this the future of "Leadership" in Scotland?
We need a better mix. In my present school Guidance teachers are 85% PE teachers - that is just ridiculous! (There goes anothwer spanner!)
There is also a school of thought that they relate better to pupils because of the nature of the subject.
Although I do tend to agree that the quality of service received and the "trainee managers" do tend to leave a lot to be desired.
However, are PE teachers being positively discriminated in applications for guidance jobs or is no-one else applying?
Your sister doen´t represent the "swathes of wasters" that are becoming more and more noticeable in this area I´m sure. It´s a real shame that some really great individuals will take the hump at some of the generalisations that have been made here - I know 2 really amazing PE teachers that do a great job.
So, I think you´ve missed the point - entirely - there are far too many PE teachers doing guidance. Aren´t there? AND that they typcally don´t have the necessary skills to deal with kids on many levels - especially the brighter ones. e.g. Career advice? It´s a real problem that is not being confronted in schools - certainly not by the government or the GTC.
A question raised was whether this was because teachers with substantial degrees that required a level of academic, shall we say, acuity... were not being encouraged into the Guidance "suite" .. an area more and more devoted to juvenile, pathetic pranking. PSE or SocEd or whatever that waste of time is called is just a joke to these people or "swathes of dedicated staff" as some people refer to them - that´s when they turn up, full of their self importance.
As our youth says, many just relate to the popular kids - many just do not have the ability to relate to kids in a manner that best suits their real needs. Very common in our school (and many many others) is the tactic of befriending the more challenging kids, taking the easy way by eg taking their side and not concerning themselves with what has concerned the classroom teacher in the first place. It is undermining and weakening the whole system. It is not addressing the real need of kids who are becioming more and more aware of how to bend the system to suit themselves by exploiting "un-gifted" staff lacking insight and looking for the easiest way possible to do a job and just take the money at the end of the day.The problem is that many pupils come back to haunt the classroom professional repeatedly as they are not being dealt with appropriately- This is far too common. Many PE Guidance teachers perhaps do not realise the importance of actually doing an academic subject themselves (entry requirements are somewhat different)- how on Earth should only one group of teachers be thought able to this job with the many demands and nuances it now requires?
Isn´t the child supposed to be at the centre these days and shouldn´t they be treated with more respect than this?
The very real problem is of course, that many of them just won´t realise that they aren´t doing the job properly... and that no amount of training (be it in-service, 2 day course, events) is going to improve the situation.
We need a greater mix. A much greater mix. We all have something to contribute here NOT just PE teachers.
2 points here:
1.Youth of today - I don't think this forum is the place for pupils, just as the staffroom is not for pupils either. I'm not saying that your opinions don't count but we are not interested in them here.
2.So many schools have "support workers" nowadays, who are very dedicated adults with specialist training in dealing with Guidance issues, so why do we need Guidance teachers also? I believe it is a fast-track to SMT and if teachers want out of the classroom, they should be out 100% - not just 50% or whatever fraction of the working day is required to do the guidance remit.
At the risk of being called an old-whatever, we didn't have guidance teachers when I was at school - we had meaningful teaching everyday. My own kids' experience of PSD periods were an utter waste of their valuable time, and some of the "guidance" they received left a lot to be desired.
Credit crunch? Not enough jobs? Get rid of the Guidance posts, see how many teachers "retire", save money on promoted posts and employ new, keen teachers.
I guess my last school bucked that trend. In a department of 11 (i think) 4 of them were from the maths department, 2 from science and at least one from English. This school had an excellent PSHE curriculum and the guidance staff knew all their pupils well. My current school, private overseas school, has no proper "guidance" teacher every registration teacher is supposed to deal with their own form and then it goes straight to head. This to me is quite worrying.
I agree that you should have a range of subject specialists in pupil support. It is better for the kids to have that mix.
There is a serious point, particularly in the West of Scotland, to be made about the prevalance of PE teachers, Home economics teachers and others of similar idiom working in PSE/Guidance. If you are an English, Science or Mathematics teacher, it feels pretty unfair that you undertake a cargo of work, with serious expectations, with serious real-world implications placed upon you, while your pay remains the same as someone who throws balls about. PE teachers can take their body-fascism and ridiculous adherence to trophies and "team spirit" into a subject that can require more subtletly of thought and deed in the area of introverted or extroverted negative behaviour displayed by traumatised or underprivileged (emotionally as well as materially) pupils. Some Guidance rooms look like the headquarters of 'It's A Knockout' from the nineteen-seventies, with similarly dated attitudes abiding there.
There are a few, a golden few, effective and hard working PSE/Guidance teachers. For the most part they appear to me to be pretty self serving, Macchiavellian and grudge-holding lead-swingers who think driving a group of pupils to a muddy playing field every Saturday justifies their exorbitant salaries. This is why P.E. teachers should be less ubiquitous in PSE/Guidance.
I must say I'm fed up reading this thread. I do not teach an 'academic' subject and because of this I'm now made to feel that my degree is worth less than those who do????
I personally have decided that guidance is not for me, but that does not mean I would not make a good guidance teacher. In my school we have 2 guidance teacher who are P.E. teachers and I know the amount of time they spend on their job, looking after their caseload and I know they do an excellent job. IT IS NOT THE SUBJECT BUT THE PERSON!!!
I'm not saying every P.E. teacher is as good as them, but many/most of them are so don't tar them all with the same brush.
My rant was a provocative one with not a little snobbery attached - but the issue of P.E. and Home economics teachers having less take-home marking and lesson preparation have more of an opportunity to propulgate their career ambitions and this is why there are so few heads of school, house and yeargroups who come from English or the social subjects.
The irony is that English is a subject taught by those whose qualifcations involved looking at and analysing the human condition, philosophies, imagining solutions and scenarios and looking at an issue from every viewpoint. I'm not saying a P.E. teacher or H.E. teacher is incapable of this or that their degree is worth less, merely that A Guidance teacher usually applies his or her best practices from his or her original subject area and 'English' or 'Social Subjects' might provide better reference points in dealing with delicat pupil cases, revising discipline and praise procedures than 'P.E', 'H.E' and 'Technical' may afford.
This, after all, is a debate and I'm happy to continue it and be corrected!
Yes I would say there is a great deal of snobbery attached! Over the course of many years in teaching I have encountered good and bad guidance teachers, maths teachers, english teachers, science teachers etc etc. I have worked with colleagues who were reasonable at teaching english but looking at the pastoral side would have stretched them too far and would have been detrimental to the children in their care. I have worked with some superb pe teachers in guidance and in pe. I am an english teacher and have done an acting guidance post and the qualities which are needed are personal qualities. Do you really think that english teachers have got praise, discipline and dealing with sensitivity all sewn up? I think there is both subject snobbery and naivety in your post. I do not want to associate myself with english subject specialists who think they are better than teachers of other subjects. We are teaching weans first and foremost
I have no sympathy for the minority of "offended" poor souls who'd rather personalise this issue and promote subject equality than address the clear, blatant and detrimental stupidity of the situation that there are quite simply far too many PE teachers in Guidance. To not recognise this fact - and to detract unnecessarily from it with such inane witterings - is to neglect the rights of the child (and classroom teacher) to the best support that can be provided from the personnel within the school. Just slinging PE teachers into a suite, and claiming that they are somehow genetically (??) best suited to the challenge, more than any other kind of teacher, is affecting actual people; actual lives. e.g.
It is affecting teacher morale - due to inadequate support- the white elephant having an epileptic fit in the room - everyone can see it - no one actually talks about this out loud - why?
It is affecting the future management of schools - the best a school could produce is being curtailed by bottle necking entry into the giddy heights of SMT - in some cases it really is like watching the apprentice - people with an unjustified and overly inflated opinion of themselves claiming to be able to do remarkable things...result? PISA ratings are falling and we can't get rid of these folk.
It is reducing the possibility of career progression for many teachers who may be much better suited to the demands and needs in this area - preventing this progression inevitably leads to even more disaffection and disillusionment
Most importantly - It is affecting how children are being treated - not just those with deep emotional issues and other major problems BUT every child that is placed into a subject, determined best suited by a guidance teacher or given career advice. Come on!
Now, if the odd bleeding heart could just put their selfish little world view behind them for a while (perhaps think of what's best for a school, especially the child), what can we do about this?
What can be done?
Any ideas? How can we promote Guidance for Excellence - without it just being a rebranding exercise like so much else in education?
Look, I agree that there was a certain air of snobbery about my original reply, falkirkwheel, and I recant a bit of what I attempted to convey humorously, but didn't couch correctly. The other extreme is this "Och, the weans!" approach - well, frankly that's a Scottish idiom loaded with inverted snobbery alll its own, a detachment from true social understanding and a "ruffling of the hair" faux avuncularity that is too often misinterpreted as charismatic and effective pastoral care. What it is is histrionic socialism from people with the pretence of "Jimmy Reid"-esque virtues who, in their own way, insult the very social strata they believe they are 2touching base" with.
I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth and, by gum, I've been guilty of the "Come here son/hen" school of pastoral care - and it has its moments - but when a teacher becomes a £45, 000 p.a. "surrogate uncle/aunty" 24/7" that is a wild misinterpration of the role. Most P.E. and H.E teachers in my experience may not fit this accusatory label, but there's something in the clear lack of diverse subject specialists in PSE that perpetuate this style of care and guidance.
Yet again, I find myself almost becoming a class traitor - but why do I feel that? In my experience some teachers who pose as the "Och the weans!" Barmulloch-born-and-braised child-of-red-clydesiders had two professional parents, holidayed frequently near the Med and are never far from a designer label.
Let's weave aspiration into the guidance of our children.
Signed - a lefty Barmullochian!
Ooohh! Last post is too complicted/political for a wee highland lassie!
Seriously, here comes a senior moment while I repeat myself - "Guidance" (with a capital "G")should be a subject in itself, as I believe ALL teachers should offer "guidance" (with a little "g") if the need arises and they want to help.If they feel unable to offer advice/guidance that's their choice and vice versa.
The surrogate aunty bit is where the trained support worker comes in (because that's what they want to do and not to jump up the SMT ladder).
I appreciate that an overload of one subject in guidance would cause difficulties if everyone in that subject had the same approach. The point I was making was that we all have individual styles. Because I teach English does not necessarily qualify me per se to handle certain issues better than someone else. I can only comment on the schools I have experienced. In the past, there were a number of PE staff in promoted guidance posts. But that was very much in the past and now there are no such staff represented in guidance in my school. The guidance staff are from Maths, History, Tech, PE, Geography etc.
The avuncular attitude is one that I have seen but from a Head of English who frequently caused me to gnash teeth in silent rage! I dont think it is special to guidance or pe.
I think that a previous poster got it right when speaking about training needs for people intent on such a thankless job. The need to be detached if necessary but offer sympathy when required.
Having just picked up on this thread I find myself nodding my head at a lot of the posts, but I have to come back to the original point of the post: "are there too many PE teachers in guidance?" My answer - no. I'm struggling to see why some people have made a correlation between a teacher's subject and their ability to be an effective Guidance teacher. If you ask the three out of four PE/guidance teachers in my school why they made the move they'll tell you very honestly that the reason they moved was they knew that the older you get the more injuries you pick up which makes it more difficult to teach PE - it was a reason of job security.
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