headTEACHers should TEACH

pot-kettle-black I am likely to upset a few people with this suggestion. So firstly, I will acknowledge that there are many good HTs, principals, SLT, SMT, Faculty leaders, managers, whatever you call yourselves. And yes I have no idea the pressure you are under etc.

This suggestion is probably very difficult to enforce. I doubt if Ofsted or DfE would want to get involved but here goes.

HeadTEACHERS and their entourage should each teach at least 25% timetable (I emphasise: this should be an absolute minimum). For secondary it should include a GCSE class or large KS3 class core subject. Not sure how it would work in primary but there should be ownership (for accountability reasons) of a group of students or series of lessons. The immediate benefits are obvious:

1. Respect from ordinary teachers that you are not out of touch eg feeling the pressure of running from one lesson to the next, from one ‘plenary’ to the next ‘starter’ the other side of the school.

2. It would slow you down with new initiatives and complicated marking policies. Remember you now have to follow these policies.

3. You could let ordinary staff inspect your exercise books so that they could see examples of good practice.

4. You could invite ordinary staff in to observe your lessons so that they could see what outstanding looks like.

5. New initiatives/teaching styles etc. You could trial these a whole term before you expect to implement them as whole school policies. You would have class results and evidence to convince staff of your vision.

Why wouldn’t you want these benefits? Yes, there would be times when you couldn’t do the lesson because of an important meeting, but then you could demonstrate an exemplary cover lesson plan. It would also give a teacher who is willing to do a ‘rarely cover’ the opportunity to get student opinion on your teaching, something that many leaders are often in favour of (when the shoe’s on the other foot).

Finally I acknowledge that I do not understand your job. You may tell me that your job is to manage people. After all a football manager doesn’t actually play. He couldn’t last the full 90 minutes. But I’m only asking you for 25% (not 110).

If you think I am being unreasonable, please tell me what I’m missing.