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☰ Teaching is a Work of Heart

Head's Blog

Teaching is a Work of Heart

Posted on February 18 2020

Maybe it’s my age, but FaceTime, I just don’t get it! I mean the concept of seeing and speaking with someone is great and I have used the service a couple of times, but for day to day calls or chats, what is wrong with a voice call? My daughter, on the other hand, uses FaceTime all the time and is consistently chatting to her friends this way, so when I mentioned that it is not a new invention and that in fact Back to the Future Part II predicted its use back in the 1980s, she was very surprised, to say the least.

In fact, many movies have predicted the future; Star Wars and holograms, A Space Odyssey and touch screen tablets, Terminator and drones, The Truman Show and reality TV, Dick Tracy and his phone watch and even the early 1927 film Metropolis predicting robots. There is a focus on refining many jobs in the future to be more reliable and performed by robots, this is fastly becoming a reality. However, there are some jobs that simply require too much passion and soul to be successful. Teaching is one of them.

Teaching is about belief, and belief is about trust and making a connection with pupils. It is about having a clear and concise vision. However much we trust our computers and technical systems, we cannot truly connect with them in the same manner that we do with other human beings. They do not inspire us to go that extra mile or give more of ourselves than we thought possible like a teacher can with a child in their class. 

At Forest Park, we are fortunate to have a team of dedicated staff that care, engage and motivate pupils every single day. It is the unquantifiable aspects of trust, hope and inspiration teachers elicit here that ensure that they are irreplaceable. There is no hardware or computer programme that can recognise a small knock in a child’s confidence or the tremble of a hand as a piece of work is being completed and intervention is required. There is no machine that can notice a child coasting who needs that extra challenge or enrichment.

No machine can laugh at the joke of a seven-year-old or offer advice to a concerned parent or worried colleague. Teachers do not need to be superheroes, but at Forest Park they are superhumans. I have personally worked within four school settings during my career, both in the state and independent sectors, and have spent time with teachers who have lacked humanity or who rely too heavily on computer tracking systems when tracking pupil progress, instead of actually engaging with children, face-to-face. Despite their talents, I would not be best pleased to have my children taught by them. 

The teachers at Forest Park are different, they have a clear passion for teaching and working closely with the individual child. All of whom, go above and beyond the call of duty and are, and are, without doubt, the best team I have had the pleasure of working with. I am in awe of their talents and achievements and am proud to see the fruits of their labour when all of the pupils achieve their very best.

So human and complex is the teaching profession, should an avatar or robot be asked to take up a teaching position, I have a feeling the response would simply be ‘Computer says no!’. 

Nick Tucker

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