Teaching: it’s more than just a job

It’s……? Finish the sentence and win the prize of satisfaction …

The slogan is actually from the Time Education Supplement, the main educational publication for the thousands of teachers working in the UK.

I remember reading it as a new teacher, and it became a bit of a weekly highlight (which, I think, says much more about me than it). As a rule, it contained (as still does) articles on current educational events across all sectors, commentary and editorials on the same, useful resources, relevant ads and vacancies (especially around April-May – the main recruitment period in the year – when the thing would be encouragingly weighty, groaning with opportunity and representing some small, now-existent forest hacked down to show just how much teachers were on the move..). Best of all, would be the late Professor Wragg’s opinion piece – dry, humorous, pertinent, human (pretty impressive for an academic…!)

By contrast, here in New Zealand, we have the Ed Gazette. Features? Tick. Vacancies? Tick. Adverts and notices? Tick again. What we don’t have – and won’t find it in this publication – are opinion pieces, satire or otherwise, that offer an alternative view on current education policy and directives. This is not to say that the Ed Gazette is failing in anyway, but that it simply does what it says on the tin. It is published for the Ministry of Education and accordingly it’s purpose is to give voice to that institution. And so it does.
Now, it is not necessarily for me to criticise the MoE – but surely someone should, if only to keep them honest? Whether there is potential in this country, with its relatively small population of teachers, for a second publication to stay afloat is an issue. But I have noticed that there are a few members of this esteemed profession with a sense of humour and healthy viewpoint on current educational affairs who, I suspect, might appreciate something more than official notices and features on current school strategies.
I couldn’t find a slogan for the Ed Gazette so feel free to make up your own.

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