28 Aug '14

News My Ofsted breaking point: why I left school teaching to pursue academia

When John Hodgson quit school teaching he ended up working in a university, finding more freedom but less securityBy 1997 I had been teaching for 29 years and Id spent the last 11 as head of English at a rural comprehensive. I was pleased, overall, by what Id achieved, but now I needed a break from the myriad tasks that had taken over my working life: dealing with an constant row of demands from colleagues, students and parents - and all that on top of a full teaching timetable. I needed a change, something more academically rewarding, so I left school teaching to work in a university.Over the years, political interference in the curriculum had made being a teacher increasingly hard to swallow. For many years, my school had followed the AQA A-level English literature course, which required students to submit eight essays and an extended project on the texts they had read. The students enjoyed researching in their own time and writing creatively as well as analytically. It was a pleasure to work with them and to see their writing develop. The decision in 1993 to reduce A-level coursework to a token 20% was a blow for thousands of teachers and students across the country. Continue reading...

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