Tom Bennett letting go #pgce #mfltwitterati

An awesome post by Tom Bennett talking about how a shocking night of street violence helped him find better equilibrium as a teacher. But the bit that really jumped out at me was at the beginning:

When I began to teach, I went home every night feeling like weeping, and spent lonely weeks racked with self-doubt and dismay. Children wouldn’t do the tasks I asked, and what kind of man was I? It was one of the lowest points of my life.

By my second year I wasn’t drowning any more, but I was barely breaking the surface. I fell into a familiar vortex of fail: my classes were all hard; they barely seemed to work when I asked; as time passed I did less and less about the behaviour because nothing seemed to make a difference, and I couldn’t cope with the effort of doing anything about it. As things got worse and worse, I circled the drain, hating myself, despairing for my ability as a teacher, and my ability to help children many of whom, seemed not to want to be helped. In many ways, I took their behaviour home with me every night, and it burned.

Oh boy, that sounds awfully familiar – and I’ve barely finished teaching practice and have had relatively little time swirling around the vortex of fail. Even Tom Bennett felt like that? *The* Tom Bennett? And it took several years to deal with it? And it was a street beating that helped him fix his classroom practice?

Why does anyone do this job?!


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