Junior Cycle 'reform'

 

Sir, – I have lost over five full teaching days in the last two years. These were not spent shopping in Newry. They were spent being re-programmed as a teacher of the new Junior Cycle. Five days is a week lost.

Every minute was painful. We were shown how to use our mobile phones in class. We sat for two days in a school with no heat being lectured in a plethora of condescending ways. The never-ending Junior Cycle for Teachers (JCT) mantra basically stated that until JCT came along, there was nothing but rote-learning and dinosaurs teaching. Mr Padraig Kirk (December 2nd) can stick his head in the sand and keep playing the music “Everything is awesome”.

Teachers on the ground, working in the real world know that these reforms have demotivated teachers and students.

Like the countries where these reforms are failing, Ireland will only realise too late what legends taught in their classrooms and how valuable the Irish education was.

We are always last for spending on education but regularly in the top five for results. Economists and employers need to stay away from primary and second- level education. Leave that job to the professionals! As for the box-ticking, form-filling classroom-based assessments (CBA) nonsense, valuable teaching time is spent recording and analysing recordings ad infinitum. Please just leave us alone to teach. – Yours, etc,

TOM MCCARTHY

Dublin 5.