From one warzone to another – soldiers to be fast-tracked to become teachers

It’s probably a bit un-PC to compare school kids to the Taliban, but I have no doubt that when ex-soldiers make it through a two-year fast track programme to become teachers that they’ll notice the similarities. Teenagers and terrorists: liable to explode any minute.

‘Taliban’ is actually Pashto for ‘students,’ which I think is rather fitting. On a serious note, though, could military personnel make good teachers? So far, the reception is split.

The Department for Education thinks that soldiers have discipline, experience and training that could benefit the classroom. The idea is that retired soldiers (who often leave the forces after just a few years) could make highly competent teachers. In cases where the recruits do not have degree-level qualifications, the programme would involve two years of training — four days a week in a school and one in a classroom. Why would you need a degree when you can drive a tank?

Some critics say the training isn’t enough, and that policymakers are over-egging the benefits of a military skill-set. “To say you can simply transfer the skills from one to the other is an oversimplification of the complexities of dealing with pupil behaviour in schools,” said one teachers’ union representative.

Ok, there’s a problem there. Teaching is one of the most challenging professions on earth (having done a bit of it, I can say that). But wouldn’t hard work and discipline be useful? I would argue so, particularly at difficult inner-city schools, or those with drug and bullying problems. I also think that military teachers would get quite a bit of kudos for being cool – i.e. “wow, tell me about that terrorist you shot.”

The UK isn’t the first to introduce a Troops to Teachers programme. The US has already done it, to moderate success. It helps give direction to ex-soldiers looking for it, and helps schools pick up teachers when sometimes they are lacking, particularly in the sciences.

At the end of the day I think Russell Hobby of the National Union of Teachers put it the best, when he said the programme “seems predicated on the notion that military service automatically makes someone a good teacher, whereas the reality is, some will make brilliant teachers and some won’t.”

Bottom line: new ideas are good. Try this one, then decide its future when we have more than speculation to go on.

One thought on “From one warzone to another – soldiers to be fast-tracked to become teachers

  1. louellen13

    . . . ITS BEEN MY LIFE TIME EXPERIENCE ( OR – SO I HAVE NOTICED ) THAT IT DEPENDS ON THE TYPE OF PRODUCT ( AUTOMOBILE DEALERSHIPS – FOR EXAMPLE / COSMETIC COMPANIES / CERTAIN STYLES OF CLOTHING – SUCH AS BATHING SUITS / ETC ) THAT THE BUSINESS ESTABLISHMENT IS ATTEMPTING – TO SALE TO THE CONSUMER ( BACK IN THE 1960s – HOWEVER ) EEOC HAD TO STOP THE TRAIN & ESTABLISH A SIMPLE DEFINITION – FOR WHAT AN AFRICAN AMERICAN LOOKED LIKE ( ONCE A REGIONAL INSPECTOR ) HAD WALKED AROUND INSIDE THE WORK PLACE ( AS TO SEE FOR HIMSELF/HERSELF ) IF A PERSON OF COLOR HAS BEEN HIRED ( AS THE COMPANY HAD BEEN INSTRUCTED TO DO ) AS THE INSPECTOR WALKS THROUGH THE WORK PLACE & SEEING NO AFRICAN AMERICAN ( IS YOUR NEW WORKER ON VACATION / DID YOUR NEW WORKER COME TO WORK TODAY / DID I COME ON THE WRONG DATE / ETC ) ONLY TO FIND THAT THE COMPANY HAD USED ( THE COLOR COMPLEX SYNDROME ) TO GET AROUND THE INSTRUCTIONS – WHICH HAD BEEN GIVEN TO THE COMPANY ( BY BOTH – THE REGIONAL & THE NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS ) NO – THERE SHE IS – RIGHT YONDER ( THE FEDERAL AGENT LOOKS & THEN – TURNS IN HIS TRACKS ) AND GAVE THE COMPANY OFFICIAL A THOROUGH LOOKING AT ( THIS BECAME THE END OF THE AGENTS VISIT ) BACK OUT THE DOOR HE GOES – HE GETS INTO THIS AUTOMOBILE & IS DRIVEN TO THE NEAREST AIRPORT ( AND BACK TO THE WASHINGTON D C OFFICE ) THERE WAS A MEETING HELD IMMEDIATELY ( WE MAYBE LOSING GROUND – SAYS THE FEDERAL AGENT ) – ( AS WE ARE DOING OUR INSPECTIONS ) – ( IT TURNS OUT – THAT WE CAN NOT IDENTIFY PERSONS OF COLOR – WHEN WE SEE THEM ) – ( WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT COLOR WE ARE LOOKING AT ) THEREFORE – WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO ESTABLISH AN ALL NEW DEFINITION ( OF WHAT A PERSON OF COLOR – LOOKS LIKE ) AND IN THE WORDS OF THE LATE MALCOLM X ( QUOTED: MAKE IT PLAIN ) THIS IS THE DEFINITION – THAT THE OFFICIALS OF THE EEOC HEADQUARTERS CAME UP WITH ( THE HEAD OFFICE MADE IT PLAIN ) – ( ITS GOT TO BE OBVIOUS ) THAT THE NEW EMPLOYEES – WE ARE ORDERING TO BE HIRED – ARE PERSONS OF COLOR ( WHICH MEANT ) AS THE COMPANIES ACROSS AMERICA – WERE BEING ORDERED TO HIRE ( A RACE OF COLOR ) – ( THE COMPANIES HAD TO TONE – THE SKIN COLORS DOWN ) FEDERAL AGENTS ARE HUMAN BEINGS – ALSO & THESES OFFICIALS ARE STRANGERS TO ANY GIVEN REGION ( IF YOU ARE FROM AMONG THESE REGIONS ) YOU SEEM TO KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING – BUT WE DO NOT ( THIS MIGHT NOT BE THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION ABOVE ) BUT I DO REMEMBER THIS SITUATION – QUITE WELL ( WE ARE DEALING WITH A SMALL TOWN ) IN ORDER TO GET AROUND THE LAWS – THE COMPANIES IN THIS SMALL TOWN ( WERE USING THE SAME INDIVIDUAL ) BUT WAS MOVING THIS INDIVIDUAL – FROM ONE COMPANY TO THE OTHER ( DEPENDING ON & BASED ON – WHEN THE FEDERAL INSPECTORS ) WERE DUE TO ARRIVE – AS TO VERIFY & DOCUMENT THE END RESULTS OF THEIR EFFORTS – AS IT WERE . . .

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