Teachers talk about teaching because it is a people job. One of the reasons why I write this blog is because it does not feel like work. Work, for me, is what you have to do when you do not want to do it. Out of my many hobbies, there is is not one that I do not feel like avoiding on certain days. With work, that is not possible.
Teachers talking about teaching can be annoying for some: it can exclude those who do not know the personalities, or bore those who hear only the logisitics.
Therefore, what kind of talking about teaching is useful? I would say that which enthuses, expands and improves is that which is most worth talking about. Talking about the people of teaching is most worth doing. And, as with all such conversations, having them at the right time is most important, too.
The kind of talking that might not be so useful is the (still essential) Michael Marland ‘craft of the classroom’ talk of logistics. Sharing how to organise gluesticks and how to manage the opening of blinds is essential, but not something to be heard on a Sunday afternoon.
Another conversation that is less useful is the negative griping of being in a people. Yes, any job of endeavour, (relative) autonomy and of working with people will lead to a lack of time to complete everything to satisfaction. In this instance, I have found that the term ‘cynicism’ has come to mean a humorous take on a negative experience. For example, Greenwood Free School has been rated as notice to improve, with all the typically irrelevant and esoteric criteria published on blogs for those so inclined to view. Teacher blogs have been particularly witty in taking Ofsted to task on this. What is the alternative? To be negatively earnest? Have we the time and effort left in our bodies and souls to do this?
So, talking about teaching is perhaps talking about something else.