Welcome to my blog!
Having taught geography for four years in secondary state schools, one theme continually resurfaces: sustainability. I try to focus a) all of the content I teach and b) my life more broadly around the principles of sustainability.
The definition of sustainability is ‘understanding how to meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations to meet their own needs’. This is a central concept within geography and there are few (if any) topics that I teach that don’t return to this idea in some way.
However, more broadly, sustainability can be defined as ‘the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level’. When considering teaching more widely, there is disagreement about how sustainable our profession is. ‘Teacher retention’ is a phrase that has featured increasingly within the media since I trained to teach in 2013, to the point that the House of Commons published a detailed briefing paper in June 2018 outlining, among other things, the 26 government initiatives that have been introduced to try and increase recruitment and retention since 2015. And yet, the problem is far from resolved.
While this blog cannot fix the endemic and complex issue of teacher recruitment and retention, I hope that aspiring, new or simply tired teachers might find that material here offers a more positive narrative from a supportive teaching community. I was once told in my PGCE year, “Don’t sit with the moaners in the staff room, find the ‘yes’ people”. This blog aims to be that ‘yes’ person, not by patronising and pretending that all in teaching is rosy, but by simply highlighting the useful, inspirational, creative and funny outputs of a life in teaching.
Put simply, sustainable teaching should extend beyond the geography classroom.