"Ex-Soldiers Sent Into Schools To Improve Pupil Behaviour"

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by soleil, Nov 15, 2013.

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  1. Last edited: Nov 15, 2013
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  2. A cynic may say that it is a move meerly to push public thinking towards the benefit of free schools...
  3. (granny)

    (granny) Book Reviewer

    It might make more sense to send the ex Forces into the Teacher Training Colleges and train the future teachers how to control a class of unruly children.
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  4. Some students will benefit from the discipline that ex-forces bring, and some will not.
    There are 3 of us ex forces working in a school in Derby. Some pupils respond well to us, some don't.
  5. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    I'm from an era that gifted us kids the old school teachers who although in the twilight of their careers were second World War Veterans. I had a Lancaster Bomber Pilot teach me maths, an Infantry man who went through Crete teach me English and an ex matelot turned sky pilot teach me religion, they all taught me so much more besides. Cracking idea, you could have the RAF Regt teaching make believe and drama now as well.
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  6. Invest the money in a scheme like this: https://troopstoteachers.ctp.org.uk £11,000 a year to someone used to earning a fair bit more, possibly having a mortgage etc to pay off isn't enough. Graduate pgce'rs get up to £20,000 a year bursaries in some subjects! I agree many have useful skills and qualities to offer, but surely the money is better invested in allowing those who want to the chance to become qualified and enjoy the same salary and 'benefits' (used loosely in todays climate) of their colleagues. In a school I was on placement in an ex army chap ran PE classes. He was extremely good at what he did and the children (whole class not just the naughties) responded well. He was on a crap wage and no fixed contract though, not ideal really. For those that want to be involved but not teach have extra support applying for TA and SEN posts; but don't see how they will have extra powers than teachers currently do ?

    Just my thoughts, hopefully its a more promising picture for ex-service personnel in other parts of the country.
  7. I've now got this mental picture of a cupboard in a school when "RoboTeacher" is kept ... instead of being sent to see the head - you get to open the door and outcomes some steely eye'd messenger of death ... Tats / Green Beret / "you can't see me" suit and boots ... big Black Boots! .....
  8. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    This sounds like a great idea in principle, and when I left the RN I applied for a number of positions as a military mentor, working with young people in schools or with charities. I believed that my background and experience would be beneficial but I have to say that ex-military people do not make good teachers, by virtue of their background. While some service personnel can make good teachers, it is not a given; likewise, not all teachers are unable to maintain an unruly classroom.

    I have many friends who are teachers, and many are against the idea that ex-service personnel are "parachuted" (pun intended) into a classroom like some super hero to clear up the mess and sort out a few trouble makers. Often this bombastic approach is acceptable in the military because we are pack animals designed to follow the Alpha leader in hostile environments. Children, on the other hand, develop their social skills in different ways and need to build up relationships over time with their teacher/mentor, in order to encourage trust and establish deep and meaningful communication. Plus, there are some teachers who, rightly or wrongly, see these sort of initiatives - which are not new, and have been going on for some time now - as a recruitment drive to encourage YP to join the Armed Forces. There is and always will be an interest in the military by YP, but it should be self-generated, not forced on them; have outward bounds activities or BMF-type sporting events by all means, but embedding a squaddie who takes a "When I say jump, you say 'how high?'" approach in a classroom of vulnerable children is counter-productive. I accept there are a number of ex-service types who are now working in schools - I know plenty of those as well - but I guarantee that they have soften their approach with YP, rather than adopting the "shouty RSM" demeanour familiar to a military environment.

    I now do a lot of work as a volunteer youth support worker in various environments (in community project and the Secure Estate) and my experience so far leads me to think that most classrooms are not as unruly as some stories would lead you to believe. What most YP need is some to talk with, to listen to their concerns and to offer advice and assistance when it is needed. "Unruly behaviour" (as vague as that description is) is often either sour grapes by older generations who see any behaviour by any YP as "unruly" or just skylarking and playing, no different to what we all see in a messdeck.

    Initiatives that help improve education are to be encouraged, but do not think that an aggressive military approach is the quick fix. What is needed is genuine and protracted funding and investment in teacher training and support.
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  9. The inherent problem with Troops to Teachers, is that there is no plan to waive the degree requirement to become a teacher. Your average ex serviceman who wants to become a teacher basically has to go through all the same shit as anyone else, uni, PGC etc. It's not really realistic for someone coming out of the mob to become a student for 3 years. Those who already have degrees on leaving the mob (i.e. engineers and former officers) will go on to achieve better careers than teaching.

    I think having ex servicemen as teachers is a great idea, however it's just not an attractive option for most of us. The job itself would be great but 3 years as a student on minimal money isn't something most service leavers can live with. The additional 11 grand that this scheme offers is **** all in the grand scheme of things. Likewise if you're going to bother doing a degree and you already have work experience in the mob, you're going to be able to get a better job than becoming a teacher.

    The original idea behind this was that ex servicemen could become teachers with forces quals like DITS etc being used in lieu of a degree.

    I actually had aspirations to become a Technology Teacher a few years back. I was made redundant during the recession and genuinely looked at teaching as an option. I got a job as a teaching assistant in the Technology department of a school on 16 grand a year pro rata (in London). I saw it as a step onto the ladder to become a teacher. The map laid out for me as a service leaver without a degree, was to study part time and hope to be qualified within 6 years. 6 years of earning a shit salary and working my arse off studying, for a 28 grand a year job. Not really worth it but I was in a rut and it seemed like a way out.

    Luckily I was offered a job at a gun factory within 4 weeks of starting the teaching job, so I ****ed it off.

    Simple solution to this: Waive the degree requirement for ex service applicants who want to become teachers (equivalent experience/quals withstanding). Immediately it becomes an attractive option and some of us might just jump on it.
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  10. The media has a lot to answer for in playing along with the governments notion that teachers are inept and incapable of controlling a class. Incidentally and I am sure by pure coincidence- by swaying public opinion to believe teachers are crap people more people may be receptive to the idea of free schools and allowing untrained teachers in. Just support people wishing to make the transition easier and improve the information available. Also funny how the money appears despite cuttting many SEN posts etc of whom make a huge difference as well.

    Story on the local news about a group of children who fundraised £12,000 themselves to pay the wage of a support worker whos job had been cut as she made such a big difference to that community. Cut posts to save money and then reinvest it in something which masquerades as being beneficial to service leavers and children but has a political motivation. Maybe i am just a cynic though :D
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  11. 2DD yeah I agree, the degree requirement itself is a stumbling block for many. There are at a few institutions 2 year courses that someone without a degree but 'considerable life experience' can do, leads to a full teaching qual that is recognised globally. Troops to Teachers doesn't require a degree, that's why its 2 years mostly classroom based and not the 1 year PGCE theory/placement route. If someone wished to teach maths or physics at the moment schools would bend over backwards to allow you to train in one of those without a degree. One of my friends left t'navy earlier in the year and he is studying a 3 year BEd which will also lead to QTS. They waived the academic requirements of A levels/UCAS points as many do respect service experience. He struggled adapting to no money, but is enjoying living in halls with the freshers haha.
  12. I'm genuinely confused as to what makes people believe that ex forces personnel will make better teachers than civvies. It's not like you can apply the same methods of discipline in a school. Fear of punishment and job security are the primary factors that keep service scrote bags in check. That doesn't work with kids. There's no rank or Reggies to hide behind. Plus sure we can all bang out a good PowerPoint presentation, but let's face it, most servicemen are bone beyond belief.

    DIT, COT and a career of teaching NSPs to sprogs won't cut it in a classroom of 14 year olds.

    For every model RSM who commands respect through just being in the room, there's fifty killicks who walk past the mess square and hide in their pit because they're too scared to tell the lads to stop pissing up and lock the fridge.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 15, 2013
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  13. I entirely agree with this sentiment, however when compared to the sort of people who embark on teaching as a career option it's easy to see why service leavers are an attractive option.

    Teaching has generally been the preserve of people who leave uni with mediocre degrees and go travelling round the Far East for 6 years. On running out of their parent's money, they return to the UK and think "what is a doss job that gives me 6 weeks off in the summer?"


    In the DT department I worked in, of 6 teachers, only the HOD had previous experience working in a different job. The others had gone from school, to uni, to dossing about for a bit, to school, albeit now in front of the class. Their ability to teach kids about anything other than school was non existent.

    It's not so much about having ex servicemen, more people who have a bit of experience outside of schools.

    Edited to add: Not to mention role models. There is not a single teacher from my school days who I looked up to and thought "when I grow up, I want to be like him." The soundest member of staff who we respected the most, was Frank the caretaker who'd been in the Royal Artillery for his 22, before taking on a doss job and living off his pension. I'd have rather listened to his BAOR dits any day over quadratic equations.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2013
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  14. The bit I read says
    Activities run by the groups will include one-to-one mentoring to help address discipline issues, the introduction of military-style obstacle courses to motivate hard-to-teach pupils, team-building sessions to encourage teamwork and confidence-building exercises to help children cope with the transition from primary to secondary school
    Not stood in front of a class taking domestic science in combats shouting get down and give me 20 to young Jason cos his jus was too thick
    It came as a study by Swansea University found that the use of former members of the Armed Forces could raise standards in schools in deprived areas.
    I presume that from the first they dont mean cookery skills

  15. If that is the current state of affairs then things have indeed changed for the worse. I recall what would have been an excellent call round on the Revenge until the mess pres locked the bar due to some unruly behaviour, not by me I hasten to add.

    'Not in my day'.

    As for the topic in question, I fail to see how ex forces will have any impact on discipline in schools, it sound like another gimic from Gove and Co.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2013
  16. It was of course, metaphorically speaking. There aren't even 50 LHOMs in the fleet let alone 50 gash ones.
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  17. exJenny

    exJenny War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Is clipping the little sh1ts round the ear and pinging small bits of chalk at them, followed by a mk 1 wooden blackboard rubber outlawed now?

    Just the thoughts of a blonde ex wren
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2013
  18. These 'ex-forces' people, are they the ones that the government have just made redundant ?
  19. That same media that keeps bangin' on about 'bring back national service' as if those post war halcyon days were part of a golden age.
  20. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    As a Careers Adviser, we frequently visit local schools (my AFCO covers 210 secondary schools) and undertake careers conventions, careers presentations to year groups and one-to-one "mock interviews", usually with little issue. Where it is a little more taxing is when we perhaps take a class for "team-building" (PLT) lessons or undertake lessons on how to apply for a job, prepare for an interview, etc.

    A year or two back I failed to pick-up on the clue from the class title: "11Z" and spent 45 minutes locked in 'verbal and psychological combat' with a bunch of 15/16 year olds, each with ADHD/ADD & excluded from mainstream education. I eventually won them over and managed to leave the secure institution without my tyres being slashed. Hell, there was almost grudging mutual respect at the end of it, but Christ, did I have a headache?

    Military style discipline only works when there is a tangible consequence for not doing as you're told - the way I won over this bunch of scrotes was by asking them what they want to do after leaving school. The majority thought they could simply join the Armed Forces without qualifications and that the way they behaved in school was of no consequence. Once I "rebriefed" them on the reality, their teacher was eternally grateful that an "employer" had endorsed what he had been telling them & for the most part, said their conduct had markedly turned the corner thereafter.

    For my part, I had every sympathy for the teacher faced with teaching the unteachable, hour upon hour, year after year. Would I do his job full-time? Nah, I'd rather do time inside prison.
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