How would staff in your school react if their staff room was taken away? Flying Start takes a look at ‘Why Teachers Need a Staff Room’ recently featured on the Guardian’s blog. What are your thoughts?
Our government has decided that teachers shall no longer have the right to a staff room. It will now be up to headteachers to decide whether to provide one or not. I thought this plan bonkers when I first heard of it. How would I have survived 25 years of teaching without a staff room? Or escaped a couple of rampaging parents keen to punch me on the nose?
Have Gove et al ever worked in a school? Do they not realise that teachers desperately need a small oasis of calm and sanctuary, away from the demands of thousands of children and the stress of the chalk-face? Somewhere to sit down, have a tea, coffee and a breather, do your marking, watch the World Cup, meet your chums, have a laugh and hide from management; a place where new teachers can ask old hands for advice and support and have a little cry, and all teachers can meet?
Then I saw the sense of this plan. It’s all teachers meeting that’s the problem, because where you get meetings, you get grievances aired, unions and trouble. Much better to have the teachers divided up into harmless little groups, with their stingy department offices as their only escape hatch and hidey-hole. Now that we’ve got rid of loads of playing fields and school kitchens – ensuring that future generations will be unhealthy – why not cut out staff rooms as well? That will add stressed and exhausted teachers to the mix, which means poorly educated children, who won’t have the strength or knowledge to work out what’s happening, and they’ll all die obese, ignorant and young, and that will solve the pension problem. Who says this government doesn’t have a long-term over-arching strategy?
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010