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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Eleven Plus Blues

Some teachers find the occasional parents rather intimidating when they are questioned about their work. The teachers, or tutors, of eleven plus children may, at times, also feel under pressure. Teachers are simply ordinary people – but they are also expected to effect change in a child in extraordinary and super human ways.

Teachers can become stressed, just like other members of the general public, through tension, frustration, anxiety, anger and depression. It is possible, for example, that some teachers may be affected by the current downturn in economy. We remember the words of Harry Truman who said:

“It is a recession when your neighbour loses his job: it’s a depression when you lose yours.”

Teachers must be affected by the demands made on them by parents. The eleven plus teacher can not easily change the circumstances at home. It would be possible, for example, for a teacher to suggest that the T.V. is turned off while the eleven plus child is working through a paper. The teacher can not, however, take over the remote control.

Stress in Eleven Plus teachers can come from a variety of sources. A primary cause must be the attitude of their pupils towards work. A child who does not want to work becomes a challenge to the teacher. The teacher is being paid by the parent to do a job. Naturally the teacher will want to do the best possible job in the time allowed.

Sometimes the sheer enormity of the task can cause stress. A pleasant and hard working child may simply be working a little too slowly. No teacher would want to try to change a worthy child – but the date of the eleven plus examination is fixed. Time is remorseless.

Sometimes eleven plus teachers must feel that they are simply swimming against the tide. Their pupil takes on yet another activity. “Give me a busy man and we will get the job done,” may be true in some circumstances – but a child needs time to reflect and rest. Parents need to make sure that their child does have time to rest and reflect. It is not, however, a teacher’s role to appear to criticise a parent.

A teacher, however, has many rewards that can help to `blow away the blues’. A child learns her tables – yet again. This time it works. More confidence with tables leads to an understanding of lowest terms in fractions. This in turn helps with percentages. There can be few jobs that offer that satisfaction.

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