Lately, the most popular topic of discussion in the staffroom has been the National Exam that teachers need to take by 2014; otherwise they will be out of work.
Most of the teachers in my school are 50+ in age and most of them agree on one point that this exam is unnecessary. It seems that teachers do not particularly want to take this exam. What adds to this unwillingness is the fact that many teachers have been teaching for several decades and feel that they should be exempt from this new testing standard. Moreover, many of these teachers do not have any computer skills and they almost seem to harbour a fear of technology.
I feel that the test is a good initiative to motivate teachers to learn computer skills, which are essential to teach interactive lessons, learn about teaching and teaching plans and to connect with the teaching community.
It is frustrating to see a group of teachers united against this test. The test is offering a significant monetary incentive that should be motivation enough for teachers all across Georgia to get into action.
Head teachers should take the lead in this initiative to get their staff organised and prepared to pass this exam, otherwise they will be left with a school full of children and not enough teachers to teach them. This will lead to teachers getting overworked to pick up the extra workload, which will prevent them from earning extra income through their private tutoring work, affecting their standard of living. I hope that teachers will start to take this National Exam seriously, because the consequences of losing your job are pretty serious and immediate.
It does not matter how old you are as there is no age limit when it comes to learning computer skills; it does not matter how experienced you are in teaching because a lifetime of teaching does not make you a perfect teacher; and it does not matter if you fail the first time, just try again.
Teaching is about teaching our students but also about learning new things as individuals and teaching ourselves the skills that are necessary in order for us to be the best teachers that we can be, because the success of all our students is to a great extent dependent on us. Just because we are teachers, it does not mean that we cannot be students; we can still learn and we have to learn in order to teach well.