Novice teachers often notice things in schools that veteran teachers have become numb to. A first-year teacher (last year) related to me how her school paid little attention to teaching, and instead would thrust huge loads of tests and homework on the students. She noticed that from Primary 4, some students began to lose interest and confidence in learning. They lagged further and further behind. Yet, the school saw it purely as the students’ problems, and the solution they resorted to: even more homework and tests. Finally, she left the school, as she could not bring herself to buy into this philosophy of teaching.
This year, she is teaching at a school which pays much more attention to good teaching. She noticed that this school has far less homework for the students, and yet, the students learn well and turn in much better assignments. They are also much more keen to learn English.
They’re not necessarily ‘right’, but it pays to listen to new teachers.