BBC Learning English 英语教学

From soldiers to teachers 从士兵到教师

Could they be our future primary teachers?

Vocabulary: education 词汇: 教育


Did you have a very strict teacher at school? I did. I'll never forget 'Mr Grumpy'. If you didn't get your geography right, you would wish to run to the end of the earth to be far away from him.

That tall man with a very loud voice knew how frighten you and put the fear of God into you. 'Discipline and commitment' was his motto. Nobody dared to be late for his class. No idle chat no matter how boring the subject was. And not even the cheekiest pupil would dream of cheating in his tests.

I thought about my old teacher when I read about a new government programme in England to fast-track former soldiers with no degrees into teaching. They can specialise either as secondary school subject teachers or as primary teachers.

From next January those selected for the programme will earn a salary and train on-the-job four days a week and one day at university. In two years they will be considered 'newly qualified teachers'.

Education Minister David Laws said: "We know that our highly-skilled servicemen and women can inspire young people." He believes that military values such as leadership, discipline, motivation, and teamwork would benefit children.

But not everybody is happy with the government plans. Brian Lightman, from an organisation called the Association of School and College Leaders, thinks the training offered to the ex-soldiers who want to be teachers is not enough.

Christine Blower, of the National Union of Teachers, believes that teachers need to understand how children develop. According to her, trainees need a high level of education themselves and thorough teacher training before they can educate the young.

I'm not sure how much 'Mr Grumpy' knew about child development. What I know is how happy he was when we did well. I'll never forget the broad smile on his face when I got a very high mark. My teacher was no soldier, but to me his smile was a medal for bravery in our war against ignorance!

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