When Michael Rosen wrote this tweet I’m sure he wasn’t expecting the backlash that he got from some people.
I’m sure it was never his intention to make out that teachers were not experts in teaching. He himself comes from a family of teachers, and since 1974, has visited schools to support teachers in providing an exciting and real curriculum.
Like most visitors who are booked to visit schools, they are asked because they bring something extra, something real, to the topic. Whether it be the local fruit and veg shopkeeper, an illustrator of children’s books, or your Police school’s liaison officer, when they step in front of the children, they are able to speak from their own experiences in their area of expertise. And they can tell real life stories.
Being a teacher certainly makes you an expert in teaching. But as a teacher, if you want to inspire a child to write – and maybe to become the next Children's Laureate, or to find out exactly what it takes to join the Police and what a typical day for them involves, you ask an expert in that area to speak to them. If you want children to learn about living through Roman times, due to the lack of living Roman citizens, you go on a class trip to a Roman villa and ask the experts there to help bring it to life.
You will be thinking about who to ask, not just because they have experiences in a particular role or subject area in the world, but because of the other ways they can inspire children: perhaps through their gender, additional needs, age, religion, or their race.
Teachers have been asking expert visitors to talk to children for many years. I hope that they continue to do so (whether virtually as is the case at the moment, or in person), providing that extra layer of learning and experience, and supporting the other expert in the classroom – the teacher - for many more years to come.
By Ben Case, from our Education Team.
Edited by Jules