7 years in to my teaching career I have come to the unfortunate realisation that I’m now too expensive to move schools unless I want to take on a management role. [1. Not something I have a burning desire to do in the next few years – I’m too interested in my classroom and developing my teaching. Plus I quite like spending what little time I have spare with my family, something I didn’t get to do enough of when I held my TLR.] However, I would love to get some more experience of working in other schools. I know of people who have gone on international exchanges and come back re-engergised and invigorated, as well as having the benefit of extended their professional contacts and practice. In other words, the experience made them better teachers.
It seems to me to be a fairly simple thing to organise on a more local level – people could sign up for a 12 month exchange with another school.
Schools would benefit by bringing in fresh blood and fresh ideas as well as having staff returning with new ideas and new energy. Teachers would benefit by having an opportunity to go on this kind of exchange without having to go abroad for a year. Students would benefit by having enthusiastic, energised and better connected teachers. And ultimately the country would benefit by having another way of having teachers build networks and develop their experience.
I’m sure there’s lots of reasons that this wouldn’t work, but surely there are enough positives there to at least give it a try?