The ‘daunting’ experience of greeting untrained English teachers

These are the skills that every school wants its students to master – reading, writing and critical thinking – but English teachers worry that many of their peers don’t have the training to teach these basics.

According to a recent survey by the Victorian Association for the Teaching of English, only a third of secondary school teachers said that the English-speaking staff in their schools were made up of English teachers.

Untrained English teachers are forced to take courses outside their area of ​​expertise.
Credit:virginia star

“There is a mentality that anyone who can read a book can teach English,” said association president Emily Frawley.

“A significant number of students across the state are not being taught English by English teachers.”

The organization receives a steady stream of calls for help from ‘out-of-scope’ teachers, those forced to attend classes outside of their expertise, who work in public, independent and Catholic schools.

This prompted the development of a new curriculum, which the organization hopes to roll out next year, focusing on reading, writing, grammar and spelling.

Off-screen teachers are more common in rural schools and are often placed in the early grades.

Kate Jones* was among them and left her previous school after being forced to teach Grade 7 and 8 English lessons for four years. The trained music teacher was told it didn’t matter that she was “doing an awful job” because the students were so young.

“It was intimidating and stressful,” said the 32-year-old. “The principal told me that if I could read and write I could be an English teacher, but that was not my passion or something I had been trained to do.”