Young Teacher

(P1) BRIGHT-EYED AND BUSHY-TAILED young teachers are being lost to the profession through a lack of support in the classroom, chief schools inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw has said.

(P2) Sir Michael, giving evidence to the UK House of Commons select committee on education, said he had been upset by the number of talented teachers, often RECRUITED through the TeachFirst program, who complained about the lack of support available to them at the start of their careers. TeachFirst aims to recruit the brightest graduates to teach in DISADVANTAGED schools.

(P3) “What used to upset me was talking to people who were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, hugely enthusiastic about coming into teaching, wanting to do well for disadvantaged youngsters, saying to me that they were put off teaching in the first few years because they weren’t ADEQUATELY supported by leaders,” Sir Michael, head of UK education standards WATCHDOG Ofsted said.

(P4) Sir Michael was being GRILLED by MPs on his view on the number of teachers leaving the profession and whether Ofsted played any role in their decisions to leave.

(P5) He said that teacher recruitment – to be the subject of an inquiry by the select committee – was at present “a big issue.”

(P6) He argued that it was not Ofsted that was the problem – but head teachers had to make sure they ran good schools.

(P7) “The thing that puts off teachers is working in an institution that’s not good and that’s poorly led and where behaviour, particularly, is poor,” he added.

WORDS: 250



If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. What are some of the special challenges in working with disadvantaged students?
  3. Did you ever consider teaching as a profession? What are the pluses and minuses of a teaching career?
  4. Did you feel well-supported early in your career? Did you have a MENTOR?
  5. Have you ever changed careers? Was it difficult?


What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.

  • Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed

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