The Hunt for a Teachers’ Oath

Tristram Hunt has said it might be a good idea for new teachers in England to swear an oath in much the same way as the teachers of Singapore have to swear a pledge.


In order to assist in the Hunt for an Oath, here is my suggested wording:

The Teachers’ Oath:

Teacher places right hand on the School Development Plan and swears in the following way:

“I swear by almighty Headteacher to teach the whole teach and nothing but the teach. I promise to be at school at the crack of dawn ’til the end of the day as it is decreed. I promise like Pavlov’s dogs to respond to the sound of the bell and to ensure my bowels and bladder are strong enough to endure a double period until the blessed break provides relief, unless I am on duty in playground, corridor or gate. I promise to scowl until Christmas in the classroom but smile meekly in the Staffroom. I will nod at staff meetings but never nod off. I will greet each new initiative with enthusiasm and ensure I praise loudly and often the wondrous effect it is having on my pupils. My pupils I will serve with every ounce of my being. I will go within an inch of doing their work for them until they have reached their target grade, the pursuit of this grade will be sacrosanct and will involve my every waking hour and also interrupt my sweetest dreams in a blind panic at two in the morning when I wake suddenly thinking ‘how the hell do they expect me to get an A* for that lazy good for nothing toe rag!’ But then go back to my slumber safe in the knowledge that I will have to work harder, rather than the child. I promise to clean my coffee cup and scrape away the mould that has so accrued. I promise to read and reply to my emails no matter what time of day or night or what time of year it is. I promise to think school holidays are for wimps and ensure I am there doing extra classes and Saturday schools for as long as it takes. I promise to realise my job is to Assist the Headteacher and will do what I’m told no matter how last minute and unfair it seems. I will relish teaching classes in subjects I have no idea about because of staff shortages. In the few hours I have to myself I will mark books incessantly, emphasising the progress of each child in an array of coloured pens. I will plan exacting lessons that respond to the current whims of the secretary of state and head of ofsted as long as they both shall live. I will nod sagely when the importance of retaining work life balance is mentioned by a senior leader but we all realise quietly to ourselves this is not to be prioritised. I will do all this to the utmost of my ability and I promise to do it until I have reached the ripe old age of 68 or until I drop dead.”


Meanwhile what are the Tories suggesting? My blog about Lord Nash’s suggestions about teacher planning etc.



2 thoughts on “The Hunt for a Teachers’ Oath

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s