Why I’ve gone for CGeog (Teacher)

When I was in the Air Training Corps, I remember meeting the Admiral of the Fleet during the Inter-Cadet-Services Rifle Meeting at Bisley. It was the year that I managed to get myself into the Corps shooting team. I used to love shooting, maybe it was the smell of gun oil….

Anyway, I remember that the Admiral has about a million letters after his name. I had no idea what they meant, but new I wanted to get some. To my teenage self, the letters represented hard work, commitment and above all recognition.

There is a lively debate about the RGS (IBG) Chartered Geographer (Teacher) recognition. I highly respect all of those on both sides of the debate. This post doesn’t aim to argue with them, just to set out my own views about the status. I was pleased to receive the letter confirming the status yesterday.

1. I don’t mind paying for professional recognition. I support the work of the RGS(IBG) and so if any money supports this work, e.g. for Innovative Geography Teaching Grants, then all the better. My very lovely lady is a professional accountant. Many of my friends are solicitors, pharmacists and doctors. The cost of Fellowship of the RGS and CGeog is very small in comparison to many other professional association’s fees. Plus, the benefits of being a Fellow and C Geog far outweigh the personal financial cost. Just to be able to enter the Fellows lounge and have a say in RGS(IBG) business is worth it. 🙂 I wonder which was Shackleton’s favorite seat?

2. Elitism. I once failed to become an AST mainly because ‘I was not significantly better than anyone else in the school.’ I don’t seek huge financial reward, or even big ups from my peers. Positive feedback from pupils is the only drug I seek. However, it is nice if someone, somewhere, thinks that the work that I do is fairly good. I don’t think that C Geog is elitist. I think that it’s just recognition from a body that I have always respected for the hard work that teachers do.

3. Recognition means people listen. I admit that I can often be accused of ‘banging on’ about issues. It seems if you have badges and recognition, people are more likely to listen. When we are fighting the corner of better education, it helps to have some recognition. I’m not saying that I like this state of affairs, only that sometimes you have to play the game if educational improvement is the real goal.

4. When I was 5 I said ‘I just want to make a difference’. I hate the fact that pupils have a different entitlement in different classrooms within the same department, let alone school, LA and country. The only way I can see to get this changed is to become Prime Minister. I don’t want that job, but I know that by being an Assistant Head, Head, maybe even an LA role, I can impact the learning of pupils across a wider field. Recognition will help.

5. A warm and fuzzy feeling. Look over this blog. Can you clearly see all of the ‘badges’ I have? I hope not.

6. A demand for CPD In order to receive th CGeog (Teacher) status, I had to prove that I had a wider impact on geographical education than my classroom. I think that is a worthy goal. In addition, to maintain the status, I will have to continue to engage in professional development. Any organisation, award or recognition that promotes this can only be good. 🙂

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