Posts Tagged ‘Mary Bluett’

If Teachers Were Paid More I Wouldn’t Have Become One

March 20, 2012

Another year, another impending strike. I know I am a lone voice on this  one, but I find the notion of teachers striking very distasteful and selfish. The job of a teacher is to support and nurture their students. When a teacher decides not to front up to work, they are robbing children of a day of school.

I have never met a teacher that went into the caper for the money. It is a well-known fact that teachers don’t get paid vast sums of money. Partly, this is due to tradition and partly it is due to the fact that Governments simply cannot afford to offer large pay increases across the board.

Am I suggesting that teachers should not be paid more? Absolutely not. I think I work hard enough to justify an increase of salary (currently 3% less than a public school teacher). There is enough wasted money spent on education, I think it would be quite appropriate for some of that misspent money to be allocated to teachers.

What I don’t agree with is the argument that teachers should be given a marked increase. If that was to happen before I started my teacher training, I never would have become a teacher. A large wage increase would have led to a greater popularity in teacher enrolments. The flow on from this would have been that to get into a teaching course, the tertiary rank (based on Year 12 results) would have been much harder. I simply would not have had the grades to get a place.

Some would see that as a positive. Teachers should, according to many, posses outstanding academic credentials. After all, the smarter the teacher, the better the teacher, right?

Not necessarily. I was a late bloomer. I struggled throughout school. My teachers found me very frustrating. No matter how much I applied myself, simply passing was a huge challenge for me. And yet, it is this struggle that has made me become a decent teacher. It has provided me with patience and it allows me to understand the struggles of students with learning difficulties and confidence issues. I try to be the very teacher I felt I needed, but never had.

Whilst I believe that teachers do a wonderful job and they deserve to be paid accordingly, I would like to reach that point without strikes and without Education Unions (they shouldn’t be allowed to be called the Education Union – they aren’t representing what is best for education). I would like potential teachers to join this wonderful profession more for the passion and dedication they have for the job than the money.

I expect that I will be critcised roundly for my stance. I look forward to reading your take on this.

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Sending Children Home With Nits is Appropriate

February 26, 2012

As inconvenient as it is for a parent to pick their child up early from school, there are times when it is necessary to do so. Yes, there is a stigma with lice than can potentially embarrass both child and parent. There is no doubt about that. But schools that are sensitive to the needs of their students will make the necessary arrangements in a discreet and private fashion.

The political correct police obviously don’t trust schools to deal with internal issues themselves. Like in other instances, they like to overrule and impose themselves:

VICTORIAN schools have been accused of discriminating against students with head lice by sending them home from school when their nits are detected, the Herald Sun can reveal.

Federal and state guidelines say schools must not send children home if they have head lice, but merely send a notice home at the end of the day telling parents to treat their child’s hair that night.

Guidelines also say teachers should “exercise sensitivity” towards children with nits for fear of upsetting them.

But schools, preschools and childcare centres across the state are flouting these policies by immediately asking parents to collect their children. Children are often isolated from classmates until they are picked up.

One Melbourne primary school has been asked to change its approach after a complaint from a parent. In a letter to the principal, obtained by the Herald Sun, the parent said any child with head lice should not be “singled out, sent home and denied valuable education, only to return the following day to be reinfested”.

 The parent, who did not want to be identified, said it was “discrimination to pick out one child and send them home when they might be in a whole class of kids with nits.”

Whenever Government regulation overrules schools you know it will end up bringing undesirable results. Lice spreads so quickly and the children suffering with lice are uncomfortable and unable to concentrate. I will continue pressing my school for the right to send children home with lice. That doesn’t mean that I am unaware that children with lice often feel humiliated and ostracised. What it does mean, is that I will handle the matter in such a way as the child receives my care and support and the rest of the class is never made aware of the child’s condition.

Teachers Cautioned Against Venting

February 1, 2012

There is no other job in a democratic country that is legally cautioned against venting or giving political opinions. Unfortunately, teachers have become the focus of regulations that are sensible for the most part, but contain some over-the-top directives.

TEACHERS have been warned against contacting students online amid fears too many are befriending their charges on Facebook.

In a major crackdown on social media use in schools, the State Government has released new guidelines designed to protect teachers’ reputations.

Educators say online smear campaigns by students have put teachers’ careers at risk, with some being forced to move schools.

The Government says the guidelines will also help protect students from inappropriate conduct by teachers.

“That boundary between being a teacher and a friend is one which teachers have to sometimes tread very carefully,” Minister for the Teaching Profession Peter Hall said.

“It’s important to provide parents with the confidence that their teachers have the knowledge available for them to do their job well.”

 Under the online directives launched today, teachers are also cautioned against:

CONTACTING students by mobile phone or email “without a valid educational context”.

POSTING any “offensive or slanderous” material about students, parents or colleagues.

SHARING content from personal social media sites, such as their Facebook accounts, with students.

UPLOADING images of themselves that have “potential to negatively affect their reputation”.

“VENTING” about their work, or posting personal or political opinions.

I have no issue with most of these directives. What I don’t appreciate is being told what I can say and do by somebody else. Teachers have the right to exercise discretion without having to be regulated to do so (I am not referring to inappropriate contact with students). Being told I can’t express my personal or political opinion is not appreciated.


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