Strike Day!

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the Education Department said: ”You are encouraged to send your children to school as usual. Schools have a duty to care for your children.

(The Age, 5/9/2012)

I was utterly disappointed and angered by the comment from the Department of Education. What future do we have as an educator if the Department sees us a babysitter not an educator. There are large numbers of teachers, support staffs and principals from government school will attend today rally along with around 4000 Catholic school teachers. Even thought, this is a fact,  the government still making an irresponsible comment by inciting parents to send their children to school when they will not have normal classes running. So what does the government want the left over staffs  or casual staffs do with their children? of course, play games, alternative classes and baby sit them till 3 -4 o’clock.

No wonder teaching is rank such a difficult jobs, almost no support by its own boss. Many people made comment to me and my colleagues about how good teachers got pay on holiday and we are so greedy and want more pay.

Look, let me try to explain here why we deserve it. Many nights we are taking home marking and planning and often we work till late replying email from students, parents and other staff members. Many before and after school meetings and briefing which I am sure a lot of profession will have too (Yeah, you have to do it too right?). We often have to attend Professional learning which might take place on the weekend and school holiday because school does not want us to attend during school hours.

We often stay behind to do extra curricular classes such as sports, camps, extension classes, homework help classes, after school detention or meeting with parents. A lot of markings and planning almost cannot be completed during school hours so holiday means to get them done. Some supervision will required 24 hours such as going on camps and mostly those will take more than one day.

We are dealing with large numbers of difficult students and parents (the numbers are increasing annually just like our tax) due to the fact that we are working with people. I am sure sales person will understand this. We are constantly be given extra administration work and less time to complete them (sounds familiar?). We do spend hours on the phone with parents whether they are reasonable or not, and some parents are very defensive, you might just say hi and mention where are calling from and you just have to put up with their abuse and telling us what to do. We are constantly dealing with our leadership team which often gives us extra work or things but they are under pressure by the bureaucrats.

We often attacked by the media and so called research groups for not doing it rights so we need to retraining (often the same things offers with fancy names or abbreviation but lost touch to reality).

And today, I realise how little the Department of Education thinks of teacher. It gets me thinking, we are professional career but we are not given the respect we deserve, so how much longer will I stay in teaching? at least in Victoria?

I have to be honest  that I do love teaching, even though kids, parents, leadership team and bureaucrats often drive me nuts but I do care about young people. I truly believe they are people do not deserve to teach because they are not only can deliver the message to the kids but also set bad example. However, those people are only making it harder for themselves because it is not an easy job. No job is easy in this world and if you have no passion on it, it is hell!. However just because they put up with it everyday, they deserve to get pay too. So I strongly against performance pay.

Government wants to deliver performance pays but how to do assess a teacher on his/her performances? I do not teach VCE anymore so mostly middle school kids so there is no the end of year results to show. I am sure my kids will tell you that I am a good teacher but will students get a say on this? if yes, then it will be subjective and vice versa (they will judge based on I like this teacher and I hate that, they are kids). Are you going to ask my colleague? what the hell do they know what I do in my class, we got no time to visit my classes (maybe once or twice but it is not enough to judge long term performance), are you going to assess by national testing result (those are jokes really, we teach kids to pass their test not to learn proper understanding, manner and skills) or my leadership team who does not give a crap as long as I am in class and my kids are learning. So how do they know if I am doing a good job or not? checklist and tick off what I have and not done? back to square one.

My kids spoke to me last week and encouraged me to attend the rally because to them I deserved the pay and I have to put up with shit everyday. I was very grateful and happy when I heard that, I appreciate their honestly and support. If the kids can understand what we have done, why cant you?

YES, I will attend today strike even if I will lose my pay for the day. I am fighting for the future and hopefully my kids will see that it is our right to fight for something we believe are right.

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