Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Where are the good people.. and the blokes??

This old chestnut.
The pay sucks and there is too much risk of being accused of inappropriate behaviour with kids.
True and True. So that rules out all men.
The pay will also effect the ladies but the knowledge that teaching is a vocation, seems to sit better with the caring side of women. We are still attracting some great women to teaching but the blokes are thinning out. And it does matter.

Male Teachers at risk:
As a male teacher in a secondary school the prospect of being followed or stalked by girls, and or face accusations are possible and real. This happened to me when I was stalked by a special needs girl. You deal with it maturely and move on. BUT the risk is there.
As a male teacher in an intermediate school the hormonal imagination of impressionable girls (it only takes one) in your class/school can be daunting and difficult to deal with. This again is a very real issue. 
As a male teacher in a primary school you must ask what touching of children is appropriate. For me a hug is OK but it depends on the circumstances. Where is the line? You deal with it maturely and move on. BUT the risk is there.
As an early childhood male teacher how comfortable do you feel about toileting issues with little girls and boys. You deal with it maturely and move on. BUT the risk is there.

NOW add in bebo, facebook, my space, text messaging, twitter, blogger, doodle, schmoodle and poodle and you've got a bunch of other avenues where the line can be crossed.

The Pay
70k is it if you don't want to be a DP or Principal, seems like plenty of cash but not when you consider that its the top pay you will ever get. I haven't met many "rich as" teachers, rich on the inside maybe. For todays achievers then possibly that is aiming a little low.

How do we address the problems?
Teachers say the profession needs respect and needs to be held in higher esteem in the community like in Scandanavia and Canada. The same eggs walk around all day bitching about school, moaning about marking, tiredness and complaining about kids and staff, and talking about how bad this school and that school is, and this teacher and that teacher.
The thing is that we wont get any respect from the public when we don't respect each other. I also have strong opinions of some teachers and schools and I know I need to pull my head in at times. The thing is that 90%of the gossip doesn't go beyond the school gates, but in reality it needs to not go beyond the lips. Not to ignore but left to be dealt with by the person in charge.
If we want respect we need to respect each other, across multiple schools, across the country and learn to judge less. We all walk in the door every day to do our best, and most days thats good enough. So lets do that.

Teachers need to be paid to attend Training Colleges to allow them to train and live at the same time. How can a dad or mum attend college and pay a mortgage?
The 67 NZ teacher training providers needs to reduced to 7. The fees need to be free and there needs to be a "cap" per annum on the number of trainees, to ensure the 7 providers don't have $$$$ in their minds but quality.

The training colleges need to sack the ridiculous "academic" "research" "no practice" "theory" "eggs" that are lecturing our prospective teachers and actually teach teachers. Apologies to Brian Storey if he thought he was one of them, your not Bri, your a legend.

The pay needs addressing we need a bit more.

Lastly  we as teachers need to sharpen up our act, convey our compassion, build relationships, care, share, and do a great job, and our actions will be rewarded in raising the profile and esteem of teachers in NZ.
Its about doing.
(apologies to all shit hot teachers, I didn't mean to offend, to the lemons get out now-it will be a win for you and teaching-oh and kids too)

1 comment:

Rob Clarke said...

Go Luke!

The code of ethics actually says quite a lot about how we support our colleagues and 'further the cause'.

How many teachers remember this?