How do you propose improve teacher status?
This is such a great question. And the difficulties appear insurmountable. It absolutely the right question to be asking now.
AS with all great questions the best answer is to start the discussion. Change what you can and keep changing.
Here are a few starting points.
The folk who represent us
1. Teachers should not be represented by a union we are not wharf labourers.
WE are professionals. We should be called something like the Professional Teachers' Association.
Names aside a brief look Union media pages, shows a whole lot of political commentary, pay discussions, teacher's fined,
asbestos in schools and probably planned strikes and stop work meetings.
I WANT THE BODY WHO REPRESENTS TEACHERS TO PROMOTE TEACHERS AS PROFESSIONALS.
I want them to spend my fees on creating a positive professional teaching campaign. Tell the press about how great teachers are,
and what a great job we are doing and how we have trained for 4 - 5 -10 years so we can do the best possible job for the nations children.
2. The situation we find ourselves in.
We need to start treating ourselves and each other as professionals.
I've had good principals and bad principals, passive aggressive principals and sergeant major principals,
collegues who were fantastic and others who were pains, some there for the money, some for the vacations and others, the vocation.
What I like to do is create the professionalism around me and hope it extends out as far as possible
and that it links with others who are like minded.
By acknowledging excellence, letting folk know their consideration is appreciated,
taking an interest in their educational experiences and difficulties,
offering support or even just a discussion platform to progress their ideas, issues or concerns.
THIS doesn't mean engaging in the winge sessions, but engaging in the - this is a problem let's figure out a solution sessions.
Very often we have this beaten out of us as we teach, by perceived lack of support, caring and understanding from those in authority.
I know this happened to me when I was not supported, hung out to dry really, by my boss, when a parent made a pretty ludicrous complaint.
My immediate reaction was to get angry, and then to never put myself on the line for a kid again.
To go into a WHY BOTHER, WHY SHOULD I CARE mode.
If you you've been in teaching any length of time you will probably have been beaten down somewhat,
there is a certain resignation and acceptance of the situation.
WELL beat yourself up again, unresign, unaccept.
Stand up for the good stuff and start by setting the bar high.
It will do one thing I promise, it will make you feel more alive.
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