Online learning. Remote learning. eLearning. We’ve been doing it all. And then some.
The very quick transition to students coming to school then staying at home for school may have pulled teachers up short initially – but not for long.
The delay in coming to an agreement over the work practices agreement and the award is disappointing to say the least. Cancelled meetings, inconsistent messaging from the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations, and uncertainty from various directors has stalled the conclusion of the agreement. Negotiations have all but ceased.
This means that the pay rise too has been delayed. The enormous change in learning and teaching in the past few months has proved beyond a doubt that teachers are worth every improvement in working conditions and pay.
This pandemic and its social consequences have shown teachers can adjust to the diverse learning needs of their students and the context in which they work without too much of a hiccup. Teachers and their support staff competently and efficiently took on new and at times very different learning frameworks to support their students and in most cases their families as well.
As the systems catches up to the situation and the teachers (who are powering along) we need to be wary of over-administration and the adding of expectations on an already overloaded teaching group.
Just because we are working from home (mostly) does not mean we are not working. It means we are being extra diligent, often having to prepare lessons without resources that we would have at school, and devoting extra time following up with students. And all this while managing our own children at home doing their home schooling. We do not need the system expecting a daily (and in some cases, hourly) check in on teachers.
There has been some public comment about teachers being valuable, enabling the economy to keep moving. It is a move towards respecting teachers as professionals. Hopefully it will grow.
If we are so valuable and a credit to our profession, then it is time for our employers to step up and finalise our agreement and treat staff with the respect you purport to hold for us.