Insights: Social media

It’s been a massive few months of news, developments and proposals. Here’s just some of what our members are saying about the key issues.

AIS Out of step

Jeff: Unbelievable!! considering how hard teachers and support staff have been working this year because of the virus. Get in touch with the coal face.

Mandy: Stick with this ... voices will be heard. A democratic right. Not my sector but inspired.

Term 4 school restrictions update

Natasha: A choir of any number would pose a serious risk. A risk assessment should always be done to comply with WHS laws which exist to protect workers. A risk assessment would most likely indicate most of these activities pose a significant risk to workers and should not occur. The school has a duty of care to its workers first and foremost.

Why teacher pay has been dwindling for 30 years

Mark: I’ve always been dismayed that in our profession the pathway to higher pay also removed teachers from the classroom. I find this totally counterintuitive. The classroom is where we need our ‘best and brightest’, not sitting in an office shuffling papers/computer files. I’ve been teaching for 37 years and have been a Leader of Learning/Head Teacher for over 10 of those years, as well as Year Coordinator and other welfare roles. Any step beyond that means that I spend progressively less time engaging with kids, which I’m not prepared to sacrifice, so I’m stuck between a philosophical stance and a financial reality.

Helen: What distresses me is that teachers are so overburdened with paperwork that to survive many are doing 0.8 of a load dropping down from a full load just to keep up. Effectively it means they are consistently taking a pay cut yet they continue to work the other three days of the week to keep up. I think the loads need to be reviewed so that good teachers remain in the profession!

Top teachers should have a 50% pay rise, expert says

Paul: All teachers should be paid more. More experienced teachers often hit the ‘ceiling’ and no amount of recognition rewards them monetarily. The notion of basing salary increases on performance will never be realistic. There is no way to moderate that equitably. Besides: the volume of work teachers do beyond the classroom is unmeasured and often not acknowledged. However, the greatest problem seems to me to be that there is little community interest in increasing the salaries of those in education. We are simply undervalued - especially in terms of remuneration.

Leonie: But who are they? The ones teaching the best and brightest students or the strugglers, teachers in homogenous or complex diverse schools and how can that be quantified to compare?

Anne-Marie: Who decides who ‘top’ teachers are?

The debate over NAPLAN

Shelley: What is the purpose of NAPLAN? … Let’s figure out what it really is for, because until then we can’t make changes that would be meaningful and have true purpose. I always thought it was a ‘snapshot in time’ of what the students can do. It’s a flawed system when you can’t guarantee that kids aren’t just guessing an answer or that students aren’t being prompted or that all resources are being covered or removed from the walls. ACER testing gives similar information and is instantaneous and there are many more. NAPLAN is outdated.

Bee: Waste of time. Professional teachers already know where their students are in their learning. They don’t need a test to tell them that. And the students don’t need the stress.

Melissa: Please get rid of it! This is from the perspective of a teacher and parent!