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Secret teacher - my school’s behaviour policy makes me feel powerless

Cath: Get rid of detentions and get to the root cause of the behaviour. See Dr Louise Porter, Alfie Kohn, Robin Grille and the like for strategies. Have leadership teams in schools support a guidance approach.

What’s it like to be a teacher?

Sarah: No one can actually prepare you for the many out of work hours jobs there are to complete. Marking and admin and justifying your work hours to get paid. So many systems to navigate.

Chris: Teaching is the only profession I know where someone who has been doing it one month is expected to get the same results as someone who’s being teaching 20 years. Which, if you think about it, is absolutely ludicrous.

Three-quarters of school staff say ‘relentless’ work has caused health problems

Bini: The weekend is no longer ‘free time’.

Simon: We received a directive from our Catholic Schools Office today that we were to be handed a first aid manual today and workbook to complete over the holidays ready for our first aid PD day on the first day back next term.

Stop ignoring teachers when we say our students don’t need more tests

Jannelle: No to standardised testing. Our kids deserve better than this.

Cath: Couldn’t agree more. Maybe the money would be better spent in preparing teachers better for the teaching of literacy and numeracy.

Carole: Do they really believe that teachers aren’t doing this already? Will they increase funding to allow for more LSUs in every school? Or more Reading Recovery teachers? What’s really needed is more teachers and smaller class sizes, more money for under resourced schools and teacher training, more teacher mentoring, less reporting, less meetings. More in class support for students with significant special needs, better still, more units within schools to cater for those students so that inclusion isn’t putting other students' learning at risk.

Year 1 students could soon have to do a new reading and maths test

Claude: They should leave us alone. We are professionals and know what we are doing and what to do. Stop making us test and just let us teach!

Jennifer: Data to prove what a teacher already knows followed by more pressure but no resources with which to help the actual students. Bravo! Money well spent!

Melanie: We already have methods to track student growth in the Parramatta Diocese. We do the MAI (Maths Assessment Interview) at the beginning of every school year for every child, and we do Marie Clay’s Observational Survey for K-2. Introducing more standardised tests removes the autonomy of schools to cater for the needs of our students and simply provides data for non-educators to criticise!

Rosalie: Marie Clay’s Observation Survey should only be administered to students who are potentially going to become part of the Reading Recovery Intervention.

Melanie: The full survey is administered to all Kindy students and potential reading recovery students. A smaller selection is administered to Year 1, followed by Year 2 completing only the running records.

Caesarean births linked to developmental delays in later life, study finds using NAPLAN results

Kate: My immediate reaction is that correlation does not equal causation – caesarean births tend to happen in more high risk pregnancies, which accounts for the delays later on and may be the contributing factor (instead of the method of birth). I am a caesarean birth and so is my brother. Both of us have IQs in the top 1% and no delays. I would also argue that being born prematurely (associated with many C-section births) accounts for initial developmental issues. It is unethical to use NAPLAN results in medical research and raises dilemmas about informed consent and the release of results. I am reluctant to let my own children sit for the exams as the data is so readily available to others.

Peta: How many other variables existed in between birth and NAPLAN and were these considered?

Andrew: Also, there’s the naive belief present here that educational tests might measure something other than the ability to perform well on tests. However, any contemporary educator knows that an IQ test measures your ability to do well on an IQ test; and a NAPLAN test measures your ability to do well on a NAPLAN test.

Hayley: On the radio, the person doing the research also said that nothing beats the positive impact that a student will get from spending time with your own child and engaging them. But I also laughed when heard that NAPLAN results were used.

James: In other news, all people of low IQ have been found to drink tap water. This is just plain silly. All three of my kids were caesarian births. I’m quite sure that the breech birth child and the foetal distress child would have had far worse scores if a natural birth proceeded, because they would have died. (The third is just what you do after two!).

Susan: Rubbish about C-sections causing low NAPLAN scored. All of my children are C-sections and two out of the three have done NAPLAN scoring bands 5, 6 and above.

Deb: Maybe now the general public will gain some insight into the real worth of NAPLAN and the bureaucrats that report on it. Two caesarean births - both humans beautiful and intelligent. One in third year of a Psychology degree with distinction average and one studying Biomedical Science who aims to be a pediatric heart surgeon. The only way these two humans have been developmentally delayed is in their inability to grasp the stupidity of the bureaucracy until they were at least 10. This study should be treated with the contempt it deserves, as should those spreading the nonsense that is so-called research. Rant finished.

IEU Early Childhood Conference

Gabrielle: It’s always a wonderful day – excellent PD and a chance to collaborate with others. Thanks to the IEU for their continued investment in early childhood education and the ongoing fight for pay parity.

Narelle: As always it was a wonderful day with inspiring presenters. Also, a good opportunity for us to hear all about the work the IEU are continuing to do on our behalf – thank you to all involved.

The emotional workload of teachers is too often ignored

Carolyn: Not only the emotional load for teachers, but for every school support staff working in the classroom.

Angela: It’s the unrelenting pressure that is sometimes just too much.

Catholic systemic schools video update

Simon: A very bizarre reason from CCER to stall progress on this. Let’s hope protected action can proceed to resolve this quickly.

Debbie: Time to strike....

Ornella: Bullying tactics... if you don’t sign you won’t get your pay increase till next year. Seriously!

Donna: this whole thing is becoming a huge joke ...

Stephanie: They make the Union fight so hard that the Union can only focus on a few issues and that way all sorts of rubbish ends up in the enterprise agreement that is unfair.

Janine: Stay firm! I’m tired of the injustice.

Prove teaching skills or fail course

Commodore: Doesn’t the Practicum component of the Dip Ed cover this? If you fail it, you won’t graduate.

Ren: Dip Ed doesn’t even exist now. You have to complete a two-year course called Master of Teaching. It is a joke. You learn on the job and no amount of study will prepare you for what school is.

Maddy: It applies to the Masters too. I had to do two five week blocks and have the supervising teacher pass me as part of my degree. This isn’t new.

Sue: Puts even more pressure on supervising teachers in schools. Unis are really struggling to find placements as it is. Any thoughts as to how this part of the process will be addressed? How do students feel about losing their teacher for for weeks while a preservice teacher tries their best?

Kim: Are they insane? More than 50% of graduates leave the profession within the first five years as the workloads and expectations are impossible - where will they find teachers?

Donna: I would like to see standards applied to thosewho may become a politician. Surely a minimum level of education and competence should apply to them too, right?

Sherryl: What I am hearing on this podcast is so unrealistic and a nightmare to implement. Given that supervising teachers get just $30 a day at the moment, supervising this assessment will be not worth it. Besides, the supervising teacher is the one who is legally responsible for the class, how is this assessment going to work. Far too more hoops to go through.

Tony: Graduating with a teaching qualification from a university is one thing, proving that you are worthy to move from provisional to full registration with a state based teacher association is another. It is like making a trained dog jump through hoops when they are swimming!

School visit: Meryl Swanson MP and Andrew Giles MP

Janene: My team and I look after 140 students with a range of funded disabilities from Years 7-12 and have completed 300 PP Tools this year. These disabilities range from severe physical disabilities, cognitive disabilities to the ever-increasing range of mental illnesses.The amount of time that this has taken and continues to take is outrageous. Teachers have a lot to deal with today and if this time was actually put into working with the students to engage in meaningful learning activities and working collaboratively with classroom teachers to prepare effective lessons and resources I honestly think that some of disengaged behaviours we see would not exist.