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Teaching is among the ‘top three most stressed occupations’

Samantha: The kids are the easy part. All the admin, paper work etc is the time consuming part.

Jessica: One of the most frustrating aspects is that our job isn’t valued by society - so many people tell me “it must be an easy job with all those holidays...those who can do, those who can’t. teach, right?!” And yet, we, in conjunction with parents, play an active role in shaping future generations. I have not encountered a teacher so far in my career that chose this vocation for the holidays. Most teachers fell into this profession for noble reasons. For me, I wanted to show Australian youth that education, in all its forms is a ticket to a better life. It is my opinion that teachers are increasingly frustrated by the disconnect between revolutionary pedagogy and the archaic education system which is characterised by rigid curricula and essentially factory farming students through cohorts. Significant international research has demonstrated that the greatest factor in the success of a student is a quality teacher. So, based on pure fact alone, teachers are the most valuable asset of any education system. Teachers know the changes that need to be made and yet society and successive governments treat us like we are too stupid to work autonomously. We need to invest TIME into teacher wellbeing with the view that, happy, well slept, autonomous teachers can provide better educational experiences and outcomes for their students.

Liz: I’m retired now, finished just as the worst of the new regime came in, but, of the many jobs I did, teaching was easily the best and most rewarding. I am so sorry that our younger colleagues are having such a dreadful time. Worst of all, it’s the children who will suffer long term.

Pauline: The more they try to micro manage teacher methodology the worse the outcome for students. If they looked at the existing data through a non political prism they might actually be able to interpret cause and effect more effectively.

Three year olds, homework and academic bootcamp. Does something seem out of place here?

Lynne: One of our biggest problems with five year olds beginning school is their fine and gross motor skills, and general life skills/knowledge. These are a necessary precursor to academic skills. Lots of outside play ... climbing, crawling, throwing, catching, kicking etc. Threading, building, water play, drawing. Lastly lots of talking and listening to quality conversation, and experiencing environmental print. No need for academic bootcamp or homework!

Michelle: Prepare them by teaching them manners and how to listen. Get them to do some sort of activity where they need to focus and take instructions. Teach them independence- how to put their shoes on, how to pack a bag, how to blow their noses.

Paid Parental Leave changes

Simon: Could Michaelia Cash actually be a worse Minister for Women than Tony Abbott?