Take control of your classroom

Chris Wilkinson
We must all work hard to bring respect back for teachers in the classroom, from parents and the wider community.

Here we are at the end of another year. Hard to believe where the time has gone. When one is so busy caught up in all the ‘administrivia’ and deadlines that must be kept, one wonders if the end is ever going to come and those dreaded deadlines will be met.

The constant cry from members in all sectors is about the add-ons, data entry, report writing, registers, edumate entries, surveys, online learning and professional development and the list goes on. Where has the classroom teaching and the fun with the students gone?

In preparation for 2017 we must all take stock of our professional domain. We must all work hard to bring respect back for teachers in the classroom, from parents and the wider community.

Students in the past stood back for teachers, offered to help carry books and opened the doors. Not any more – they seem to have lost all respect for teachers.

We need to take control of our classrooms and demand good manners and attention. Learning is difficult in a noisy, hostile classroom. Mobile phone use is becoming a constant battle in schools where students are reliant on them and feel that they have the right to use them whenever they feel the urge.

Schools need to provide clear policies on the use of these devices. Teaching is getter harder and is not what it used to be. I realise society in changing and we as professionals have to change with the times, however we all need support from the systems and the school administration.

As chapters work together, don’t be afraid to voice your concerns, challenge decisions and work to make your workplace a safe and happy one.

I thank you all for your support throughout the year. I would like to wish members who are retiring a happy and fulfilling retirement – enjoy and do all that you have been planning for. To those who are changing employment, good luck and I hope that you enjoy your new school.

To those who are taking off on teacher exchange, enjoy your time away, travel and get to know your new neighbours. Make lots of friends as the time will fly by.

To everyone else, I wish you all a safe and enjoyable holiday and a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Stay safe and enjoy your family and friends. Make sure you have time to do the things you enjoy, as we all know January comes around quickly.

Thank you for your support throughout the year and I look forward to working with you next year.