This year has certainly challenged opinions when it comes to education and teachers. It is my hope that it has helped re-establish a much deserved respect for teachers. It would seem that for a while now education has been something that everybody wants a say in, politicians, parents, trades you name it, seem to think they know better than the teachers themselves.
For too long teachers have had to cope constant criticism, excessive hours, highly stressful workplaces and overcrowding in their rooms with little thanks for all their hard work.
I don’t know how many times I’ve even at social events where I’ve had to grit my teeth through cringe worth comments about how teachers get 12 weeks holidays a year, that it’s a easy job, that we’re over paid, and that basically anything to do with our students is our fault.
But all of this has had me thinking about when it was that teachers lost societies respect. When did they become lesser professionals than doctors, engineers, and politician’s. Teachings is one of the oldest professions in the world and should carry with it a high esteem. Most teachers have two degrees, one in their specialised subject and one in education. More so many have gone on to get Masters degrees and Doctorates. They work long hours charged with the education of 30+ children at a time teaching content that it scaffold, adapted, and methodically explained in various learning styles so suit all their students. We can thank them for a society that can read, write, collaborate, socialise, play nice, and say type on computers. They have taught us about sports, music, technology, history, science. They’ve inspired the careers we go into and helped learn how to make friends and work with those we don’t like. They’ve celebrated our achievements and guided us when we’re not doing so well.
So how is it that one of the biggest influences in society- the media- can get away with such poor representation of teachers as a whole?
There are programs dedicated to doctors e.g. Grey’s Anatomy, The Good Doctor. There are shows dedicated to Police: NCIS, Fire Men: Chicago Fire, Lawyers: The Good Fight, Politicians: West Wing, Home renovators-The Block but when was the last time you saw one dedicated to teachers. More so if you did was the teacher portrayed as the hero, the unsung hero, with impeccable skills. Were they portrayed as Meredith Grey with exceptional knowledge and professionalism and maybe a few personality flaws or were they incompetent, unable to control the class or having an affair with a student.
I recently watch an episode of Bluey in which the characters were playing with their Year 6 Buddies. Although the teacher is seen to come over and talk to the students for a short time, for a good chunk of the episode the teacher (Calypso) is seen in the background knitting….Our kindergarten teacher deserve better than to be represented as people that sit around knitting. Early childhood teachers are incredible members of society and certainly don’t have time to veg out when they are charged with their students.
A repeat for teachers and the profession starts with how we talk about them at home. Parents need to support the teachers and not speak badly of them to their kids. But secondly and most importantly the media needs to take responsibility for the characters they write and ensure they do justice to the thousands of teachers that do impeccable work each and every day. Maybe then will they be recognised properly for the hours they work and the skills they have. Maybe then will politicians butt out of their programs and content and allow them the profession courtesy that other professions have. Maybe then parents and society will stop and listen to the professionals. And finally maybe then when discussion education matters on TV Sunrise & the Today show will have actual teachers on their discussion panels to discuss teaching instead of radio hosts and other minor celebs who DO NO KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT!
Mumma Z xxx