I read the editorial in the New Zealand Herald this morning. If you haven’t yet, here is a link to it.
In short, the New Zealand Teachers’ Council needs to be more professional and we agree with everything Hekia Parata says because she’s so awesome and we really love what her and the National Party stand for.
I may possibly have read between far too many lines there… or maybe I haven’t.
They start of with:
School teaching ought to rank among the most respected of professions. Those who educate our children are every bit as important to us as, say, doctors or lawyers, arguably more important. Education is essential to everyone’s chances in life; medical or legal advice is an infrequent need for most people.
It sounds like it might be a good start. Making some good points. Education is important. Teachers should be respected. Etc. As a profession we are hugely important for the well-being of society. A well-educated society are more able to get jobs. More jobs mean less crime, fewer health issues, more self-worth. All of the things that make society a great place to live.
But then it begins. Paragraph two offers this:
Many, perhaps most, school teachers are well-respected by the parents of their pupils and others who know their work. But the profession as a whole does not have the standing that it should and the reason is obvious: it lacks an authoritative professional voice.
Unfortunately, apart from being a load of bullshit, this paragraph is complete bullshit.
Firstly, every parent I know has full and complete respect for every teacher I know. All parents support and respect all teachers. They all recognise how hard we all work DESPITE the constant attacks from the far right bloggers of this world who think 16 weeks holiday a year mean teachers do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING when there are no children in their classrooms.
Secondly, we do have a professional voice. Our professional voice comes out of our own professional mouths. Sometimes it is the mouth of the union, but most of the time it is the mouth of teachers. Teachers like me. Talking or blogging. Telling others about our views.
Dear Herald – you are aware that I can speak don’t you? Are you aware that I have a voice? Sometimes it coincides with the opinion of my union, sometimes it doesn’t. But it is a professional voice. It’s a professional voice because I’m a highly trained professional with several years experience working in my trained profession.
I don’t just spout a whole load of nonsense because I can type and have set up this wordpress blog.
I have a professional voice, but I also have a cynical voice. This comes from years and years listening to the constant lies of politicians. They are not brain-fades. Call them what they are: lies. Complete and utter lies.
Digression aside, my point is that, following the recent appointments of Dame Susan Devoy (Tony Ryall’s neighbour) and Dr Jacqui Blue (sitting National Party MP) to key government positions, what sort of third-rate cronies are we going to have running our teacher registration?
Furthermore, what sort of professional voice will this gaggle of cronies give us?
As well as having the power to register and discipline teachers, the new body would be charged with identifying issues of education policy and leading professional and public debate on teaching practices.
This sentence is followed by this:
It would be given a statutory obligation to promote the public interest and the interests of children and students and the review committee hopes the new body would come to be seen to represent the voice and face of the profession.
So ultimately, the New Zealand Herald, is calling for teachers to be represented by a committee that is wholly appointed by a politician (Labour or National, it doesn’t matter).
Education policy is currently under attack by those very politicians who wish to have complete control over the registration of our profession. There’s not a shit show in hell that the proposed body would be able to work in the interests of children or their education. It would be filled with political appointments.
Yes, that’s right New Zealand Herald, you should give politicians complete control over something. After all, they di so well choosing the leaders at Solid Energy…