Apropos of the ‘My School’ website and the ensuing brou-ha-ha about it, consider the following (fortunately, for the moment) fictional news stories, and imagine how widespread and probably violent the ensuing popular outrage:
THE FEDERAL Government today announced a ‘My Medic’ website which will enable patients to rate their local medical centres on whether their death rates are rising or falling.
THE FEDERAL Government today announced a ‘My Pilot’ website which will enable passengers to rate regional and national airlines on whether their crash rates are rising or falling.
We’re unlikely to see them because we expect surgeons and pilots to be excellent at their core businesses - curing people, and maintaining a 1:1 ratio of landings to take-offs.
When we have the same level of core business assurance about the teaching profession, ‘My School’ will no longer be needed.
And when will this happen?
~ when a headline such as GOOD TEACHERS MAKE GOOD SCHOOLS evokes puzzled responses like ‘So?’ or ‘Duh!’
~ when teachers emerge from teacher preparation courses with a great depth & breadth of knowledge of their teaching subjects, are proud of that, and are lauded & well remunerated for it.
~ when teachers return to seeing their profession as teaching stuff, not socialising ‘young adults’ (and what an oxymoronic expression that is).
~ when teachers love teaching their subjects and love their teaching subjects, and regard themselves as scholars, not as child-minders, do-gooders, proselytisers or social engineers.
~ when teachers emerge from teacher preparation courses knowing how to teach, equipped with knowledge of & practice in the skills needed for effective in-class performance & out-of-class management, are proud of this, and are lauded & well remunerated for it.
~ when teaching conditions are such that teachers start responding to offers of positions as Head of Year Group or Head of Subject Department with a ‘Do I really have to?’, and when accepting a move to EdCentral is seen as a lack of confidence in one’s classroom skills..
~ when teachers are promoted and / or remunerated for voluntary attendance at vacational seminars, summer schools and the like to update & extend their subject knowledge, and to update & extend their teaching skills.
And when principals, bureaucrats and even education ministers, on being told that Z School or Q College has great facilities, puts on you-beaut art & music shows, has a healthy eco-friendly canteen, wins all manner of sports premierships & cultural awards, they then ask:
‘Ah yes, that’s wonderful, and A-grades & elephant stamps to all involved, but are they any good in the classroom?’