{Speaking My Mind} I Support Today’s Teacher Strike

{Image: The Dings Bristol BS2 from Brizzle Born and Bred on Flickr}

The teachers in New South Wales go on strike for 2 hours this morning  and I support their actions.

It’s a bloody tough gig being a teacher.  Sure, any job can be tough, but when you’re a teacher you’re dealing with lessons, planning, curriculum, policy, pedagogy, behavioural issues, personal conflicts, kids with disabilities, irate parents, risk assessments, mobile phones and Facebook during class time, rudeness, disrespect, fights, marking, reporting and the bundles of paperwork that requires every ‘t’ crossed and every ‘i’ dotted.

And, despite what some parents might believe, teachers are not there to act as our personal baby-sitting service.

I used to teach.  Haven’t done now since I was pregnant with my Little Man and I have no intention of returning.  It never ceases to amaze me though how parents fail to back the actions of teachers when they strike.  Instead they bitch and moan about how they’ve been put out because now they have to take the morning off work to look after their kids or *gasp* they have to keep their kids at home with them all day.

Our teachers are there to educate our children.  They are there to fill in the knowledge that we can’t as parents.

It’s not a teachers job to teach our kids manners and respect.  That’s up to us as a parent.

It’s not a teachers job to teach our kids about online safety.  That’s up to us as a parent.

It’s not a teachers job to teach our kids nutrition, bike safety, morals, compassion or how to be a decent human being.  That’s up to us as a parent.

It’s not a teachers job to be a parent to our kids.  We decided to have them, so it is up to us as a parent.

So many teachers go above and beyond though, taking on so many of these tasks.  Picking up the slack from parents who are just too busy to be bothered with their children.  And in addition to that they are expected to provide our children with an education.  Teach them the core subjects of English, mathematics, science and the social sciences.  Be their mentors, friends and role models.

Which is why, when they go on strike this morning, I will be keeping my children at home with me.

Because our teachers do a bloody awesome job and they deserve a pay rise.  And as a parent I support them.

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