Teachers are not lazy because they “clock off at 3pm".

Teachers are cranky.

So cranky that if they could find TODAY’s Phoebe Burgess she’d probably be on detention.

Saturday detention.

Phoebe Burgess has been taken to the virtual Principal’s office of social media and scolded for her comments regarding teachers.

The panellist has found herself in trouble after claiming our beloved teachers are lazy as they “clock off at 3pm”.

The pregnant TV presenter and wife of South Sydney Rabbitohs player Sam Burgess, was on a panel discussing the move by an English secondary school to ban homework so that teachers will have more time to plan “inspiring lessons” rather than setting and marking homework.

Burgess, a regular on the show, told the hosts that she didn’t support the move, saying she was for “old school education” and felt homework was beneficial for “discipline, work ethic, cementing what they have learnt for the day.”

She said that her sister was a Latin teacher and she saw what work teachers did and she felt they certainly did have the time if they wanted to fit in marking homework.

“I think it’s plain lazy to say you don’t have time,” she said.

“You clock off at 3pm. Make the time.”

Bumpin’ @samburgess8 ❤️ #21w

A photo posted by PHOEBE BURGESS (@mrsphoebeburgess) on

While Burgess’s words enraged viewers, what they said to me was that she has never witnessed 25 five and six-year-olds en mass crammed into a demountable classroom.


That she has never tried to make 32 nine-year-olds find their maths books and rulers and return to their seats.

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Her words showed me that she has never tried to teach a room full of irritable seven-year-olds on a Friday afternoon, exhausted and testing the boundaries after a hard week of work.

She showed she had never had to deal with hair pulling, and toilet accidents, and bullying and friendship breakups and snotty noses and sticky hands and the body odour of 30 children day after day after day.

What her statement told me was that she has no idea what it took to be a teacher.

She’s not alone though.

I don’t have a clue either.

I can hardly imagine it.

I can't imagine what it takes to be a teacher. Image via IStock

The few “reading groups“ I've gone to at my two sons' school, to help out for an hour on the odd morning, have left me reeling - ready for a good stiff whisky and a lie down.

I find it hard enough to cope with my three kids for two weeks in the school holidays let alone a classroom of 25 or 30 for seven hours, five days a week. I don't know how teachers do it.


I find teachers inspirational.

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Teachers have transformed my shy, withdrawn, lonely son who found letters on a page baffling and speaking in public terrifying into a confident, popular, happy little boy with a passion for sport and a new found pride in his ability to finally read “chapter books.”

Teachers have given my nine-year-old a love of literacy and drama. A desire to write stories and make people laugh.


Teachers will, next year, take my youngest, my baby, and to them I will entrust her for the next 13 years to guide her, motivate her and mould her into the person she will be.

Shauna's boys. Image Supplied.

The teachers at my little public school clock-on way before 8am and on the whole don’t clock off until after 6pm.

They start early to prepare for their classes and sit up late into the night painting frames for a class of 30 kinders to attach their portraits to as a Father’s day gifts for their dads.

They stay behind to counsel parents of students and meet with struggling children.

They assist in after-school activities and are forever having to stay for meetings and extra training.

The teachers I know are dedicated professionals who do the job out of love of education and a passion for children, certainly not to earn the big bucks or to get fame and glory.

I don’t find teachers lazy, I find them awe-inspiring.

Back to it @fluidformpilates @loveyourform ???? #Pilates

A photo posted by PHOEBE BURGESS (@mrsphoebeburgess) on

I imagine that Phoebe Burgess is regretting her poor choice of words, and she has backtracked on her Instagram admitting she had “poor expression” to make her “pro-homework point.”

Burgess wrote a response to a teacher who angrily told her there was "no such thing as a 3pm finish" that she has “bucket loads of respect for your profession.”

Respect they mightily deserve, Phoebe.

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