Do teachers get “excessive” holidays? Hell no.
“Teaching needs to operate like other jobs, with the same hours, days and weeks as the rest of the economy, rather than cluttered school hours where there is little beyond the face-to-face time,” Andrew Laming told Fairfax Media.
Laming admitted that some teachers went “above and beyond”, and many teachers put in extra time outside of school hours for marking and preparation, but said this wasn’t measured or assured.
“There is just no evidence that the work they are doing at home makes any difference, and there’s no evidence that what they do at home is actually where you’d want a teacher focusing their efforts,” he said.
Laming thinks teachers should be spending their spare time studying.
The deputy president of the Australian Education Union, Maurie Mulheron, says Laming is “so out of touch” with the reality of what’s happening in teaching.
“I think a lot of teachers would like to actually have an eight-hour working day, given that most of them work far in excess of that,” he tells Mamamia.
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“Most of the research that we’ve done is showing that teachers are working anything up to 50, 60 hour weeks on a regular basis throughout the school year.
“Teachers are working before school, getting very little break during the day, working after hours at school, then working in the evening, which eats into family time, and spending a good part of the weekend on preparation and marking and assessment and a range of other things.”
He says teachers can’t teach successfully without that level of commitment.
“The job is too complex and too difficult if you’re not putting in those kind of hours. It’s a problem that teachers are working so hard and such long hours.”
As for Laming’s proposal that teachers should only be getting four weeks holiday a year, Mulheron points out that teachers are working through their holidays already.