There’s something we need to talk about.
And, yes. It’s that all teachers everywhere need to a) work more hours, b) take less holidays and c) make less… money.
In a world characterised by potentially corrupt presidencies, 75 million odd refugees, and fish that are basically just floating plastic bags with beer bottle tops for eyes, the most pressing issue of our time is how teachers need to do more. Please.
This week, MP Andrew Laming said teachers should spend at least eight hours at work each day, get just four weeks of annual leave like the rest of us, and absolutely should not be doing class preparation or marking at home.
“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 it is little beyond the face-to-face time,” the Liberal MP told Fairfax Media.
And he has a point.
You want to know what teachers really think of your kids? Post continues…
You see, everyone knows a teacher. Let’s call her ‘Sue’.
Sue, as we’re well aware, went into teaching for the countless benefits such as money, respect from politicians, public acknowledgement, award ceremonies, fame, status but most of all – holidays.
During the school term, she turns up to work at 8:45am for her class, all slumped over and groaning, “Stinky kids are the worst, grrr.” She puts on a movie for a few hours, then comes recess, where she has a cigarette and a mango daiquiri.
Next, the bell rings. Sue rolls to her next class on her chair which she refuses to get out of, yells at a few kids for being ‘rowdy’ and then tells them to read before falling asleep. Luckily, she wakes herself up with a loud snore right before lunchtime.
Sue cuts in the queue at the canteen and takes the last meat pie, leaving little Tim in tears. She has another cigarette, a quick glass of sauv blanc, and goes back in until 3:15pm-ish.
Every day she counts down the seconds, 20, 19, 18… until the godforsaken school day is done.
Students, as the Coalition backbencher must know from all his reliable intel, don’t require bus line/playground supervision after the bell rings, they just teleport into their homes immediately.
By 3:17pm, Sue is in her car, probably heading to the pub, or her local Westfield to spend all the big bucks she’s made that day.
Come 7pm, Sue is frankly bored by all the spare time she has. She plays marbles on her wooden floor by herself… posts a few pictures on Facebook… books her upcoming trip to Bali with the gals.
But then comes school holidays.
For Sue, it’s a different country four times a year. Europe. South Africa. Last year, she went on an expedition to Antarctica. Twice.
She does her 15 minutes of marking, annually, from her business class seat. And who needs lesson plans when you can just tell stories about your time in LA?
So, of course MP Andrew Laming is angry.
There’s just one problem.
I happen to be the daughter of two teachers. My aunties are teachers. My uncles are teachers. My brothers are teachers. My friends are teachers. And a few years ago I worked as a teacher.
And, truthfully, never in my life have I met a Sue.
If that job exists though, goddammit, I know a bunch of teachers who’d love to know where to apply.