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    • Evan Burton


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Jean Walker

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Everything posted by Jean Walker

  1. Why do teachers leave the profession?

    Our Union surveys here always show workload and behaviour as the two chief reasons and probably if you fixed workload, behaviour issues could be better dealt with. I think young teachers find themseklves in a position of all responsibility and accountability, but no power to change things. You can earn better money for less stress and frustration and greater promotion opportunities elsewhere so many do, which leaves only the devoted, but cynical about management and policy, hanging in till retirement.
  2. Does television influence behaviour?

    I vividly remember my friends and I doing exactly the same thing with The Goons skits each week - we howled with laughter every week as we did the voices of Eccles, Bluebottle and Neddy- we annoyed the teachers back then too but it doesn't appear to have blighted any of our lives. I hope that's the biggest problem this primary school has!
  3. Who would you like to share a pint with

    Shakespeare - to ask him all those questions to which noone knows the answers. I enjoy coming to this forum and have no objection to other people's interests and I can understand wanting to know what happened - I just can't personally get my head around the level of obsession with Kennedy. However, that's my problem - I just ignore and pass on to the other stuff. Thank you for setting up the forum, regardless of its minor obsessions.
  4. Here in Tasmania children with ASD are mainstreamed unless they are almost completely unmanageable. We have 0.7% of our school population in special schools compared with the OECD average of between 1.5 and 2.0%. We are constantly told by the powers that be that this is a wonderful thing, but many of our teachers think otherwise. While students at the mild to medium end of the spectrum are probably benefiting and learning and not impacting too much on others, those with severe problems create huge stress for teachers, cause disruption to the learning of others and gain little benefit themselves. They often miss out on the skills training which is vital for their condition and often are "babysat" by TAs who have insufficient training and are paid too little to properly support them. Our system often does provide a TA one to one for these students but they are not necessarily the right type of support. And the numbers of these students is growing. A more ideal situation would be to have a special unit on mainstream sites and integrate and separate as necessary for them to learn and progress, as well as give others sufficient attention. But of course this takes a great deal of money and it's easier to come up with a solve-all philosophy of total inclusion than find the money. Cynical, moi??
  5. Australia and the World Cup

    I was attending a large retirement dinner in Melbourne that night - someone at my table had been glued to their mobile phone and suddenly yelled "We won, we won". My comment of "Won what?" was greeted with total amazement. There aren't many of us totally non-sport oriented Ozzies around. However, what was happening at this particular dinner may be of interest to some of you interested in politics and history. It was to mark the retirement of the long serving Gen Sec of our national teachers' union, Rob Durbridge, and it came the day after the biggest union rally in Australia for what the Melbourne police described as within living memory and the two national leaders of our ACTU (Australian Council of Trade Unions) were both at the dinner.The city centres of Melbourne and Sydney were crammed with protestors and even here in Tasmania, 10,000 turned out and there would have been many more if teachers and nurses had not been ordered not to attend by their employers. Why? Because our PM, having gained control of both houses in the last election, has driven through 800 pages of the most draconian industrial legislation ever known to man or beast. It is designed to destroy workers' rights, drive down the minimum wage and increase employers' profits. Exactly the same sort of legislation was introduced in New Zealand a decade ago and it cut the minimum wage by a third and increased community welfare handouts by 1000%. It is only now being repealed by the new Labour government. Even many of those who voted him in are now horrified at what is happening. For this country this is a moment in our history which will go into the political text books. The things that Australians have fought for over the last hundred years could be totally wiped out - justice, fair play, safety at work, supporting the weak and vulnerable - all in the name of big business and profit. If you're interested it's worth Googling something like Industrial Reform+John Howard+Australia