Monday, May 3, 2010

Public Holiday

Had a day off today. Why? To celebrate those men and women who fought valiantly... for our right to have fair working conditions, anti-unfair dismissal and our right to protest.

Now, I will be honest. I don't fully understand unions. I don't fully understand why some people think that they are the representation of the devil on Earth. All I know is that I belong to one, and get stuff out of it.

So for those people who fought for us to have unions, I thank you.

I also apologise in shame.

My generation is so apathetic. And pathetic. I have ideals and want to do something, but when it gets to the crunch, there's something on TV I want to watch, or blogs on here I want to read. I am pathetic.

I think it is also something to do with the Australian psyche - the abhorrent 'She'll be right'. In the UK, I went to every union meeting I could, went to conferences, was ready to become a union rep if I was going to stay there... but here, I don't feel like I should bother. And you know why?

The IRC. Teachers have a valid viewpoint about the moratorium on NAPLAN. If people (and I mean lay people and government here) actually bothered to listen to teachers, be that their child's teacher, their friend who is a teacher or the teaching councils of Australia, they would find out that we are not protesting against the test, but what Gillard and her 'teaching experts' are going to do with the data collected. They are going to create a website which lists the data from each school in the country. That also is not what teachers are protesting.

What we are protesting is how the 'media' in this country and parents will interpret and use these data lists (parents may use this data naively.) These tables will not show that the cohort is unsuccessful because of the low socio-economic area, or the high rate of non-English speakers. They will not show what is going on in the classroom towards achievement, but what happens on one day in a child's life.

Now the union has been told that they are not 'allowed' to put a moratorium on the tests. Why not?

We are still 'teaching the test' so that the tests can go ahead if the government will actually listen. We will still conduct classroom testing of these students so we will know their progression.

Oh, and if a moratorium goes ahead on the day of NAPLAN and we refuse to conduct the tests, we will be doing what we are paid for - teaching!

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