Yesterday, like many others, I was appalled to read a blog by Judith Sloan in which she attacked Early Childhood Teachers, calling them ‘dim witted’ graduates from ‘second rate’ universities. If you missed it, you can read her post here.
Now people write all sorts of unreasonable things on blogs, and usually I would ignore it, writing it off as an ignorant, uninformed rant.
Meanwhile, the early childhood teachers that she attacked in her article, have only a limited ability to have their voice heard.
There is an enormous power imbalance here, and Judith Sloan is abusing her position of greater influence to denigrate an entire profession.
At Edutweetoz we want to correct that imbalance and give teachers a voice. We’re tired of the constant teacher bashing and we’re tired of being told what and how to teach by people with no teaching experience or qualifications.
Why all the teacher bashing?
My personal view is that this sort of teacher bashing springs from more than just ignorance. There are political and financial incentives. If teachers aren’t respected, or are seen as ‘dim witted’, then there is no need to listen to their voices. There is no need to consult with them when making policy around education, or take their views seriously. When teachers fight back, pointing out that they have a tertiary education which qualifies them as experts in their field, then it makes sense to denigrate their university background too. If their qualifications are ‘second rate’ then we don’t need to take them seriously.
And what’s the political and financial motivation for all this? Quality education costs money. It’s not something that can be done on the cheap. To attract and keep good teachers we need to pay them fairly. To provide a quality public education, we need to fund that properly. Those who don’t believe in using taxes to invest in the public good are always going to oppose this. I believe the denigration of teachers is a convenient way of keeping us out of policy decisions, trivialising our work and convincing the community that they do not need to invest in the public provision of education.
What can we do?
Speak out against the denigration of teachers by public figures. Use what ever resources to tell people that it’s not acceptable. Write letters, send emails, use Twitter, Facebook, blogs, or whatever media you have available, to send a message that it’s not okay.
Use that media as well to shine a light on the important work that teachers do. Stand up for the profession and let your voice be heard.
How Edutweetoz can help.
At Edutweetoz, we want to build a like-minded community and a platform to help you do that. Sign up here to be a guest tweep for a week, share your blogs with us so we can share them with the community and use our Facebook page to share good stories and to make a stand against those who seek to marginalise our profession.
Help us spread the word about the life changing work of teachers.