Teachers want to teach, leave the paperwork to others
Why is there a shortage of teachers, not just in Australia, but also in Europe or the US? The answer is the same as for nurses and police – they can’t do their jobs.
It’s not a criticism of their ability or effort but rather the administrative tasks that stop them from doing their actual job.
The often reported shortage of capable, experienced teachers is exacerbated by the number of young teachers who start with great enthusiasm but leave disillusioned within five years.
Teachers want to teach, for which they have been studying for at least four years, but they are stuck with doing “administrivia” and repetitive professional development to stay registered.
What can be done to remedy this – at a reasonable cost and in a reasonable time?
More money is always a positive, although most people don’t enter the profession for the financial rewards but for what they can do for their students.
Respect for teachers has declined but it can’t be addressed by governments but rather by individual teachers who earn it.
Perhaps the only significant change at the moment is to recognise that teachers teach and administrators administer and never the twain should meet in one person.
Dennis Fitzgerald, Melbourne