OPINION: Teachers need all the help they can get
THERE must be a federal election on the horizon.
A report in The Courier-Mail on Friday reported on the Morrison Government's announcement of an inquiry aimed to reduce teacher burnout and workload outside of school hours.
I was a primary school teacher for nearly four years, and I've personally experienced a typical workload for an educator.
I don't miss the days where I would work three hours before 9am and two hours after 3pm - Monday to Friday, and unpaid.
That's not to mention the countless unpaid weekends I had to give up just getting ready for the school week ahead.
Teaching shouldn't be this strenuous.
It is part of the job to give up a weekend now and then, and to work after school.
However, to consistently do extra hours beyond what we are expected to do is not in the spirit of the profession.
The root of the problem I believe is our overcrowded curriculum.
Maths, English and Science are key priorities outlined in the Queensland school curriculum, which is based on national standards. The majority of time spent in the classroom is on those three subjects.
However, teachers are also expected to squeeze in and teach other required subjects such as Civics, Geography, History, Arts, Music and Physical Education.
That's not to mention when I was teaching, English and Maths units were mandated to us in five-week blocks. So I could be teaching eight different units in each in a year.
In a perfect world, this would work. In the real world, there are so many variables that make it almost impossible to teach a unit in five weeks.
The students I was teaching needed more time than five weeks to fully understand key concepts.
Teachers can only differentiate so much within five weeks, and I have very high respect to those who pull it off. These are the teachers graduates need to look up to and learn their skills.
For those wanting to enter the profession from another career, it could be a deal breaker.
For people like me who struggled to start their career off as a teacher, there needs to be more support to guide them in the right direction.
Otherwise, they will end up in the never-ending cycle of teachers who quit in their first five years.