Sunday, June 26, 2011

Working Niece

Oldest niece is slowly training to be a teacher. My sister is a teacher. Sister teaches year 10, 11 and 12 lads. I think she does a fine job with them. Her love of sport no doubt helps greatly. In my own right, I was a teacher of sorts once. Not a proper one mind. My blog seems to be littered with comments by ex teachers. I put that down to that they can string a sentence together.

I feel a bit proud of oldest niece, even though we have never connected well. She has done a teacher placement at a school in a very socially underprivileged area. At the end of her placement, her students made up a board with their thank you messages. It is hanging in her Dad's place, that is Tradie Brother's place. I was a bit gobsmacked at the messages. The kids are actually quite literate and can write a thank you message to their teacher for the week. Ok, there were a couple of clangers, but generally, nice and well written messages, and mostly in far better hand writing than I can manage.

Maybe our state education system is not quite as bad as it is painted.


  1. Hello Andrew:
    Young people, the world over, are our future. We must believe in them. And most will, we are certain, rise to whatever life demands of them.

  2. I have always believed that teachers are our most essential, poorest paid and most over worked profession. And not just because I had great teachers myself in primary school and high school.

    When my own children started in primary school, it became obvious how much of an impact the teachers had on their lives. My sons are now in their middle-late 30s, but still enjoy catching up with the teachers they had in primary school.

  3. I can't agree more J&L. They do actually care and have much more knowledge than I ever had, and perhaps you too. People born in the fifties and sixties really have not left a great world for the future.

    Profound influence Hels. I recall each of mine vividly. They really can make or break their charges. Huge responsibility and not well financially rewarded.

  4. Oh dear (blush blush) *I* am an ex-teacher and a commenter on your blog....!

    However, I only lasted a year - the stress, low pay, ridiculous education department-led paperwork, unrealistic hopes of parents and the exhaustion of getting kids to listen was too much for me. All it did was give me a huge appreciation for the teachers that did stick it out and make a difference to hundreds of kids.

    However, I do recall during my prac year I had two placements - one in the most exclusive private girls' school in Adelaide and the other a public rural high school. It was the kids in the latter school that were a pleasure to teach and the same goes for the support and friendship offered by the teachers.

  5. Good on her.
    It's a hard often thankless job she's chosen but she must love it :)

  6. I'm another ex-teacher that comments on your blog. How many others are there?

    I'm less pro-teacher and formal education than most other ex-teachers....probably.

    I do think it's great that there are people out there like your niece...ones who love children and want to make a difference.

    I'm not on board with the idea however that all teachers are under- appreciated heroic people who make sacrifices that are absolutely needed by society. I think some people look at schools this way, and I disagree with them.

    Children can learn from their parents, neighbours, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. And they can teach themselves.

    That being said....I did enjoy my time in the classroom. Well, I enjoyed some of them at least. I hope your niece continues to enjoy her career.

  7. Kath, interesting observation about public and private. Sometimes I ask Sister about troublesome students, and she never really has issues with them. Could be a demographic thing, but I think she is just really cut out to teach and take charge. Actually she never complains about anything work related. She does work in a private school though, and now only part time.

    Ro, like her mother, she is great with kids.

    Dina, I can count five others without thinking about it. Of course some won't be so great, but generally I think most are pretty good and dedicated. As long as a child is well socialised, I have nothing against home schooling. For some kids it is clearly preferable.

  8. I'm a daughter and sister of teachers! Good on her for choosing teaching, that takes determination.

  9. Ah yeah Fen, your Dad. I forgot.