Two letters from the AGE today that epitomize what I think about ‘Teach for Australia’ initiatives that offer six-week instant teaching course for graduates to instantly fill positions that have been difficult to fill in traditional ways. Effective teaching is not a six week training course. Repeat until sleep: ‘Teaching is NOT a low skill job’.
It doesn’t add up
LET me get this straight. Teach for Australia will put graduates of accounting, law and science through a six-week summer school where they will learn to teach, before sending them to work in the most disadvantaged schools. After two years (if stress hasn’t killed them), these underqualified “teachers” will have two options. The first is to accept a job with a prestigious firm that sponsors the program. The second is to remain in their tough, underfunded, under-resourced, presumably lowly league-table-ranked school and continue to earn about $50,000 a year. Who has gone crazy? Me or the Government? Help.
Glenn Fowler, Australian Education Union, Barton, ACT
Lemme at it
FORGET Teach for Australia. Bring on “Perform Brain Surgery for Australia”. I’ve always wanted to have a crack at it. I’ve got my own knife and I’ve got six free weeks over summer.
Unrelated picture ‘Victory Farm Volunteers’ from Oregon State Archives