Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Nostalgia Trip





























Last week I found myself working in the same western school where I started teaching as a new grad in 1968.

One of the staff is working on the school archive, and when I asked her if there were pics of my year, she turned this up.

To be precise, I wasn't there from the beginning of the year. I was initially appointed to a year three class of 23 in Inglewood, but lasted only three weeks in this cushy posting. The school lost numbers, so in his wisdom, the Regional Director transferred me to take a class of 43 year fives in this school on a weekend's notice.

I never did find out what happened to my predecessor. Perhaps three weeks was all it took to discover that 43 kids are too many.

I was young, keen and thought I was God's gift to the teaching profession, so I stuck it out. In fact, it was one of the most pleasant years I spent in the game, spoiled only by the Damocles sword of conscription which, at the time, was hanging over my head.

My marble had been drawn in my second year at Teachers' College, but the National Service Act allowed me to complete my course and teach for a year before I was enlisted.

They were wonderful kids, and they taught me much more than I ever taught them. I have forgotten all their names, but not their faces or their character.

At about this time in the school year, I was given a day's leave to drive to Warwick for my National Service medical. To be honest, I didn't believe that I'd pass, because I'd had polio when I was two, and one of my legs was slightly shorter than the other.

I was passed A1.

The memory of the good times I spent in this school with these kids was one of the things that sustained me in the following two years, especially during my time in Vietnam.

Teaching remains a noble profession, but it is not as easy now as it was back in 1968 - even with a class of 43.






15 comments:

cav said...

So which one is you 1735099?

1735099 said...

The one with the tie, smart arse.....

Anonymous said...

I would have guessed the one with the big ears worrying about his marble being drown from the bingo barrel.....as it turns out he is wearing the tie.

1735099 said...

being drown (sic) from the bingo barrel
In order to make sense, you should always engage your brain before posting.
On second thoughts, in your case, that's likely to make it worse....

Anonymous said...

Teachers of your generation don't require spelling excellence of their students.....so cut me a bit of slack, especially when you know exactly what is meant.

1735099 said...

Teachers of your generation......
You have a wonderful knack of simultaneously generalising and stereotyping to fit your special brand of bigotry.

Anonymous said...

I didn't say all teachers, or most teachers, but I note that you do not deny the statement so you appear to accept it on face value . You also have not excluded yourself from the generalisation, so the perception of stereotyping you may well be an acceptence by you of your inclusion in the group referred to. Your claim of bigotry is unfounded.

1735099 said...

I didn't say all teachers, or most teachers
You said Teachers of your generation
That is blatant stereotyping.
I didn't deny it, because it is such a bizarre statement that it isn't necessary.
If you compare basic literacy rates prior to teachers of "my generation" and what they are now, it's clear that you are talking through your hat.
Today's kids spell, write and speak much better than they did back in 1968.
Read this - it might smarten up your ideas - http://www.aate.org.au/files/documents/Literacy%20Crises.pdf

Anonymous said...

"I was young, keen and thought I was God's gift".....nothing has changed then.
"Today's kids spell, write and speak much better than they did back in 1968.".....now I know you really vote red. That is B.S. I have kids in the education system, and a recent x P.M. that agrees with me, unless she was a liar of course.
"Teachers of your generation".....generalisation, unless you accept that you are one of those included in the full text, and you still have not denied it.

1735099 said...

That is B.S. And it has nothing to do with how I vote or politics in general.
Literacy standards are not falling. They are improving relative to local standards over time.
As a member of the ACER, I reckon I have a better grasp of this particular reality than you do.
You need to learn the difference between anecdote and data.
Developing countries overseas are catching up, a fact that politicians have used as a wedge irrespective of who is in power.
Read - http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=263994492801053;res=IELHSS

Anonymous said...

"Literacy standards are not falling. They are improving relative to local standards over time".....because teachers of your generation have been found to have been lacking. I guess someone noticed the poor job done by your generation of teachers and smartened up the more recent faaculty members. Lucky for this generation of students.
"As a member of the ACER, I reckon I have a better grasp of this particular reality than you do".....Do you think so? I only got to what is now called year eleven, but I am bright enough to check membership requirements for ACER on line.....forty bucks and I can claim to have an equal grasp on this subject as you. Your readiness to draw on comparisons with developing countries is an indication that you cannot deny the truth of my assertion.....spelling and grammar in Australia has fallen away to such an extent that it has people our age concerned about education standards. Now, I am low on the food chain in your eyes,but when the Government sees this as a problem I have to presume that I and others I am associated with cannot be entirely incorrect. As you are a person with leanings toward the left (previously....communism) I accept that you will deny, deny, deny as long as it fits your apparent ideological beliefs.
As far as anecdote and data go, you should be well aware that that which you rely on heavily can and has been manipulated since it began to be recorded.....take note of the fiscal situation with the Australian budget.....NBN not included????? How can that be? Are the numbers too big to record to give the Government credibility? Give me the lefty view on that one.

Anonymous said...

http://www.acer.edu.au/media/acer-releases-results-from-latest-international-studies-of-student-achievem/

Have a read.....latest according to your accredited authority.

Anonymous said...

http://www.acer.edu.au/documents/TIMSS-PIRLS_Australian-Highlights.pdf

Have a read further comparison in greater depth on the international scene rather than "developing countries."

1735099 said...

These figures show that Australia is mid-field in literacy, and above the pack in Science and Maths.
It illustrates a number of things pretty clearly -
1. We need the Gonski reforms so that kids from low SES backgrounds are given the support they need to catch up.
2. Teachers in Australia are on the whole underpaid. We need masters level qualifications (such as in Denmark) and remuneration commensurate.

Anonymous said...

1. Tossing money at a problem rarely achieves anything.....low SES abackground kids are not the only ones missing out. I know of well to do families where kids refuse to take the edu. system seriously simply becqause they believe that with the money they have behind them and the businesses they will inherit they can pay someone else to do the hard yards while they become grasshoppers.

2. "Teachers in Australia are on the whole underpaid. We need masters level qualifications (such as in Denmark) and remuneration commensurate".....You can say the same about politicians that run our country. Teachers are undereducated and are not supported by the system that employs them. The touchy feely society that we now must accept, makes teaching an exceptionally difficult path to follow. Teachers are expected to educate and baby sit without recourse to discipline. They are expected to put up AND shut up for fear of action by parents and also weak kneed principals and the Departments employing them. Enough said....I feel a bout of depression coming on. I don't know whether it is my disappointment with the system or the fact that I just agreed with you.

Blog Archive