Monday, June 11, 2012

Disconnected with reality.

Almost nothing in John Roughan's weekend column sits particularly well. Teachers were rightly, I think wary of the national standards implemented in 2008 by Anne Tolley. It was an untested system which the external evidence suggested could very well be damaging. I thought the teachers response/request to run a trial was extraordinarily reasonable. Apparently charter schools are a boon as well, because it will open the doors to performance based pay and educational innovation.

I really don't get the people who advocate performance based pay for teachers. The good teachers are already there. Already in the sector, because they love teaching. Paying them more isn't going to magically appear new teachers. The argument that new, better teachers will come through the system as well is ... suspect. New and better teachers will come through the system when the profession as a whole is well paid and respected, as it should be. I don't see prospective teachers looking at the pay scales and going all gushy at the prospect of getting slightly more than their colleagues. If money were a factor, they would look at the profession as a whole, see how much money there was sloshing around and look to see how well it compares with other prospective careers. I think it would still loose. Which leads me to think that teachers, the good ones, do it because they love doing it.
Those entering teaching for which money isn't the primary motivator, who love teaching might be more inclined to choose it as a career if they looked at the support systems in place and saw a highly rewarding (not necessarily financial) working environment, at teachers place in society and saw them as well regarded rather than the eternal whipping boy of governments both left and right.

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