Apply common sense to school


Forum –

Regarding the recent teachers’ strikes: as Charles Dickens suggested, it is always “the best of times and the worst of times” and that certainly includes in schools.

Everyone can and should do something to solve “the [ie ordinary everyday] life issues ”.

As a former teacher for half a century in schools in New South Wales, Canada and the UK and as a school counselor for the last six years of this wonderful career, I have a few observations. .

We must all do our best that is reasonably possible.

I hasten to add my thanks and admiration for everyone involved, including ministries of education, parents, children, fellow teachers as well as countless professional and industry organizations.

I have felt supported throughout my career to an extraordinary degree, but there have been moments of innovation and “lively” discussions.

I have not encountered any major discipline issues for 17 years as a principal of various types of schools covering Kindergarten to Grade 12.

Perhaps this is because we have gone to great lengths to show care, courtesy and common sense to everyone.

We practiced and encouraged everyone to ensure that students and other parties involved experience respect, fun, freedom, importance and belonging.

I had a lot of fun presenting “magic rings” [magic is in the person, not in the wand], wearing weird socks or a magic cloak that effectively made me invisible so that I could better observe without interrupting.

I was sometimes both the principal and the representative of the Teachers’ Federation and it was a delicate but very useful balancing act.

My average as a principal was a one-day suspension for one student per year and a warning every year or two to a teacher that his “work was at stake”.

My apologies to inconvenienced people [especially family] but I found it essential to be in school before the housekeepers on many occasions and often stayed there until midnight.

It was not ideal, but necessary in my case in such a privileged, difficult and important role.

I definitely don’t recommend this practice because others can handle it so much better than I can.

Relatively low teacher salaries have kept teachers from going on strike often, and I urge governments not to take advantage of it.

When I looked for an experience abroad, I accepted an appointment in Canada without asking for the salary.

Big mistake! There was no way I could spend all that money as it was two and a half times the Australian salary in a cheaper economy.

In the two high schools (where) I taught there, everyone liked schools and schooling.

I did not encounter any discipline problem.

I have also experienced situations that I will not identify where a teacher’s salary was in my opinion less than a reasonable living wage.

As with most, if not all, challenges in life, if everyone in society takes their fair share of “common sense” I have no doubts that there will be enough teachers in this incredibly wonderful career and despite the need. urgent and critical of more school psychologists / counselors at present, the need would become less critical.

Email, December 7
John Hegarty, Wyoming


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