Education, teachers and schooling have been widely discussed topics of late. The myriad of topics being avidly discussed range from funding, to curriculum reforms, to teachers' working conditions, to student well-being and more. It seems that anyone and everyone has their opinion and most are willing to share their thoughts with others whether it be in the staffroom, in the playground, in the paper or online.
Without any doubt the core 'business', for want of a better word, of schools is to grow children in knowledge, skills and abilities whilst nurturing them socially. Over the years additional responsibilities have crept to the forefront and these have, in some cases, detracted from what is essentially the bare essentials of teaching. Teachers and politicians have sometimes referred to this as the 'crowded curriculum'.
This is not an article in which the finger is being pointed at any one person, group of people, or organisations, but this is simply a statement of what has occurred. Unfortunately, with the situation as it stands there is no quick fix solution. Now obviously some schools cope with this better than others, and that has a lot to do with the quality of leadership and the way in which they utilise funding available to them - and of course how much funding they get. You see, the myriad of hot topics currently being discussed are all interconnected therefore it is time to look at the system as a whole and start joining the pieces together.
This is not a new suggestion, it has been initiated previously and even attempted with the Gonski Report and overhaul of the curriculum over the past few years to establish a National Curriculum. Let us hope that with all the discussions currently occurring, positive steps to ensure the best possible education for our children and our future generations will be taken by those who have to power to influence and initiate change.
As featured in: Glenmore Gazette & Mulgoa Gazette - June '18
Sara Drebber is an educational consultant, teacher, writer and mother of three.