Ok, so you know how there is this teacher shortage, but there isn’t really a teacher shortage? Like, politicians and the like are playing it down and playing dumb, almost as if it hadn’t been coming for decades? The one where teachers, principals and anyone in schools pretty much are teaching outside of their area, covering multiple extra lessons and duties a day? But it isn’t really a problem? Yeah, that one.
Our students are feeling it too. Our students, the young people we work hard to reach and teach, are struggling. They are missing their teachers. They are missing learning with the teachers they love. They are missing out on the expertise of teachers who are passionate about what they do. And they are sad about it.
Interestingly, in all of the media coverage on this very, very real shortage, no one has bothered to stop and think, stop and ask our kids about how it is for them. We know how it is for them; it’s hard. We know because we spend our days alongside these young people trying to find their feet post-pandemic, and we see it.
It plays out in schools across the country in different yet similar ways. Some of our kids are hunkering down and trying to get through the day. Some are dedicating themselves to studies in a way previously unseen. Some are acting out in outrageous ways and with behaviours that would not be accepted or tolerated in any workplace. And still, the schools and the teachers cop the brunt of the blame—the same teachers who front up every day with care and genuine concern for their students.
Can we please stop? Just. Stop. Let’s remember, and I am talking to the teacher bashers partaking in the seemingly unending sport of having a go at schools here, that teachers are busting their guts to get to our kids, teach them, be there for them, and guide them through what has been an unprecedented time for all.
Keep being advocates, teachers, leaders, mentors, coaches and every other possible role you fill for our students. They need you; they need us to remain steadfast and true through this challenging time.
Check out other articles Cassie has written here.