Why I have a crush on Jane Caro.
23rd June 2016
Did you catch ABC’s The Drum last week? Of course you didn’t because it’s on at five thirty and you were either in a meeting, driving home, marking essays, pinning up kids work or slapping up something that resembles dinner before sitting down to finish reports.
Anyway – you can catch it here and I recommend you watch it. Fantastic!
Jane Caro spoke with passion and I’ve taken the time to note down her best comments here. If I could put them on t-shirts and coffee mugs and tote bags and bumper stickers I would. Jane for Education Minister.
“We don’t have a problem with the quality of our teachers. I think we have to be really careful how we talk about teachers because frankly if politicians had set out 30 years ago to systematically destroy the morale of the teaching profession they couldn’t have done a better job and if you can think of something that would more damage the results of students than to drive down the morale of the people who teach them, I’d like to hear it! I think perhaps we could slate home some of our declining results in fact to the declining morale of the teaching profession.
Every time someone uses that pernicious term “quality teachers” they should have to go and wash their mouth out with soap. We have human beings who decide they want to be teachers. Some of them will be brilliant. Some of them will be very very good. Some of them will be adequate. Like journalists. Like politicians. Like lawyers. Like doctors. We have human beings.
And sometimes a brilliant teacher might go through a divorce and not be so good for a few years. Damn these teachers – they’re like the kids, they’re human beings… they don’t fit these models where we pour the money in and think we can turn them into “this”! Sometimes having a not so great teacher is a really good experience because if you expect your kids to walk out there and always have an understanding and emotionally nurturing boss surrounded by supportive and never interfering colleagues you are living in cloud cuckoo land. We needs kids to be resilient.
Teachers are human beings. We need to give them more professional development. We need to give them more time to hone their teaching skills and to enjoy being a teacher in a classroom. We need to stop ramping up accountability with performance standards that drive good teachers out because they’ll have to fill in forms instead of coming up with creative lessons.”
Jane Caro. ABC’s The Drum. June 14th 2016