Yesterday I spoke with a teacher who confessed he won’t identify himself as a Catholic school teacher online because of the criticism he believes he will receive. This is a teacher with a lot to offer and who does much to support the professional growth of others. His fears aren’t unfounded. Last year, when a Catholic School teacher took over the reigns of EduTweetOz for a week, some public education activists ripped into her, simply because she worked for a Catholic school.
I’ve seen it numerous times – and activists, you’re not doing the cause any good. Advocating for a better system is one thing, attacking those who work in a different system is quite another. All you do is lose people’s respect. You’ve lost mine. Stop trolling teachers and start talking constructively to the people who can make a difference at a system level..
It’s difficult to find work and we take what we can find. Being at an independent, Catholic or public school doesn’t change the reason we come to work. We all are doing our best to ensure that current and future generations of children are receiving the best quality education we can provide. No teacher should be made to feel ashamed of doing that.
Anyone who’s followed me for a while will know that I’m a vocal advocate for public schools. I want to see a strong and robust public school system. I believe that all children should have access to an excellent education regardless of their postcode.
There are serious issues facing us. Successive government funding policies and a hostile media have made residualisation a real fear. I don’t like the damage these policies are doing to public schools.
I question the wisdom of a society which encourages groups to segregate along financial, religious and cultural lines. If a school was to separate its students into areas for Christians, Muslims and Jews, for rich and for poor, and wouldn’t let them mix, there would be an outcry.
But blaming and trolling teachers working in independent and Catholic schools for the damage that successive government policies have done to our system is pretty stupid. It’s like holding me responsible for Tony Abbott. I live in this country, I vote, but please don’t blame me for Tony Abbott.