Bad Apple Bullies

Bad Apple Bully school principals and departmental officers can bully Australian teachers into ill health - and out of work!

WA Labor government axe 70 teachers' jobs.

In December 2017 the West Australian Labor Government announced tens of millions of dollars of education cuts.

170 jobs will be axed, 70 of which will be teaching jobs.

These 70 teachers will be eligible to take a redundancy.

The Schools of the Air (SOTA) will be closed down.

Canning College enrolment will be restricted to overseas fee-paying students.

Tuart College will be closed down.

Landsdale Farm School will have its funding removed. 

Six camp school sites will be cloased.

Funding for Gifted and Talented programs at 18 WA schools will be cut by 25 per cent. 

Teacher accommodation in Moora and Northam will be closed.

The intake into the Level 3 classroom teacher program will be on hold until 2020.


WA Government axes Schools of the Air in $64-million cuts to education, Jacob Kagi and Jessica Hayes, ABC news, 14 December 2017 

Greg Maybury : the WA Education Department get rid of teachers who try to discuss the behaviour problems in WA schools.

Greg Maybury's (edited) letter to the Editor of The West Australian -

 

It was with no small measure of interest I read Bethany Hiatt’s recent report (Poor discipline bad for student results, West Australian, 14/3/17) on the management of student behaviour in our schools.

This issue - the management of student behaviour - goes to the very heart of what’s wrong with our public schools.

It is the biggest contributing factor undermining teacher performance and morale, and from there, of student outcomes.

Education departments have known this for years, teachers’ unions know this, school administrators know this, and the rank and file teachers who are responsible for the outcomes most certainly know this.

But the prevailing culture within our schools is such that few teachers dare to speak out.

 

Speaking out is a seriously career limiting move.

 

Widespread bullying, intimidation, and harassment by senior school personnel all too frequently result if WA teachers speak out about their need for more effective policies and more support in their day-to-day management of student behaviour.

 

For example - I was employed as a casual teacher in WA.

For several years I had been an outspoken critic – in effect, a whistle-blower -- of the WA Education Department’s (DoE) handling of these matters.

Then, a “behaviourally challenged” student stole my personal laptop.

The Powers-That-Be claimed that I had used “too much force” to retrieve my property.

 

The Teachers’ Registration Board, after investigating the matter, found I had no case to answer.

 

But the Powers-That-Be decided, about four years ago, that I was no longer be a “fit and proper person” to be employed as a teacher. 

I could not afford legal advice.

There was nothing I could do.

 

I believe the department got rid of me because I had spoken out about the behaviour problems in West Australian schools.

First they ignore you.

Then they get rid of you.

It’s that simple.

 

The West Australian education system will continue to underperform while the WA education department continue to deal with student behaviour problems by getting rid of WA teachers who try to discuss student behaviour problems.

 

Greg Maybury

(The WA Education Department were invited to respond to these allegations on 16th March 2017)

Pilbara teacher's father : my daughter can't teach effectively because so many of her students have problems.

My daughter is teaching a year 3/4 class in the Pilbara in a mining town.

The class size maximum is 22.

The class now exceeds 29.

19 students are on individual learning plans.

Several students have had fewer than six days of schooling in five years of education.

They can't identify letters and numbers.

They can't work alone.

My daughter has no classroom assistance.

The students are bused in from local remote communities.

They are hungry, unwashed and covered in little bugs.

 

Teachers can't teach effectively when they have to deal with so many problems.

 

Michael, Reader's Comment, NAPLAN results show core learning skills are in retreat, Jennifer Buckingham, The Australian, 3 August 2016

WA teacher attacked by 12-year-old student armed with metal bar.

A 12-year-old Year 7 student shouted as he smashed glass windows at a Perth high school on Monday, 2 May 2016.

Then the 12-year-old turned on a teacher who tried to intervene.

The student was armed with a metal bar.

He struck the 59-year-old male teacher twice with the metal bar, on the teacher's arm and body.

 

Student, 12, assaults teacher with metal pipe during school rampage, The West Australian, Yahoo 7 News, 3 May 2016

Many teaching graduates wait for years to get full time work in Perth.

Perth still has a massive over-supply of teachers.

Heaps of graduates have to wait years before getting full time work.

So many teachers are working past the usual retirement age.

 

 

H of Perth, Reader's Comment, Why are so many teachers fleeing the classroom? Brooke Lumsden, news.com.au 8 October 2015

Experienced Perth teacher : workplace bullying is a very big factor in staff morale.

I've been a teacher for a while now.

My job is not 9-3 with 13 weeks holidays.

I get to work between 6.30/7.00am each day (class starts at 8.15 am) and I don't leave until around 5pm.

Even now on my so-called 'holidays', I've spent the last three days planning for the term ahead and I will spend the next few doing reports for Semester Two.

To me it doesn't matter about pay rises , it's children and their parents - I have to justify everything I do and say each day.

I currently spend more time disciplining than teaching in my class.

Then there's the admin work - it's really getting beyond a joke, duplicates upon duplicates of the same or similar thing.

Please don't say that teaching doesn't change - I don't think in the past 11 years I've taught a concept the same way.

Workplace bullying is a very big factor in staff morale - when admin or high-up people close themselves off to what is happening no matter how many times it's mentioned and people are not reprimanded for their behaviour.

It breeds a sense of "well, if they can get away with it, so can I," and that just leads to a snowball effect occurring.

But still I get up every day and go to work because if I don't, who will?

 

Teacher of Perth, Reader's Comment, Why are so many teachers fleeing the classroom? Brooke Lumsden, news.com.au 8 October 2015

Teacher's niece : It's high time the WA Education Department started to look seriously at teachers' working conditions.

The WA Education Department have a lot to answer for as far as I am concerned.

My aunt became extremely depressed with her teaching job.

When she went on Workers Compensation they made it so hard for her she committed suicide.

It's high time the WA Education Department started to seriously look into these things instead of continually brushing it under the carpet.

Teachers have the same working rights as everybody else.

Absolutely disgusting behaviour.

 

Bernadette of WA, Reader's Comment, Why are so many teachers fleeing the classroom? Brooke Lumsden, news.com.au 8 October 2015

Fourth-Year teacher : I am burnt out.

I am a teacher in my fourth year of teaching.

Unfortunately, I am now becoming one of the statistics.

It's not that I can't do it, I am capable and rewarded in my position.

I have security.

I received permanency in only my second year.

It is the burnout that kills me!

I am not willing to be exhausted so constantly.

I am tired of the impact it has on the rest of my life.

Teachers are so openly ill-thought-of by large parts of the public who assume you are just weak / incapable because teaching is an 'easy profession'.

It is not easy.

I have a friend who is an electrician.

He trained for the same amount of time, got paid to train, has a significantly better work-life balance and gets paid the same rate.

He does not have a HECS debt either.

The point really is that there seem to be few reasons to stay but plenty to leave.

Perth Beginning Teacher, Readers'Comment, Why are so many teachers fleeing the classroom? Brooke Lumsden, news.com.au 8 October 2015

Some WA students have "extremely challenging behaviours".

At 11am one day in September 2014, at a southern suburbs high school, five boys were wandering around carrying a stick.

A teacher had their back turned towards them. 

One boy struck the teacher from behind.

The boys refused to say who had struck the teacher.

The principal later reported that the boys "seemed to think it was funny".

The boys then ran to an area near the maths block.

Another teacher wanted to enter that maths block and approached the door.

The teacher had to request a number of times to be let past.

The teacher felt intimidated and scared.

When the teacher entered the maths block and tried to close the door, a student jammed a stick in the door.

One boy pulled the door open and they piled into the office, injuring the teacher's finger.

The teacher had to seek medical attention.

Assaults on teachers rise, Bethany Hiatt, The West Australian, 25 October 2014

Perth teacher : there is so much over-supply of primary teachers in WA, Perth especially.

There is so much over-supply of primary teachers in WA, Perth especially.

I have done the rounds for supply work of over 60 schools from Joondalup to Armadale, Freo to Midland and I average a call about once a fortnight or less for supply teaching.

Here I am an experienced male primary teacher, everything the WA Minister of Education screams about, getting male teachers into the classroom and I can't even get enough relief work to live off.

If the over-supply gets worse it will be interstate or overseas for me.

 

Chalked Off, Perth, Reader's Comment, Non-Permanent WA teachers left searching for job security, Liam Ducey, http://www.watoday.com.au/  5 September 2014

Greg is one of the 24.7 per cent of West Australian teachers who face losing their jobs at the end of 2014.

Greg is a non-permanent teacher in West Australia.

Greg's job, and the jobs of the other 4013 WA primary school teachers who are on contracts (24.7 per cent of the WA teaching workforce) could be at risk in 2015. 

Greg is now employed on a fixed-term contract at a Perth primary school.

He has worked for a considerable time in the Pilbara but then moved to the Perth primary school to be closer to his young family.

In the past, WA teachers who had spent three years in country regions could apply for permanent appointment.

If successful, their permanency was then valid anywhere in WA.

But now, with all Year 7 students moving from primary to high school in 2015, the rules have changed.

WA teachers' permanency is now only able to be taken at the school at which it was obtained, meaning Greg would have to stay in the Pilbara - with a young family and a mortgage in Perth.

Greg is doing a bridging course at Edith Cowan university to allow him to work in high schools.

All WA Year 7 students are set to begin at high schools in 2015.

Greg is worried.

"There are experienced teachers in the country who want to get back to Perth. I'm a primary-trained teacher doing a hodge-podge university course with a massive workload. Moving Year 7 students to high schools is going to mean teachers who don't have permanency are going to lose their jobs, and that's me. I'm staring down the barrel of that right now."

"If push comes to shove, I'm going to have to do a post-grad diploma and do a different job, I've got a family and a mortgage."

 

Non-permanent WA primary teachers left searching for job security ,  Liam Ducey, www.watoday.com.au 5 September 2014

WA teachers who had the rules changed on them mid game need a class action.

West Australian teachers need a database where those teachers who had the rules changed on them mid game can lodge details to form the basis of a class action civil case against the WA government.

Many teachers went country for 3 years to have unconditional permanency granted to them.

And then half way through their 3 year stint (after much cost to the teacher in moving family, etc.) had the rules changed on them.

My personal experience tells me the education department is refusing to hear individual cases or display any compassion other than tokenism on the matter and as such proceedings may be necessary.

 

Ryan , Readers Comment, Non-permanent WA primary teachers left searching for job security, Liam Ducey, www.watoday.com.au , 5 September 2014

WA Education graduates - you will need to find another career if you want to stay in Perth.

Teachers are replaceable production line products.

Dime a dozen.

A shame so many graduates came out with a $20,000 uni debt for a career that will never start or be very short-lived.

The fact that teachers who went rural and regional got stiffed by the WA Education Department is an utter disgrace and sadly teachers like Greg (and myself) have to find another career if staying in Perth is a priority.

The lesson to beginning teachers is - don't go to the country unless you want to stay out there.

We're going to be needing lots more 457 teachers too for rural and regional schools as teachers realise if they take a country position they won't be able to come home to Perth.

 

Registered Teacher

Reader's Comment, Non-Permanent WA primary teachers left searching for job security, Liam Ducey, www.watoday.com.au 5 September 2014

The WA education department broke their promise to my mother.

The WA education department ran a campaign some 5 years ago telling graduates if they did 3 years as a teacher in rural WA, then they could come back to Perth after that time with a guaranteed job.

They broke that promise to my mother.

Shame on them.

You can debate the merits of the initial campaign but a broken promise is a broken promise.

Completely disingenuous.

Also of concern is that my sister's school has a problem whereby the students can not understand the accents of the many foreign teachers.

Apparently the education department has a policy of "ethnic diversity".

Get rid of these foreign teachers and give the jobs to the 4000 WA teachers who will be out of work soon.

 

Ryan

Reader's Comment, Non-permanent WA primary teachers left searching for job security, Liam Ducey www.watoday.com.au 5 September 2014

Contract teachers in WA country schools have had the rules changed on them mid-game.

We need a database where WA teachers who had the rules changed on them mid-game can lodge details to form the basis of a class action civil case against the WA government.

Many teachers went to the WA country for 3 years to have unconditional permanency granted to them.

And then, half-way through their 3-year stint (after much cost to the teacher in moving family, etc.) had the rules changed on them.

My personal experience tells me that the WA education department is refusing to hear individual cases or display any compassion other than tokenism on the matter and as such civil proceedings may be necessary.

 

Ryan

Reader's Comment, Non-permanent WA primary teachers left searching for job security, Liam Ducey,  www.watoday.com.au  5 September 2014

WA Relief Teacher : I have witnessed teachers being verbally and physically abused.

As a relief teacher in seven high schools in West Australia and Queensland over the past five years, I have witnessed teachers being routinely physically and verbally abused by students; some of that abuse was levelled at me.

One teacher cannot properly teach the multiple levels required by 25-plus students in one classroom unless they are brilliant and heavily supported by parents with homework.

The school system is failing many kids who are promoted to the next year level regardless of their competencies.

The kids are expressing their anger at being let down and disenfranchised.

We need a teaching method that works.

Direct Instruction, maybe?

 

Debra Bambrook

Letter to the Editor, p.6, The Weekend Australian Magazine, 2-3 August 2014.

Perth primary school : seven-year-old student assaults teacher and deputy principal.

 
On Thursday 7 November 2013, at a primary school in the northern suburbs of Perth, a seven-year-old boy hit a relief teacher with a ruler.

He then punched the deputy principal's face.

The incident resulted in the female teacher receiving a welt to her forearm and the deputy principal taking two days off.


 

 

Student, 7, hits relief teacher in assault at Perth school, Yasmine Phillips, education reporter, The Sunday Times, 9 November 2013   http://www.news.com.au/national/western-australia/student-7-hits-relief-teacher-in-assault-at-perth-school/story-fnii5thn-1226756493146

Meekatharra School of the Air : teachers felt bullied by the principal.

Staff and teachers at Meekatharra School of the Air, a remote West Australian school, felt bullied by school principal John Michael McHale.

 

McHale would resist any questioning of his management of the school's budget.

He was in charge of Meekatharra School of the Air from 2005 to 2009.

 

In September 2013, McHale admitted to 266 fraud and dishonesty charges after education bosses discovered he had used his position to access school money for his own ends.

 

McHale used both the school's bank account and credit card more than 200 times to buy items from the Farmer Jack's store in Meekatharra.

He would buy his groceries - including lamb cutlets, dog food, and garden mulch - with school funds up to five times a week.

He used more than $50,000 of school money to pay for his groceries over more than three years.

 

McHale, a father-of-three, also admitted to forging a doctor's signature to falsely claim sick leave and making bogus insurance claims for school property he took home and claimed had been stolen.

He even sold school games and DVDs for cash.

 

He is now facing a lengthy prison term.

 

The court heard McHale had initially been charged with a hammer attack on the auditor sent to study the school's finances.

But a jury had found him not guilty after he claimed self-defence.

 

He was then accused of burning down the school, and its replacement in Geraldton, to destroy financial records that would have revealed his dishonesty.

But a jury found him not guilty of starting either fire.

 

Principal John McHale stole $50,000 from Meekatharra School of the Air, AAP, WA Today, 27 September 2013 :  http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/principal-john-mchale-stole-50000-from-meekatharra-school-of-the-air-20130927-2uj65.html

A message from a West Australian teacher.

I want to contact other West Australian teachers to -
 
 
a) express my concern at the way the WA Department of Education's Standards and Integrity Directorate (SID) manages complaints and allegations of misconduct against teachers,
 
and b)  to seek their support in calling for a review of the policies that underpin this process. 
 
 

At present the WA Department of Education investigation process is unjust, arbitrary and draconian.
 
It effectively denies teachers who are the subject of complaints, due process and procedural fairness.
 
Teachers can be prevented from earning a livelihood prior to a full investigation of incidents - investigations which, in my experience, can take years to complete.
 
 
This is an absolute disgrace. 
 


 
The Department levelled a number of unfounded, yet serious charges against me for misconduct back in 2006.
 
These charges were eventually dismissed and I was exonerated.
 
 
But I feel that I was treated unjustly and I feel the Department should be held to account for their actions. 

 
In my view, the WA Department of Education disciplinary process is little more than institutionalised workplace bullying. 
 
Queries I've made to the DoE regarding inconsistencies, anomalies and irregularities in the way the Code of Conduct provisions are investigated and managed by SID have gone unanswered.
 
Serious complaints about senior staff in certain schools have been ignored, by both the schools and by the department.

I have been subjected to bullying, threats, intimidation, false and malicious allegations,  etc.,  
 
I have found it difficult to do my job properly whilst defending myself against these unfounded accusations, complaints and allegations. 

This experience has had a considerable impact on my physical and mental health, welfare, and financial well-being.

And now -
 
I have been suspended indefinitely without pay pending the outcome of an enquiry into allegations of "misconduct" in my role as a relief teacher with the Education Department.
 
The suspension order was effective immediately.
 
Why?

About two weeks ago, whilst undertaking a three-week contract at one of our most 'difficult' schools, I became involved in an incident with one of the students in my class.
 
I had confiscated his iPad for inappropriate use in class, and in retaliation he stole my own personal laptop and ran away with it.
 
I had to chase the student and to engage in physical contact with the student in order to safely retrieve my laptop.
 
The student was not hurt in the ensuing scuffle. 

The principal and the Faculty head both agreed that given the circumstances my actions were appropriate.
 
The student in question - who apparently had a long history of disruptive and unruly behaviour - had done the "wrong thing" and "would be suspended".
 
For the record: the DoE's own Code of Conduct allows for such physical contact under certain conditions.
 
As far as I was concerned I had not breached these conditions.
 
I believed I was entitled to take reasonable steps to secure my personal property against possible vandalism and irreparable damage, and at the same time restore order to the classroom.

The very next day, I was advised by the principal that my contract would be terminated.
 
The reason?
 
Apparently one of the students in the class had videoed the incident in question on his mobile phone, passed it onto the student directly involved in the incident, who then passed it I believe onto SID via his mother.
 
SID overrode the principal's decision to retain my services, I was virtually marched off the premises, and SID have now prevented me from seeking and obtaining any work at all anywhere.
 
I'm unemployed. 

 
Both the school in question - and the SID - refuse to provide me with for example a copy of their respective policies regarding the use of mobiles devices and social media by students, both of which have obvious relevance on two counts to any future defence.
 
 
Where is the procedural fairness?

As I'm a contract teacher, if I can't work, I don't get paid.
 
I've asked the department to lift the ban so I can work, but they refuse.
 
I have provided them with a submission and a statement In my own defence.
 
But the department won't commit to a time in which to complete their investigation.
 
The last time I was investigated, it took the department almost 2 years to complete the process.
 
I was subsequently exonerated of all of the charges - but I was not compensated.
 
 
We need to fight for change in -

 
1) the way WA public schools manage behavioural issues at the school level; 

2) workplace bullying - often in relation to concerns and issues about / related to student behaviour management;
 
and 

3) the way the department of education manage the complaints and investigations process.

 
 
I'm a very reluctant 'crusader'.
 
But this latest episode is beyond the pale.
 

I need your support.
 
20 June 2013

"My son spent months filling in forms, going to interviews, agonising over his chance of getting a teaching job the following year - and where he would have to live to get the job - but he couldn't get permanency."

My son, a mature age graduate, and primary teacher, worked on a term by term contract basis in the West Australian State system for several years.
 
Despite spending months filling in forms, going to interviews, agonising over if he would have a job the following year and where he would have to live to get it, he couldn't get permanency.
 
One year, a young female graduate was given permanency at his school to the despair of him and another male teacher on short contacts.
 
My son left the State system, went into the private sector, earned more money from day one and had permanency within 6 months.
 
 
 
Katherine in the bush of WA, Reader's Comment 25 of 25, Millions wasted training teachers, Justine Ferrari, The Australian, 25 March 2013   http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/education/millions-wasted-training-teachers/story-fn59nlz9-1226605045315

Graduate teachers can't get teaching jobs and have to find another job - but they still have to pay their HECS back.

Australian Universities pump student teachers through education courses with huge class sizes so that they can re-distribute much of the funds to other disciplines.

If graduate teachers can't get a job then how will they pay HECS back?

They will of course find themselves in another job.

By the time it looks like there is an opening in teaching these graduates will have to catch up on so much professional development for their registration that it will have all have just been an exercise in HECS redistribution.

They will have to pay for the education degree through another job.

Their HECS fees will only have benefited others in underfunded courses or helped to go towards the tens of millions of dollars in maintenance repairs needed to the university facilities.

 

Simonzee of Perth WA (Editor's Note : I presume Simonzee is a teacher, because he/she seems to know what is 'going on'), Readers' Comment 2 of 25, Millions wasted training teachers, Justine Ferrari, The Australian, 25 March 2013   http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/education/millions-wasted-training-teachers/story-fn59nlz9-1226605045315

West Australian teacher, depressed and stressed because of work pressure, disappears in the middle of a cyclone.

Pilbara schoolteacher Tracy Margaret Marshall, 35, became depressed and stressed because of work pressure.

She quit her job.

She left Karratha's Nickol Bay Hospital on February 21, 2011 and has not been seen or heard from since.

The West Australian State Coroner is investigating Ms Marshall's disappearance and suspected death.

 

The inquest, before State Coroner Alastair Hope, was told that Ms Marshall started exhibiting odd behaviour, including hallucinations, in the week leading up to her disappearance.

Counsel assisting the coroner Emily Winborne said Ms Marshall attended the Pilbara Health and Drug Service four times in the week before she vanished.

Ms Marshall was told there was no a psychiatrist available in Karratha for two weeks.

Her husband Iain Marshall claimed that when they went camping, Ms Marshall displayed more bizarre behaviour.

The next day she told her husband about several recent suicide attempts.

Ms Marshall was taken back to hospital, where she was put under overnight observation but disappeared the next morning.

Ms Marshall's car, which had overheated and broken down, was found abandoned on a road about 50km out of Karratha.

Immediate search efforts were hampered by the arrival of Cyclone Carlos, which brought gale force winds of up to 140kmh and caused significant damage.

An extensive search and inquiries had failed to shed any light on Ms Marshall's whereabouts.

 

Missing teacher told of suicide attempts, Kate Campbell, The West Australian, 5 February 2013 :   http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/16069974/missing-teacher-told-of-suicide-attempts/

Victorian teacher who moved to WA : It is a full-time job dealing with the incompetence of the WA Education Department.

I am disgusted with the incompetence of the Western Australian Education Department.
 
I moved over here from Victoria at the beginning of 2009.
 
I had watched ads on TV about how Western Australia was crying out for teachers.
 
My husband got a job in Western Australia and I then applied to the WA department.
 
I sent my application in three times by registered post.
 
It was signed for and lost by the WA department three times.
 
It took 7 months to get a teacher ID number and constant phone calls in which I was always told they would look into in and call me back.
 
They never once called back.
 
I was then told I would not get a job because there were far too many teachers in Perth.
 
I asked why they advertised in Victoria.
 
They told me they were advertising so they could employ teachers for country positions.
 
The Ad did not state country positions.
 
I was lucky and got a six month contract in which they paid me as a graduate.
 
I have been teaching 9 years and I had sent my service statement three times to them.
 
It is a full time job dealing with the incompetence of the department.
 
I also know many good teachers who did not get work in 2010 because of the oversupply.
 
I am lucky I am employed.
 
However, I have decided to leave the profession as I do not have time to teach, deal with the departments incompetence and worry about not being employed for the following year.
 
There are many new graduates out of work.
 
There are also many teachers who have been teaching for years out of work.
 
 
 
Cate Jones, Reader's Comment, Half of new teachers miss out on jobs, Bethany Hiatt, The West Australian : 3 February 2011 : http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/8765241/half-of-new-teachers-miss-out-on-jobs/

West Australian graduate teacher : I said I would teach anywhere in West Australia. I did not mind how remote. I did not get a job.

I graduated as a teacher mid-2012.
 
I said I'd go teach (any year between 1 and 7) anywhere in West Australia, but preferably up north, not minding how remote.
 
I packed up my stuff and made allowances to uproot and move.
 
I do not have a job.
 
I have not even heard from the ed dep't.
 
 
Carina, Reader's Comment, Half of new teachers miss out on jobs, Bethany Hiatt, The West Australian : 3 February 2011 : http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/8765241/half-of-new-teachers-miss-out-on-jobs/
 

2008 graduate teacher : I still have not got more than a few stints at relief teaching.

I trained as a teacher in West Australia in 2008.
 
I got two Deans' letters for academic excellence.
 
I still have not got more than a few stints at relief teaching.
 
 
The 2012 education graduates won't get jobs.

They will end up retraining or working in something else.

This racket of training people for teaching when they know there are no jobs for the graduates should be made pubic.

A few days relief teaching is not a job.

 
Anne, Reader's Comment, Half of new teachers miss out on jobs, Bethany Hiatt, The West Australian : 3 February 2011 : http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/8765241/half-of-new-teachers-miss-out-on-jobs/
 
 

West Australia's Edith Cowan University : only 12 men among the 694 early childhood students.

West Australian Education Minister Peter Collier said teaching had not been immune to the strength of the state's mining and construction sector, which has lured thousands of young men to "set themselves up financially in a relatively short period of time".
 
He labelled the decline of male teachers - particularly in primary schools - a "real cause for concern".

"Only about 14 per cent of teachers in our primary schools are male, which means that a significant number of our students can progress through their primary years of schooling without having had a male teacher," Mr Collier said.

WA's largest provider of teacher education, Edith Cowan University, has only 12 men among the 694 students enrolled in early childhood studies this year.

Opposition education spokesman Paul Papalia said the State Government had failed to address attrition rates, particularly among male teachers.

"It may be an indication that teachers are leaving out of frustration due to inability to return to the metropolitan area or the inability to get permanency as a result of the independent public schools program," he said.

"We know that in 2015, there will be a shortage of 2500 high school teachers preceded in the next two years by surpluses of teachers."

 

Decline in male teachers a 'real cause for concern' says education minister, Yasmine Phillips, The Sunday Times, 22 September 2012 : http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/decline-in-male-teachers-a-real-cause-for-concern-says-education-minister/story-e6frg13u-1226479501048

West Australian education graduate : there is so much bullying of teachers by students and other teachers alike.

I'm a male who has just finished my secondary Dip Ed.
 
There is no bl__dy way I'm going to become a teacher.
 
I thought "hey, I know it's sh_t pay, but I think I could make learning interesting and fun".
 
Nope, there's SO much bullying of teachers, by students and other teachers alike, there's so much stress, so much BS to put up, and to top it off, the kids are mostly quite horrible.
 
I've spent hours on preparing a class, only for the kids to simply want to stuff around, talk back to me extremely rudely, then leave the room in a mess when they leave.
 
Then you're expected to be responsible.
 
If I'm going to put up with that kind of cr_p, all day every day, you'd best believe I'm going to be paid a lot of money for it.
 
Otherwise, why would I?
 
The teaching profession isn't a quality profession anymore, students think we're all idiots because you have half of the people who go into teaching getting an ENTER score of below 60 or something.
 
Parents don't respect us.
 
We're nothing more than prison guards (with no weapons).
 
A friend of mine just graduated from his Dip Ed in primary teaching, he can't even get a job babysitting because people are paranoid that he's a pedophile.
 
Unbelievable.
 
 
Dave Hawkins, Reader's Comment, Decline in male teachers a 'real cause for concern' says education minister, Yasmine Phillips, The Sunday Times, 22 September 2012 : http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/decline-in-male-teachers-a-real-cause-for-concern-says-education-minister/story-e6frg13u-1226479501048

West Australian Grad Dip : work life balance, as a new teacher, while being a parent with young kids, is not there.

I have just done my Grad Dip to become a teacher, I'm in my early thirties, and I am male.
 
I have NO INTENTION of becoming a teacher.
 
Work life balance, as a new teacher, while being a parent with young kids, is not there, and the pay is not commensurate to the work.
 
Plus, girls who don't like being told to do something as they'd rather fail and then let their folks abuse the teacher when they do so are just as likely to claim sexual harassment.
 
Good luck to the government, but the reality is that attracting teachers, especially males, is really hard and it takes a special person to do it.
 
 
Qualified but family and sanity come first, Reader's Comment 9 of 44, Decline in male teachers a 'real cause for concern' says education minister, Yasmine Phillips, The Sunday Times, 22 September 2012 : http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/decline-in-male-teachers-a-real-cause-for-concern-says-education-minister/story-e6frg13u-1226479501048

West Australian male teacher : it all comes down to pleasant working conditions.

Neither remuneration nor status are prime factors in the steady decline in males in the classroom.
 
Due to a lack of male teachers in primary schools, it becomes inevitable that the 'token male' on staff winds up being responsible for the discipline of boys at a school.
 
I was in such a position at three of my seven schools during my time in the profession.
 
This often places you in a confrontational situation - not of your making - and, as is often the case, having to deal with aggressive or less-than-supportive parents.
 
This is stressful and is not what I joined the profession to do.
 
Those males who do stay in teaching often rise to the position of headmaster and become embroiled in the increasing bureaucracy that has become education today.
 
Thus, they lose contact with the real world of teaching in the classroom.
 
I have witnessed many male colleagues leaving the profession because the job became something other than teaching.
 
You can pay male teachers what you think is appropriate but, in the end, it comes down to pleasant working conditions like any other profession and a disgruntled male teacher is not a good role model for boys.
 
 
John of Albany, Reader's Comment 15 of 44, Decline in male teachers a 'real cause for concern' says education minister, Yasmine Phillips, The Sunday Times, 22 September 2012 : http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/decline-in-male-teachers-a-real-cause-for-concern-says-education-minister/story-e6frg13u-1226479501048
 

West Australian male teacher : one of the main concerns for male teachers is the fear of false allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

I am a male teacher who is currently working as a relief.
 
One of the main concerns for males, myself included, is the fear of false accusations of inappropriate behaviour.
 
I have faced this on a couple of occasions and it is extremely worrying.
 
Both accusations were baseless and made by over protective known parents.
 
But it is a real worry for men.
 
I see female teachers getting and giving hugs in the playground on a regular basis, but if a male so much as touches a student he can be in real trouble.
 
Principals have told me this exact thing.
 
I love working with my primary kids but will not be applying for a full-time position anytime in the near future.
 
It's not worth the risk.
 
 
 
Nico of Perth, Reader's Comment 16 of 44, Decline in male teachers a 'real cause for concern' says education minister, Yasmine Phillips, The Sunday Times, 22 September 2012 : http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/decline-in-male-teachers-a-real-cause-for-concern-says-education-minister/story-e6frg13u-1226479501048
 

West Australia : ex-teacher laughs when young people ask him if they should consider teaching as a career.

The problem is, as a lawyer or engineer, you will earn good money and not spend all your career dealing with anti-social children, abusive parents, possible accusations down the track of sexual harassment by students unhappy with discipline or grades, politically motivated work directives and negative bureaucracy, etc.
 
So although schools need male teachers, it is a hard sell unless these turn offs are seriously addressed and improved.
 
I laugh when young people ask me if they should consider teaching.
 
 
 
Ex teacher, Reader's Comment 23 of 44, Decline in male teachers a 'real cause for concern' says education minister, Yasmine Phillips, The Sunday Times, 22 September 2012 : http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/decline-in-male-teachers-a-real-cause-for-concern-says-education-minister/story-e6frg13u-1226479501048

Wife of West Australian teacher : my husband has struggled to find a job in a school for the past three years.

My husband is a male teacher.
 
Maybe the West Australian Education Department can explain why he has struggled to get a job in a school for the past three years?
 
They can't complain there is a lack of male teachers when they are far from accommodating to grad students trying to get a placement.
 
After a very disapointing three years he has unfortunately given up his hope of teaching in a school.
 
At the time I was also studying teaching and decided to change my degree to something I knew would guarantee me a job.
 
 
 
Jasmine Visic of Winthrop, Reader's Comment 28 of 44, Decline in male teachers a 'real cause for concern' says education minister, Yasmine Phillips, The Sunday Times, 22 September 2012 : http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/decline-in-male-teachers-a-real-cause-for-concern-says-education-minister/story-e6frg13u-1226479501048

West Australian teacher : the Department of Education keep saying that there WILL be a shortage of teachers, and yet it is harder and harder every year for anyone, male or female, to get and retain a job.

Most young males that I know who have recently graduated from uni as qualified teachers are being pigeon-holed into phys.ed. roles at primary schools.
 
Many of them did not have a job at the start of the year, despite the Department of Education constantly spouting that they need male teachers in schools.
 
They had put down to go anywhere in the state - and still got overlooked.
 
The Department of Education keep saying too that there WILL be a shortage of teachers, and yet it is harder and harder every year for anyone, male or female, to get and retain a job.
 
From experience I can tell you Early Childhood teaching is not glamorous (nappy changing and child rearing are par for the course) but it is extremely rewarding.
 
 
 
EC Teacher of Perth, Reader's Comment 29 of 44, Decline in male teachers a 'real cause for concern' says education minister, Yasmine Phillips, The Sunday Times, 22 September 2012 : http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/decline-in-male-teachers-a-real-cause-for-concern-says-education-minister/story-e6frg13u-1226479501048
 

Wife of West Australian teacher : when you can't afford to help your own children do things because you're madly saving just in case you don't get full time work the following year - it s*cks.

My husband rang the Education Department in January to see if he was able to get work anywhere at all this year.
 
The woman he spoke to told him there were plenty of part-time jobs going.
 
When he said he had a family to support, so he wanted full-time work, she laughed and told him she wanted to win Lotto.
 
I keep asking him to leave the profession but he keeps perservering, telling me it'll get better.
 
It never does and it never will.
 
It's nice that he wants to help other people's children, but when you can't afford to help your own children do things because you're madly saving just in case you don't get full time work the following year - it s*cks.
 
He knows I'm not going to wait for things to get better much longer, but there's not really much he can do except hope that he chooses the right schools to apply to before anyone else - and even that process has changed this year to merit selection.
 
 
 
Not a happy camper, Reader's Comment 34 of 44, Decline in male teachers a 'real cause for concern' says education minister, Yasmine Phillips, The Sunday Times, 22 September 2012 : http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/decline-in-male-teachers-a-real-cause-for-concern-says-education-minister/story-e6frg13u-1226479501048
 

West Australian teacher : the WA promotion system is corrupt.

I am a secondary school teacher and I actively counsel students not to train to become a teacher.
 
Why?
 
1. the creation of Independent Public Schools has become just a way for the government to save money. IPS isn't about education being better for students, it's about financial accountability for the school and transferring Head Office workload downstream to schools.
 
2. The transfer system is unworkable. Teachers who do the "hard yards" out in the bush simply have no avenue back into the metro area.
 
3. The Department of Education is continually attempting to make teacher do more for less. The latest is their re-interpretation of the secondary teachers award stating that teachers need to be doing a 38 hr week on site before they go home and then do the real work of marking and preparing.
 
4. Stress. The Department of Education pays out as much compensation to staff for mental health injuries as it does for physical injuries. This is the highest amount for mental injuries of any profession in WA.
 
5. Promotion. This is a corrupt system in the Department of Education. The number of sons or daughter of previous principals, etc. who suddenly become deputies or principals themselves after just a few years teaching is pretty sickening.
 
House of the Rising Sun of Perth, Reader's Comment 39 of 44, Decline in male teachers a 'real cause for concern' says education minister, Yasmine Phillips, The Sunday Times, Perth Now, 22 September 2012 

One West Australian teacher allegedly had a miscarriage the night after she had been bullied by her school principal.

I have worked in a school as support staff .

I witnessed first hand the stress some of the teachers were under, so much so one had a miscarriage on the night after she had been bullied by the principal that afternoon.

Another, an exchange teacher, said he was the worst principal she had ever worked with.

Others had breakdowns.

The sad part is that the principal could not see it was his method which was causing all the chaos.

Anjuli of Perth WA, Comment 14 of 31, Workplace bullying an everyday occurrence in schools, say teachers, Jessica Marszalek, Herald Sun, Adelaide Now, 23 September 2012 

Teacher's child : My mum was lied to by the West Australian Education Department.

My mum works for the public school system as a teacher.

She was lied to and treated unfairly by the department.

For starters, when she went to uni the students were told that if they did three years in the country they would be guaranteed permanency in a metro school.

Well, my mum did three years in a country school and after the three years wanted to come back to Perth because she didn't want my sister going to high school in Hedland.

She reminded the education department of their promise to give teachers a metro job after the three year country stint, but they (the education department) had apparently changed their mind on that promise.

So now my mum is doing relief work (fortunately for her it has worked out OK in that she is basically working full-time hours at a school just around the corner from here).

It seems the education department was desperate to have my mum stay in Hedland because not many people want to work up there.

So, a warning to others out there who are being promised metro jobs if they do three years in the country.

My understanding is that losing permanency means certain benefits are lost, such as holiday pay etc.

Ryan James, Comment 19 of 31, Workplace bullying an everyday occurrence in schools, say teachers, Jessica Marszalek, Herald Sun, Adelaide Now, 23 September 2012 

West Australian teacher's wife : the principal of mu husband's school bullies a fair number of the teachers.

My husband is a teacher in a small West Australian town.

They have a principal who bullies a fair number of the teachers.

Its hard for the teachers, because they don't know who to turn to.

A lot of them are ending up at the doctors' with stress related problems.

I wish there was a way that they could deal with this without enduring more bullying and stress at their workplace.

Its very hard for me to bite my tongue and not say anything to this principal when I see them.

Worried Wife, Comment 21 of 31, Workplace bullying an everyday occurrence in schools, say teachers, Jessica Marszalek, Herald Sun, Adelaide Now, 23 September 2012 

WA teacher : A 10-year old student lied about me. I faced the prospect of losing my career.

I was accused by a 10 year old of grabbing him and shaking him in order to keep him quiet.

This lie led to standards and integrity being called and me facing the real prospect of losing my career which I value greatly.

In the end the lie was revealed, however I still had the accusation over my head until it was investigated.

No wonder there are so few male primary school teachers!!!

Frustrated of WA, Comment 31, Workplace bullying an everyday occurrence in schools, say teachers, Jessica Marszalek, Herald Sun, Adelaide Now, 23 September 2012 

Mandurah, West Australia : Swearing, yelling parent Leslie Lee Jacobs throws iced coffee at a female teacher.

Leslie Lee Jacobs (41), was parked in a bus bay at a Mandurah, West Australia, school on February 15 when a female relief teacher - in charge of getting children onto the bus safely - told her to move her vehicle.
 
Jacobs acted aggressively towards a female teacher and threw an iced coffee at her.
 
The drink hit the teacher and wet her.

Jacobs then got out of her car and pushed the teacher's chest with her chest, causing the teacher to stumble back.
 
Police prosecutor Sergeant Rod Murray said Jacobs was swearing and yelling loudly at the time.
 
There were children present.
 
Jacobs had been convicted of a previous assault charge in 1998.

Woman Fined for Teacher Assault, Mandurah Coastal Times, 04 July 2012  

Male West Australian teacher : I only got work for half of last year.

Sick of this BS.......same story every year....I am a male teacher....only got work for half of last year......4/5 days for the year this year.
 
We have male graduates but there is no special treatment when jobs are allocated by the department.
 
One of the mature age males I graduated with has given up teaching as he is sick of the archaic system of placing teachers - wait by the phone until they (if they) call.
 
I have just been hanging in there since graduating....often considering another career change.
 
Fuggme, Reader's Comment 46 of 83, Not enough male teachers in public schools , Katherine Danks, The Daily Telegraph, 30 March 2012 

How a male West Australian teacher lost his wife, his children, his home, respect and his job.

I first-hand witnessed a male teacher being accused of inappropriate behaviour by a 15-year-old female classmate.
 
Everyone knew that the girl lied, and other students told the principal that it was all a lie, but the girl said these things because she was getting back at the teacher because she had got in trouble like any other student for not doing their homework.
 
The male teacher was forced out of the school while an investigation was carried out, police were involved, it went to court three years later, and only then the truth come out, all of it was admitted by the girl that it was all made up.
 
The male teacher was cleared of all charges and the case was dismissed.
 
But for the teacher it was too late - through all of the lies he had lost his wife, his children, his home, respect and his job.
 
He was reinstated, but he never went back.
 
Who would after that?
 
The girl showed no remorse.
 
What man would want to put themselves in a potential position like that?
 
Some young girls, (who think they're all grown up) nowadays, they are vicious, brutal and very good liars that don't care about anyone else but themselves and how good they look.
 
juju, Reader's Comment 50 of 83,  Not enough male teachers in public schools , Katherine Danks, The Daily Telegraph, 30 March 2012 

Rude idiot parents rule our schools.

Most male teachers leave the profession in the first 3 years, due to the high expectations, long hours, no respect and most of all the abuse and belittling from almost all parents.
 
Female teachers manage to keep control of their natural reaction to tell these rude idiots where to stick it, but there is only so long that a man is going to stand there being told by a women, who lives off the state and sits at home eating McDonalds on the couch all day, how to do their job better!
 
All parents think they are teachers.
 
In reality they barely know how to dress, feed and wash their children correctly. 
 
I work in a fantastic school full of fantastic teachers, both male and female.
 
They spend everyday trying to uphold firm discipline, encourage students to get out of their comfort zone and take challenges in their stride but are foiled at every step by over protective, overbearing and over-involved parents.
 
Parents rule our schools.
 
I say let them run schools for a year and let them see how far they get.
 
When they come begging...then we'll talk salaries.
 
Verbal Punch Bag, Reader's Comment 66 of 83,  Not enough male teachers in public schools , Katherine Danks, The Daily Telegraph, 30 March 2012 

West Australian high school teacher : I am also a qualified electrician and I could earn $160,000 pa on any WA mine site. Get a trade!

I am a qualified secondary school teacher currently earning $80,000 pa. in a government high school - though after several years teaching to get up the scale.
 
I am also a qualified electrician, however, and used to be an electrician working in an underground coal mine where I can earn double that income.
 
Yes! Electricians are earning $160,000 pa at present on any WA minesite.
 
So it certainly looks like us teachers are underpaid, after doing 4 yrs of uni too, rather than four years of TAFE block attendance during my apprenticeship time where I got paid to do my apprenticeship too.
 
We still have a chronic shortage of electricians and mechanics in WA, so if teachers don't get at least a further 20% pay increase in the next round I'm off to double my salary and get even more holidays on a 2 on - 2 off FIFO mine site roster.
 
DET has to recognise industry experience too, rather than start new teachers like me on a mere $55,000pa as an ex tradie.
 
PS - uni is over-rated!
 
Get a trade.
 
ECU education faculty take Yr 12s with only 55% TEE/ATAR score.
 
It is pretty obvious that such future teachers certainly won't be able to teach Math, Chem, Physics, Biology, Eng Lit, Accounting or Economics.

John Wayne of Freo, Reader's Comment 77 of 83,  Not enough male teachers in public schools , Katherine Danks, The Daily Telegraph, 30 March 2012 

Emily Chambers, West Australian teacher, alleges that her health and her career have been destroyed by workplace bullying and the subsequent 'investigation'.

West Australian teacher Emily Chambers alleges that she was 'paid back' when she made a workplace bullying complaint.

Emily says she was subjected to deliberately unfair scheduling of her work, snide comments, and people rolling their eyes every time she spoke.

She made a complaint:

… I then discovered the alleged perpetrator was close friends with some people in management.

The school spent thousands on a private investigation firm run by ex-police officers who dismissed all my claims after cross-examining me in a taped interview and then writing a lengthy report where the investigator suggested the only reason I made the complaint was because nobody liked me ...

Then I made an FOI and discovered the firm had been paid over $20,000 to produce the report and have produced many more since.

My compensation claim wasn't even worth that much. 

Following the investigation, Emily had a monumental breakdown and left her job.

Emily's compensation claim was rejected based on the investigators report and despite holding a master's degree, she is now unemployed.

She has been doggedly pursuing justice for the past eight years.

 

Workplace bullying litigation - a nasty war of attrition, Luke Williams, Unleashed, The Drum, ABC, 27 July 2012

Roebourne, West Australia : Male student punches his teacher in the head several times.

On Thursday 16 February 2012, at a Roebourne, WA school, a teacher asked a seventeen-year-old male student to leave the class for being disruptive.

The student threw a rubbish bin at the teacher.

Then he punched the teacher in the head several times, knocking him to the ground.

Then, as the student left the school, he punched the windscreen of another teacher's vehicle and smashed it.

WA student charged over teacher assault, AAP,  The Courier-Mail, 17 February 2012 

West Australian teachers allege that they are being trapped in remote and regional schools.

At the end of their two or three-year placements in isolated and hard-to-staff schools, WA teachers are often told there is nothing for them in Perth or other desirable areas.

One teacher, who did not want to be named, said after two years in a Pilbara town he was told he could stay on where he was or resign.

"I don't want to be here. I've done my time. I'm away from my family and friends," he said.

"It's false advertising. They promise you one thing and then don't deliver."
 
 
Teachers 'misled by false ads', Nicolas Perpitch, The Australian, 12 December 2011 

West Australian teacher's heath affected after being abused by a parent.

Angelica Franz had been teaching for about 18 years when an angry parent allegedly stormed in to her West Australian classroom in 2005.
 
The parent began yelling accusations of unfair treatment in front of a group of four and five-year-old children.
 
The experience affected Ms Franz's health.

"As time went on… I didn't feel comfortable going to work," Ms Franz said.

"I didn't feel safe… I just thought 'which parent am I upsetting this time, what's that parent going to do'."

Ms Franz said that while most parents were fine, she believed teachers were often left "walking on eggshells" and increasingly dealing with abuse from parents and students.

"I think it is becoming more common," she said, suggesting that a lack of respect for the profession, bad childhood school experiences by parents and a lack of consequences for abusive students were feeding the problem.

 

Ms Franz's lawyer, Robert McCabe from Slater and Gordon, said he had represented a number of clients who bore mental and physical injuries from abuse suffered through their teaching careers.

 
Education Department General Schools deputy director David Axworthy said it was impossible to completely shield staff from abuse.
 

Teacher quits after parent's verbal attack, Christiana Jones, The West Australian Updated July 9, 2011 

Teaching in a small town in West Australia.

The article (details below) by Yasmine Phillips and the comments on the article build up a picture of a teacher's life in small West Australian towns.
 
It is interesting to notice how supportive the parents are of their teachers, and how much they seem to value their male teachers. 
 
The article and comments are well worth reading in full.
 
 
Because of the lies one family has told, our school has lost two very good blokes, two male teachers who have decided to move away, taking their wives and children, to somewhere where they hopefully don't have to put up with the lies and abuse they have been put through for the last couple of years.
 
I hate to think how many teachers follow them because of this nasty persecution by a small number of families who are only doing this because they cant get their own way.
 
Leave our teachers and our school alone, and if you don't like it, you go, instead of forcing good teachers away!!!!!
 
Unhappy mum of Kalbarri, Reader's Comment 40 of 65, Teachers flip parents the bird, Yasmine Phillips, Education Reporter, PerthNow, 13 November 2011 
 
 
 
I spent eight years teaching in country towns and in all of that time was treated like an outsider - yes I did attempt to assimilate myself and my children were involved in every event going.
 
I got so sick of the 'us and them' attitude that I returned to the city where I am anonymous.
 
Country life is great for kids but not necessarily the same for the parents.
 
These country people wanted teachers but they were quick to show you the door and never prepared to assist in any way.
 
And yes, I was born in the country!
 
Life in a one school town can (and is) a living nightmare.
 
Every time I went to the shop my purchases were perused and comments were made - 'Gee you buy lots of sweets'.
 
Everything you did was scrutinized and b-tched about at the local tavern / shops and you were always treated like a second-class citizen.
 
Wake up country towns because if you don't you won't get any teachers in your school!
 
Q, Reader's Comment 9 of 65,  Teachers flip parents the bird, Yasmine Phillips, Education Reporter, PerthNow, 13 November 2011 
 
 
 
A one school town can become a living h-ll to teachers.
 
How do you expel disruptive students or not run into a parent who makes a complaint against you in a one horse town like Kalbarri ?
 
I bet the Education Dept will have trouble transferring anybody with a brain to replace teachers who leave.
 
No wonder there is a stampede to teach in private schools where the balance between the rights of teachers, pupils and parents is a bit more balanced.

Mikey of Perth, Reader's Comment 3 of 65, Teachers flip parents the bird, Yasmine Phillips, Education Reporter, PerthNow, 13 November 2011 
 
 
Some parents treat teachers in country towns like absolute scum to be verbally abused and harassed.
 
It's really odd.
 
We're talking about people at the very bottom of the food chain here.
 
Then they complain why there are so few Aussie teachers as their school is filled with teachers from other countries.
 
Police are treated the same.
 
And we wonder why their kids are bloody awful, selfish human beings.

Peter of Freo , Reader's Comment 18 of 65, Teachers flip parents the bird, Yasmine Phillips, Education Reporter, PerthNow, 13 November 2011 
 
 
I left teaching after three years.
 
The kids were horrors at times, but the parents were infinitely worse.
 
Interestingly, once you met the parents, you could usually understand why some children were little monsters.

Ex-teacher and mother of Perth, Reader's Comment 27 of 65, Teachers flip parents the bird, Yasmine Phillips, Education Reporter, PerthNow, 13 November 2011 
 
 
 
I'm an experienced maths teacher of 12 years - yet a single influential parent was able to get me removed from a 3AB MAT class because they weren't happy with their son's marks.
  
Hayesey of Mandurah, Reader's Comment 28 of 65, Teachers flip parents the bird, Yasmine Phillips, Education Reporter, PerthNow, 13 November 2011 
 
 
My hubby is a teacher in a small country town, and it's hard when everyone seems to know everything that goes on in your life despite not knowing half the people.
 
Parents need to realise that teachers put up with their kids all day and after work, they have a life and are entitled to do as they please.
 
cd44, Reader's Comment 29 of 65, Teachers flip parents the bird, Yasmine Phillips, Education Reporter, PerthNow, 13 November 2011 
 

Churchlands Senior High School, West Australia : students use water guns to spray teachers with cooking oil.

At Churchlands Senior High School, West Australia, Muck-Up Day celebrations spiralled out of control on 20 October 2011

Year 12 students used water guns to spray staff and students with cooking oil.

Fertiliser was dumped in the pool.

Doors were glued shut.

Hundreds of Year 12 students had to be sent home.

In a letter to parents, principal Neil Hunt said at least half of the 361 students currently enrolled in Year 12 at the school "conducted themselves in such a way that some students from other years were intimidated and injured, some students required a change of clothes, and some staff were treated with total disrespect (squirted with water pistols etc)."

School vandalised as Year 12s run amuck, Yasmine Phillips, Perth Now, 20 October 2011 

Boyare Primary School, Perth : male deputy principal allegedly spat at by mother.

Boyare Primary School is in Mirrabooka, a northern suburb of Perth.

At 9.00am on Monday 29 August 2011, Sheree Janelle Egan, a 26-year-old Mirrabooka woman, went to Boyare School to deliver her child's lunch.

However, when Ms Egan recognised a 13-year-old girl, she allegedly chased the girl into the administration building and punched her.

The male deputy principal pulled Ms Egan off the child and tried to usher her out of the building,

As the deputy principal restrained her, Ms Egan spat on his face and clothes, police said.

Ms Egan has been charged with common assault and assaulting a public officer.

West Australia : depressed teacher goes missing in remote, cyclone-swept area.

Tracey Marshall, 35, a Pilbara school teacher, had been suffering depression.

She checked herself into Karratha's Nickol Bay Hospital at the urging of her husband.

She walked out of  the hospital six months ago.

Her car was eventually found on a remote track 50 kilometres inland.

Just hours after Mrs Marshall disappeared, a cyclone swept through the area, delaying search efforts.

She has not been seen since.

Missing teacher's parents join search, ABC, 12 August 2011 

http://www.missingpersons.gov.au/profile.aspx?Id=1595

The public don't realise that the turnover of teachers is horrific. No amount of pay or time off can make up for the violence and abuse that is now part of the job.

Australian universities have to pump out thousands of teaching graduates for the production line every year.
 
The turn-over of teachers is horrific, though the public aren't generally aware of this.
 
No amount of pay or time off can make up for the violence and abuse that is now part of the job.
 
  • Pete of Perth, Comment 5 of 6, Survey shows nearly two-thirds of teachers want to quit, Martina Simos, Perth Now, 5 April 2011 

Ex-teacher : Arts, humanities and sociology graduates feel trapped in teaching. They would leave teaching if their degrees were more marketable.

Some years ago when I left teaching and returned to industry (as a geologist) I was staggered by the number of colleagues who confided that if they had a way to leave they would do so.
 
I think the only thing that is stemming the potential flood of resignations is the feeling that they have unmarketable degrees and limited work experience.
 
It's no coincidence that the schools are staffed by an increasing proportion of arts/humanities/sociology teachers due to their limited options.
 
If there were more options there would be a flood of resignations!
 
Personally I enjoyed teaching but couldn't stand -
  • the working conditions (your treatment by an inferior bureaucracy is unbelievable),
  • unrealistic community expectations
  • and poor pay - after all, I had a family with mortgage and a future to look after.
  • Andrew of Perth, Comment 6 of 6, Survey shows nearly two-thirds of teachers want to quit, Martina Simos, Perth Now, 5 April 2011 

Are West Australian teachers' union officials afraid to 'rock the boat' because they know that they will have to go back to work in the WA Ed Dept?

There is a problem with West Australian students assaulting teachers.
 
But what about the systemic abuse and bullying of some WA teachers / administrators?
 
Haven't some WA Ed Dept employees lodge complaints to the Human Rights Commission, Workcover, Ombudsman and the IRC?
 
And is there any point in WA teachers joining a union?
 
What do they do for you?
 
Aren't they an extended arm of the WA Ed Dept?
 
Aren't union officials seconded from the WA Ed Dept anyway?
 
Aren't the union officials afraid to rock the boat because they have to return to the WA Ed Dept after their union tenure elapses?
 
You call the story again, Reader's Comment 1 and 2, Dozens of assaults on teachers each month, Daniel Emerson, The West Australian, 23 March 2011 

Western Australian teacher's father : "my daughter did not study for thousands of hours in order to be bashed up at work."

My daughter used once to be a teacher.

She was assaulted and injured on a number of occasions.

Neither the principal nor any of the senior staff were interested in helping.

The perpetrators walked tall.

She has B.Ed and M.Ed. but has left the industry.

Many other teachers have done the same.

They did not study for thousands of hours to be bashed up at work.

SHAME!!!

Harry of Bunbury, Reader's Comment 70 of 97, Special Report: Teachers reveal why they walked, Yasmine Phillips, Education reporter, Perth Now, 19 February 2011

West Australian teacher : "many teachers are bullied by principals to the point of mental or physical breakdown."

I am a teacher and married to a teacher with over 30 years of service to the (seems to be West Australian) Education Department.
 
From what I have personally heard and experienced, I believe the proportion of unhappy teachers is far, far greater than even the editorial (see details below) suggests.
 
Many teachers give reasons which are not true when leaving a school.
 
Many teachers are bullied by principals, to the point of nervous and/or physical breakdown, particularly it seems in the primary schools.
 
The school my husband taught at for the previous two years was a good example of this.
 
The female administration were so ruthless in their intimidation and relentless undermining of their teachers' confidence, that half of all the teachers at that school transferred out last year.
 
Others claimed they would have but were unable due to conditions of their contacts.
 
These same women even had a male teacher reduced to tears at school.
 
The administration supported parents, even when unrealistic, over their own teachers.
 
The morale at the school was very, very low.
 
I ask you how you can expect to get the best out of teachers when they are constantly stressed and exhausted almost to the point of physical or mental breakdown?
 
  • Catherine Yeomans, Reader's Comment 1 of 6,  Editorial: Lessons to end teacher exodus, The Sunday Times,  19 February 2011 

WA high school teacher : workplace bullies dominate the management of the Department of Education, schools and individual departments in schools.

Being a high school teacher for over twenty years meant nothing when I was targeted by a bullying principal, notorious for reducing even male teachers to tears.
 
The woman reigned supreme for years until she died of cancer but nothing was ever done by DET to bring her to heel let alone any kind of justice.
 
I wish I could say that she was was rare in the profession but the truth is that bullies like her dominate the management of the Department of Education, schools and individual departments in schools.
 
That is WHY they are at the top - because bullies will trample over anybody so as to rule over others and make life easy for themselves.
 
Then they lean hard on the real workers, those with talent and passion for their profession, forcing more and more out of these givers.
 
She slandered me to a new school where a new set of bullies gleefully took up the fun.
 
Eventually I was awarded a compensation payout (for PTST from bullying) to resign - but sadly, this option has now been closed to victims.
 
Nevertheless, the bullying culture remains untouched and unchanged, as colleagues still in the profession tell me.
 
It's the NORM!
 
I wouldn't go back into a high school for anything.
 
Never!
  • Kristine Ellis of Gosnelle, WA, Reader's Comment 6 of 6, Editorial: Lessons to end teacher exodus, The Sunday Times,  19 February 2011 

West Australian teacher : parents laugh when children bite and bruise their teachers.

I am now in my fifth year of teaching, at my third school in Western Australia.
 
I didn't think I'd make it past my first year and don't believe I'll hang in for Long Service Leave because of the conditions.
 
In general I like my job.
 
But people who believe that teachers have a 9-3 job need to spend a week with a teacher. Then they will see how much is involved.
 
Although the perk is flexible hours, I usually work 7am-4:30pm.
 
I work weekends & holidays from home - planning, marking, typing behaviour management & individual Education programs for struggling kids -lots of whom have parents that aren't interested in helping their child at home because it's the teachers job only!
 
Daily, teachers are confronted with offensive language, bad behaviour, physical assaults,and abusive parents.
 
When a five-year-old child calls you a FU#$!%& CU@# BI!?& and all you can do is tell them you find their choice of words sad & make a note on their record - it's extremely dissempowering.
 
It's worse when you are physically assaulted and the parents laugh at the bite marks and bruises.
 
I'm not 100% sure the cane is the answer, but there is a need for more effective strategies in place for teachers that make students think twice.
  • Chalkie, Reader's Comment 30 of 37, Fed up teachers form Educators at Risk support group, Yasmine Phillips, education reporter, The Sunday Times, 19 February 2011 

West Australia : teachers are fed up with being victimised by parents who "do a ring around and form a posse".

West Australian Teachers, fed up with being "society's punching bag", have created a group they hope will restore respect to the profession.

Former WA public school teacher Peta Rakela has joined five other teachers to establish a support group called Educators At Risk.

The group says teachers have become a scapegoat for parents unable to control their children and administrators afraid of bad publicity.

"Teachers are victimised," Ms Rakela, a former teacher of about 40 years, said.

"You can't accommodate everyone's wishes and whims in a classroom environment and, unfortunately, what happens is a lot of parents will not take you on by themselves, they will go higher than you or do a ring around and form a posse."

  • Fed up teachers form Educators at Risk support group, Yasmine Phillips, education reporter, The Sunday Times, 19 February 2011

Perth teacher : even the younger children come to school with lousy attitudes and foul mouths.

As a teacher I feel powerless and 'back to the wall'.

Even the younger children come to school with lousy attitudes and foul mouths.

Where are they getting it from?

We teachers are expected to reason with these children and pamper to their needs.

Hello! They need to grow a backbone and some of their parents need to actually parent!! 

    • Stressed-out of Perth, Reader's Comment 57 of 97, Special Report: Teachers reveal why they walked, Yasmine Phillips, Education reporter, Perth Now, 19 February 2011

Year 9 maths teacher now drives a dump truck for twice as much money as she earned when she was teaching in WA. And she has days off.

My friend was a Yr 9 maths teacher at a local West Australian middle school.

Over the years I watched her struggle with behaviour management of unruly students.

Her work load was unbelievable.

She had over 60 students.

Day after day she would strive to deliver the lessons that she had planned, trying desperately to make maths fun and interesting for her students.

Sadly, because she had to spend so much of her time dealing with behaviour management in the classroom, she often had little time left for actually teaching the lesson content.

Today there are many programs and staff at schools to handle students' problems, which are many, but unfortunately there is little or no support for teachers who are experiencing problems with unruly students.

Some students have great difficulty in simply following instructions and obeying rules.

Added to that, some parents either don't care about their child's behaviour, or don't have the time to deal with it because work is far more important than family, or believe that their child is perfectly behaved and would NEVER swear, throw things, hit, spit at, or verbally abuse a teacher.

My teacher friend now drives a dump truck for twice as much money with actual days off. 

  • Kalgoorliegirl of goldfields, Reader's Comment 51 of 97 Special Report: Teachers reveal why they walked, Yasmine Phillips, Education reporter, Perth Now, 19 February 2011

Ex-WA teacher : I was assaulted by a student, then I was threatened into silence about the assault.

I am an ex-teacher.

I was assaulted by a student at a West Australian school.

Due to inexperience I did not pursue it.

The school at the time seemed to brush it under the carpet and the student went unpunished.

The school threatened me not to pursue it, as they didn't want bad press.

I quit after that, and have never rejoined the WA Ed dept since.

I was never given an exit interview, rather, I was encouraged to be quiet.

Now I'm in another career, earning double what EDWA would ever be able to pay me.

I am happy I left, but they have a mess to clean up.

They need a good strong leader to sort the WA Ed dept out. 

  • Ex teacher now in Sydney, Reader's Comment 30 of 97 Special Report: Teachers reveal why they walked, Yasmine Phillips, Education reporter, Perth Now, 19 February 2011

Temporary teacher : I paid the government over $15 000 for my degree and I have given them seven years of good service. It's time they gave me a permanent job.

I have worked as a temporary teacher for seven years, with little hope of gaining permanency due to not wanting to take my family out to remote Australia for two plus years (no guarantee of return).

I'm good at my job, I LOVE my job, but the strain of ending each year not knowing if I'll HAVE a job is getting too much for me.

And for my family.

What kind of government does this, not only to their good employees, but to hundreds of children each year?

Many teachers start the year off by spending five weeks of the holidays wondering if they'll get a job, then being given a week's (if they're lucky) notice of the class and school they'll have.

How well prepared do you think they are for your children?

I have been grateful to receive employment each year at the same school.

Do you think I would have it if I was not a good teacher?

Then why can't I access a permanent position?

I paid the government over $15 000 for my degree and seven years of good service, I think it's time they paid me back.

  • KH of Perth, Reader's Comment 67 of 97 Special Report: Teachers reveal why they walked, Yasmine Phillips, Education reporter, Perth Now, 19 February 2011

Pre-service teachers struggle to pay bills, rent and buy food while prac teaching full-time.

I am a pre-service teacher entering my final year of study.

In a couple of months I will be teaching full-time in a school for zero pay (in fact, it will cost me $1200 for the experience) whilst struggling to pay bills, rent and buy groceries.

I will be taking a near full teaching load, and every single day I will struggle with the dilemma of how to teach the skills and content whilst managing behaviour issues.

In my previous teaching experience I have seen the craziest things.

On the day an assignment was due a student handed in a note from their parent stating that the student did not have to do the assignment as it was "dumb" and they were going to be a champion sports person who did not need any "dumb" education.

There were students who would retaliate with "Wait until I tell my parents" each time I asked them to work quietly or sit down.

I'm excited about my career as a teacher, but I'm smart enough to know that it is going to be tough.

Parents need to pick up their game, schools need to develop strong, clear behaviour management policies and the DET needs to stop screwing us over and start giving us stability and support.

 Las of Perth, Reader's Comment 65 of 97, Special Report: Teachers reveal why they walked, Yasmine Phillips, Education reporter, Perth Now, 19 February 2011

 

Las, you calculate that your final year teaching prac costs you $1200?

Wrong.

You pay the Uni $1200 for completing that unit, however you also lose the opportunity to earn extra income midweek.

When I went through my teaching degree I worked 20 hours part time during the week, getting a solid $400pw.

But for the 11 weeks of my ATP I wasn't able to earn income from my job.

Hence - the ATP was a fee of $1200 but then I also lost $4400.

So in reality I lost $5500+.

Imagine telling an apprentice brickie that the apprentice would have to pay to work for full time for 11 weeks.

Much more practical to have the final year of the teaching degree working in the classroom on perhaps an 'apprentice wage' = better learning experience than the token units selected during the final term.

However - the Uni's would never want that to happen because they would lose the $1000's in fees that you and I pay.

They are money making machines. 

Aker from the Geish of Freemantle, Comment 81 of 97, Special Report: Teachers reveal why they walked, Yasmine Phillips, Education reporter, Perth Now, 19 February 2011

West Australian high school teacher : My GP advised me that I would die of stress if I did not walk away from my teaching career.

I walked out of a teaching job at a West Australian public high school last year.
 
My GP told me that I would die from stress related problems very soon if I didn't.
 
Why was I stressed?
 
Struggling against bad behaviour, bad attitude, impossible parents who sincerely believe that as long as their child is "happy", everything is fine.
 
Being told to get F..D on a daily basis, told that I chose the job of teaching so just get on with it, my darling child does not have a problem, you do.
 
Told by kids that "my uncle earns twice what you do, and he left school at 14 and drives a truck on the mines so what use is school?"
 
And then the political interference from incompetents who have never taught, and an Education Dept staffed by people who were often no good in a classroom and fled to Silver City.
 
Don't even mention WACOT - their main success has been to aggressively defend their fat cat existence against all comers.
 
Yes, I loved the bit when the kids grasped a new concept, it's why I became a teacher in the first place, but the rest is too hard.
 
My own kids will NEVER become teachers.
 
A Statistic, Reader's Comment 11 of 19, Exodus could lead to teacher shortages, Yasmine Phillips, Education Reporter, The Sunday Times, 5 February 2011

WA early childhood teacher : the education department overlook experienced teachers and give the jobs to new graduates - because new graduates are cheaper to employ.

I am a early childhood teacher who after 6 years has found herself unemployed by the dept for the first time.
 
I have done the hard miles in the hard schools and list them at the top of my list of schools to be placed at every year.
 
I wish I could take a country placement, but due to my child's medical condition I can't leave Perth - a fact I remind the dept of every year when I put my application in.
 
I believe the department are overlooking experienced teachers like myself to give the jobs to new grads to save a buck.
 
Why pay me 65K when you can pay a grad 56K?
 
  • Reader's Comment 12 of 19,  Exodus could lead to teacher shortages, Yasmine Phillips Education Reporter, The Sunday Times, 5 February 2011

West Australian Education Minister : older teachers are 'highly valuable assets'.

West Australian State School Teachers Union president Anne Gisborne called for more flexible working arrangements for older teachers and a "deliberate" campaign to attract more young people to cope with looming shortages.

"Teaching is a tough job you're on your feet all day long, your head never stops and it's not unusual for you to go through a day without any guaranteed lunch break," she said.

 

Education Minister Liz Constable said she was developing a long-term strategy to attract and retain teachers.

Dr Constable said she did not support a South Australian scheme that offered "burnout bonuses" of $50,000 to ageing teachers in a bid to attract younger people into the profession.

"In WA, we want teachers who have accumulated a wealth of experience and knowledge over long careers in the classroom to stay doing what they do best for as long as possible," she said.

"They are highly valuable assets to the education system and I am looking to encourage them to keep teaching, rather than put in place any program that might encourage them to leave."

 

Badapplebullies Editor : How terrific to hear an Education Minister say that she values the skills of older teachers!

 

969 WA public school teachers resigned in 2010.

471 of these teachers were older than 50.

178 were aged 40-50.

Almost a third were aged 25 to 40.

32 teachers were under 25.

 

Reader's comments on this article -

 

There is an oversupply of primary teachers and a shortage of specialist secondary teachers such as maths, science and technology and enterprise.

People with these degrees can earn a lot more in the mining sector.

They also don't get abused, attacked or treated like cr_p by their employer.

  • Reader's Comment 6 of 19.

 

Poor pay and a lack of quality resources is a huge issue.

I'm kicking myself now, as I was offered a plumbing apprenticeship before commencing my university studies.

  • Reader's Comment 7 of 19.
 
 
And add to the list the number of disenfranchised TAFE lecturers, myself included who have resigned due to having to endure incompetence from the "management teams" and 'program managers'.
 
The focus is not on teaching but managing (joke) resources, social climbing, attending countless meetings and in general st_ffing up what was and can be a again the golden age of training.
 
Sort it get some direction and we will gladly take up the challenge!
 
  • Citizen voter and community activist of Canning, Reader's Comment 13 of 19.
 
 
I am a fixed term WA primary school teacher with 8 years experience and I am currently unemployed.
 
I have called the department on several occasions only to be told that something 'may' come up soon and that there is always relief teaching.
 
I have taught in the country for 2 and 1/2 years and was not rewarded for that.
 
I have missed out on two lots of maternity leave due to fact that my due dates of my children did not fit into the term of my contract.
 
I have a mortgage to pay and two children, I cannot afford to be waiting around for something to come up.
 
What teacher shortage I ask?

Unemployed teacher, Reader's Comment : Exodus could lead to teacher shortages, Yasmine Phillips, Education Reporter, The Sunday Times, 5 February 2011

Goldfields High School, Kalgoorlie, West Australia : 13-year-old student allegedly throws garbage bin at male teacher and repeatedly punches him.

A 13-year-old student at Goldfields High school, Kalgoorlie, West Australia, allegedly threw a garbage bin at her male teacher and repeatedly punched him.

The alleged attack was recorded on a mobile phone.

Footage shows the teacher backing away as the girl screams, punches him and then throws a bin at him.

The teacher attempted to escape out of the classroom but students kept him stuck at the door.

 

Badapplebullies Editor : The footage was shown on the TV news in Queensland.

It was pretty shocking.

The footage should be shown to all students training to be teachers.

Because this will be your life when you graduate.

 

Another student also faces suspension for filming the attack.

The alleged attack took place at a public school in the Goldfields region.

 

Badapplebullies Editor : You have to wonder why the student who filmed the attack is being punished.

The student's film is the only evidence that this teacher has that the incident took place.

And evidence is vital - if there is no evidence, there was no incident.

Surely classroom teachers should encourage children to film such incidents?

 

West Australian schoolteachers want the option of emergency buttons in classrooms, more police officers and surveillance cameras to be installed in schools across the state.

State School Teachers Union president Anne Gisborne said measures were needed to ensure an urgent response when teachers were in danger.

 

Badapplebullies Editor : If students are not allowed to film attacks on teachers, we need security cameras in every classroom.

This is the only way that classroom teachers can prove what is going on in Australian classrooms.

 

  • WA teachers demand CCTVs in schools, Josh Jerga, WA Today, WA News, 28 May, 2010

  • Teachers want alarm buttons in classrooms, Nicholas Perpitch, P.3, The Nation, The Weekend Australian, 22-23 May 2010.

North Albany Senior High School : teachers threatened and defamed on Facebook.

Current and former teachers at North Albany Senior High School, in Western Australia's south, have been threatened and defamed by users of two Facebook groups set up for past and present students.

One comment said: "If we get over two million people saying they hate ( ) all staff ... workers involved should be massacred by chainsaws and the school should be shut down."

 

 

Students threaten teachers on Facebook, Nicolas Perpitch, The Australian, 18 February 2010

Western Australian teachers, principals and cleaners physically assaulted 275 times by students during two school terms.

In December 2009, a teacher at a school in the southern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia, told a boy to stop riding a scooter through the school.

The boy allegedly punched the teacher in the face and the teacher suffered a black eye and a blood nose.

 

School staff in Western Australia - including teachers, principals and cleaners - were physically assaulted 275 times by students during the second and third terms 2009.

Student charged after punching teacher in the face, Yasmine Phillips, The Sunday Times, 2 January 2010

Ex-WA state school teacher : I will never teach in a state school again.

I used to teach at a state school; never again!

The main problem is that the WA education department won't expel students.

Students who choose to assault teachers (or other students for that matter) should be expelled and sent home to do their schooling by distance education.

Phil of Perth, Reader's Comment 4 of 53, 280 assaults at WA schools in two terms, Yasmine Phillips, PerthNow, 26 November 2009

WA Teacher : I was verbally attacked and threatened when I was teaching in a WA school.

I was verbally attacked and had threatened at a north eastern primary when I was a teacher in 2004.
 
This obnoxious parent threatened me, claimed to have followed me home and threatened to kill my dogs and wife because his child was a disruption in class and constantly in trouble.
 
He then informed another staff member that he'd "had a go at me".
 
I received NO help from the staff or principal (might hurt their careers), NO help from EDWA and the police could do nothing because the staff member he told wouldn't back me up.
 
That principal is now in charge of a school south of Freo.
 
G-d help the kids as he needs viagra to stiffen his spine each day.
 
Craig, Reader's Comment 27 of 53, 280 assaults at WA schools in two terms, Yasmine Phillips, PerthNow, 26 November 2009 :  

Ex-WA teacher : WA teachers are not supported by their employers and not respected by the community.

I'm currently a teacher in London in a school in a low socio-economic area.
 
Two weeks ago a workmate and I were verbally assaulted by a parent.
 
This parent was removed from the school by the police and is now legally banned from ever coming onto school grounds.
 
Her son is now in an anger management course and was suspended for being abusive to staff and students.
 
It was not a nice experience, but I feel much safer knowing I have support from police and my employer.
 
 
I used to work for the WA education department.
 
Key word is "used".
 
There is very little support for a safe working environment for WA teachers.
 
Students who want to learn and try to do the right thing are let down because there is no support.
 
Teaching is not a profession that is respected and valued by society in WA.
 
Education is seen as worthless.
 
 
 
Alex ( not my real name ) of London, formerly of Beverly, Reader's Comment 53 of 53, 280 assaults at WA schools in two terms, Yasmine Phillips, PerthNow, 26 November 2009

Beverley District High School, east of Perth, West Australia : mother allegedly punches female teacher repeatedly in the head. The teacher's nose was broken.

A 45-year-old mother allegedly punched a female Beverley District High School teacher repeatedly in the head.

The school is east of Perth in Western Australia.

The teacher was in her classroom just after 8am, preparing her lessons for the day.

She tried to protect herself from the mother's punches.

She tried to shield her head with her arms.

But the mother punched the teacher on her nose.

Her nose began to bleed.

It was broken.

Police have charged the mother with assault.

 

  • Mum charged with assaulting schoolteacher, AAP, The Courier-Mail, 8 September, 2009.
  • Avon Advocate

Mandurah High School, WA : Canadian teacher "I cannot believe how bad it is here".

A Canadian teacher who recently started work at Mandurah High School, WA, posted comments on a Yahoo7 message board .

He said he thought it was important for the public to know what is going on at the school.

"I have only been at Mandurah High School for a short time but already I have experienced a number of very violent incidents," he said.

"It simply cannot continue and there are certain policies that must be changed to protect teachers and students."

"I cannot believe how bad it is here," the teacher said.

"I've been hit and punched, sworn at 20 times a day for trying to do my job - it's shocking."

"Nothing can really be done. It's hard to expel a student and after a few days away, they're allowed to come back to the school to do it all over again."

The teacher also claimed that the level of illiteracy and maths ability was appalling.

The Mandurah High School Principal refused to make any comment in relation to the issue.

"I am more interested in raising the public profile of the school in a positive manner," the Principal said.

 

The Badapplebullies webmaster comments:

The similarities between this Canadian teacher's story and the April 19 2008 story about Robert Bartholomew, the American sociology professor working in the Northern Territory, suggest that this is may be a cultural clash. 

The Canadian teacher and the American sociology professor tried to deal with problems at their schools.

They did not realise that in Aussie culture dealing with problems is not valued.

Not talking about problems is valued.

I suspect this is related to the convict roots of Aussie culture.

Every early Aussie convict had to work in silent obedience for seven years in order to gain his or her 'ticket of leave'.

And Aussie teachers are treated like convicts - sent out to remote areas, far away from their families, to work fearfully till they have earned their 'ticket of leave' - the right to return home.

The Aussie culture still values silent obedience.

And teaching problems are allowed to fester for years, because teachers who try to deal with problems are attacked and denigrated as 'arrogant troublemakers' in Australia.

 

Yahoo news, local news, WA, 6 July 2008

Details of a related article Little Monsters Rule, Phil Hickey, The Mandurah Coastal times, can be found on the PLATOWA website news page.

 

Ex-teacher : my nights and weekends were filled with preparation and reporting.

Leah Upson topped her year at Edith Cowan University.

She was hailed by the department's then boss, Paul Albert, in 2005 after winning an industry award for her efforts at Tom Price Primary School.

She moved to Melville Primary School two years ago.

Leah Upson has been one of the faces of a WA campaign to lure teachers back into the profession.

As late as yesterday Leah featured on an internet page in which WA Education Minister Mark McGowan proclaims plans to attract and retain teachers.

But Leah Upson quit teaching this year.

She said that she had enjoyed the classroom but found her nights and weekends were filled with reporting and preparation requirements.

She had also been refused leave without pay.

Leah Upson is now an office administrator with a minerals exploration company.

She is working a lot fewer hours for more money.

 

  • Department fails to keep brighter faces of teaching , Inside Cover (page 2), The West Australian, 23 July 2008

 

Experienced WA teacher resigns one year before long service leave : "I have no energy left".

Jessica Jackman of Bayswater had taught in schools all over Western Australia for ten years.

In the past three years she had worked her way up to a permanent, level three position in a Perth school.

In 12 months she would have been due for her long service.

But she has just handed in her resignation.

It was one of the hardest decisions that she had ever had to make, but she felt that it was her only option.

"I have no energy left to fight a battle that is unwinnable."

Her peers have spent their twenties making extraordinary amounts of money, buying property and travelling the world.

She has spent her twenties being abused by parents, assaulted by students, treated with contempt by the Government and DET and forced to endure working conditions that no private employee would even consider.

There is a staffing crisis in WA schools.

Five other teachers from her school have resigned this term.

 

  • Why I had to abandon my teaching career, Jessica Jackman, Letter to the Editor, page 22, The West Australian, The PLATOWA website news, 11 July 2008

 

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