"It's time to support teachers": Education a two-way street
FOR Sunshine Coast primary school teacher Robyn Sugden a child's education is a two-way street between teachers and parents.
But in her view, sadly that respect for teachers is slipping across the state.
Mrs Sugden said Queensland teachers were under more pressure than ever, as workloads increased, the curriculum expanded and support systems crumbled.
The teacher of 40 years and Queensland Teachers Union member said support was needed now more than ever in a time-poor world for the new generation of teachers.
"Teaching is an art, not something you learn from a book," Mrs Sugden said.
"You are expected to become not just a teacher, but a pseudo-counsellor and psychologist, and you learn that with experience over time.
"For the newly inducted teachers it can be a bit of shock to the system."
Are we expecting too much of our teachers?
This poll ended on 02 August 2015.
We need to stop treating teaching as a "fallback" vocation.
Yes, parents need to start taking some responsibility again.
We expect more of students too, everyone needs to lift.
Wait, isn't this what we pay them for?
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
The role of a teacher has never been more complex and scrutinised.
And the flow-on effects were clear.
Queensland teachers were paid more than $10 million in WorkCover in the past five years for psychological damage in the classroom and schoolyard.
Figures obtained by The Daily this week, showed 25 public school teachers in the North Coast region reported assault in the classroom or schoolyard last year. In 2012, that number was 33.
One in eight Queensland graduate teachers abandon the profession within their first five years.
Mrs Sugden agreed it was time to support teachers to ensure the best possible outcomes for students.
"There is a lack of support for the classroom teacher generally and I think a lot of teachers feel they are becoming time poor," she said.
Two of the state's leading education bodies are calling for greater support and mentoring to bolster retention.
The Queensland College of Teachers and Queensland Education Leadership Institute say more needs to be done to keep new teachers teaching.
QCT director John Ryan said teaching was one of the few professions where a graduate had the same responsibilities as someone who had been teaching for years.
"There are support measures departing teachers say would have helped them stay in the profession, if they were available at the time," he said.
But when asked why she stayed in the profession, Mrs Sugden said it was for the reward of teaching children.