Teachers are priceless for
Today I went along to help out on my 4 year olds school trip. There were 101 children being supervised by 40 teachers, assistants and parents. We were on and off buses, it was a hot muggy day and by the end of it I was utterly exhausted. This was just a single day out of my year, but it really brought home to me what an amazing job teachers and TAs do every day.
What I found most tiring about today wasn’t the walking, the organising, the lifting or the carrying – it was the responsibilityfor my small group of children, that duty of care to them and to their parents. And it is this burden that made me appreciate the jobs teachers do – particularly those who then go home to their own children at the end of the day and have to continue their caring role.
People in professions that care for other human beings are notoriously badly paid. Yet every day we place our children into the care of teaching professionals expecting the highest standards of teaching as well as care. But with teachers currently facing big cuts to their pensions, meaning they will have to work longer, pay more and get less when they retire, it worries me that those people caring for my children might not be as dedicated and enthusiastic as they are today. Nobody goes into teaching for the money, but neither should they expect to be overworked, undervalued and badly recompensed for a lifelong commitment to their vocation.
After my day on the front line, I think anyone in Government making decision about teachers pay, working conditions and pensions should spend a day, a week, a year, walking in their shoes. A wrong policy decision today could have a catastrophic effect on the motivation and morale of the people in whom we are trusting to shape our children’s futures.