This week I have been sent a newspaper article and a blog post, both of which resonated strongly with me and probably shows me that people know me well.
The first came as a tweet “@medg56 RT @Kenjaneth13: A 10 year old who sees the world as it is and envisions the way it should be tinyurl.com/la2l644 .. A young @melcashen….” To be honest I wish I was like this when I was 10 but my interest in politics has only come over the last couple of years.
Please take the time to read the post and even leave a comment. After reading it I noticed I had tears streaming down my face. Like Maggie, I have an interest in politics. An interest that started through the frustration of not being able to make a difference in education. I decided I needed to know more about policy to understand what was happening in our education system so am completing my Master of Education Policy International. I am hopeful that the more I understand, the more voice I will have to fight for education and the more people (politicians) will listen. Like Maggie I have the same why questions.
Maggie is obviously a special young lady who sees the world not only as it is but as it should be. This is the stuff we dream of teaching but instead there is a focus on tests rather than “potential, creativity and kindness.”
Another article was sent to me today by a colleague and definitely rings true. Last week saw the Education Columnist at the Daily Telegraph, Maralyn Parker, use the opportunity of her last day to share some advice with her readers. Advice I also advocate.
“Everything about your profession is politicised. Your classrooms, the facilities and resources available to you, the number and type of students you teach, what you teach, how you are taught to be teachers, what you are paid, the level of support given to you – all of these things are governed by highly politicised processes.” Her advice to this – be political. And she is right!
We need to talk about politics, we need to talk to politicians. We need to understand what is happening and ask questions. We need to be educating our communities about what is happening. No longer can we think we can’t make a difference. It is time to make a difference, whether it is taking Maralyn’s advice and joining a union or a professional organisation, responding to discussion paper or even understanding what is happening through reading white papers such as the recent Victorian Government Action Paper. Talk about it at lunch time, in staff meetings and online. We hold the answers.
I agree with Maralyn that we are at such a pivotal time in Australian Education. Our new Education Minister is set to make a lot of changes to national curriculum, autonomy in schools and privatising HECS debts as a start. Now more than ever we need to focus on politics. Education depends on it.
And I don’t think it is fair to leave it to Maggie to ask the tough questions.