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27plus

Educators - what do you think

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27plus

I manage a small Centre.

 

I was surprised today by an ECT saying that they feel they are babysitters at the moment, waiting for the government to shut down Centres.

 

The ECT's interaction and delivery has not changed.

 

Other educators have not expressed this and I think were surprised by it as I was.

 

Addressing and supporting the ECT is in place.

 

Has your Centre experienced this?

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Lime-Polka-Dot
Posted (edited)

There have been mixed views in my workplace. (Sessional kindergarten) While we are open and expected to work we are doing so.

 

Many of us are anxious and the decreasing numbers throughout the week are adding to that for me personally. My anxiety wishes honestly to not be there and not send DD to school but I'm trying to remain calm and think rationally about the long term.

 

We only have one more week until school holidays (something Educators and most ECTs in LDC don't have to look forward to so I know we're lucky in that regard.)

 

ETA: But as far as expressing to management about feeling like we're just babysitting etc. no. We still actually feel lucky to even have jobs after a particularly rough change of management process from last year into this year.

Edited by Lime-Polka-Dot

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zenkitty

I’m saddened to hear educators feeling that way. I can see where it’s coming from, but the role of education and structure for kids is so much more than babysitting.

 

Children whose parents have to work outside of home at this time will be stressed and tired, being able to continue a familiar school routine and engage the mind is of huge benefit to kids.

 

School is also a huge protective factor for vulnerable kids - family violence goes up during times of emotional and financial stress. You’re protecting and nurturing our kids, not babysitting them.

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27plus

I think it is the uncertainty. And I am happy that we have a work place that she feels she can say what she is thinking, although where she said it was not appropriate or supportive.

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Lime-Polka-Dot

I’m saddened to hear educators feeling that way. I can see where it’s coming from, but the role of education and structure for kids is so much more than babysitting.

 

Children whose parents have to work outside of home at this time will be stressed and tired, being able to continue a familiar school routine and engage the mind is of huge benefit to kids.

 

School is also a huge protective factor for vulnerable kids - family violence goes up during times of emotional and financial stress. You’re protecting and nurturing our kids, not babysitting them.

 

Early childhood educators and preschooler teachers in particular already have to fight so hard to explain the value in our work for fairly low pay, for people to liken us to little more than baby sitters as it is.

 

I have four year education degree just like primary school teachers but have to continuously justify the value of play based learning and that we are actually teachers too. Not to mention the vast discrepancies between awards for ECTs in LDC vs sessional kinder (up to $8 less an hour, up to 5 hours less planning and up to 7 weeks less leave)

 

It's truly appreciated when people like yourself express your understanding of our work but I think this ongoing battle is adding to our current feelings.

 

We have to keep sending our children to school to keep working while some others have the choice not to. We are putting ourselves and other family members at risk and feel we aren't being considered. I understand we are not alone in this much like retail and health staff at the moment.

 

I think the stresses we already endure are just increased at the moment.

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27plus

I started this post to hear what educators from ECTs through to trainees are experiencing.

 

Pay discrepancy etc at the moment is not relevant.

 

I am more concerned with their mental health.

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tracey1966

I work as a casual educator so my shifts are starting to dry up. I am also feeling that the government will shut down centres soon Things kind of seem weird and unsettling and I am worried about a job I love not being there anymore

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PhillipaCrawford

I'm an 'old' ECT, DD is a primary teacher.

 

Universally I think all teachers are feeling this.

 

We are surrounded by people whose work is closing down and sending them home for safety, yet we are required to continue to work in many cases with no additional safety practices in place. In DD's case no sanitiser, cleaning supplies.

 

I was furious earlier this week when VIT emailed that their 'staff safety was paramount' so they were shutting up shop and going home. While we are on the front line. ELAA have also left us.

 

The gov't has described us as an essential service - to baby sit kids whose parents are health workers and to keep the economy going. Nothing about our work intrinsically being valuable.

 

At my kinder my priority is providing a safe haven for the children - but I don't think anyone official recognises this. The AEU have sent a very strongly worded letter to the government just last night pointing out that no educational institution can deliver the infection minimising requirements decreed for everyone else, so why aren't we getting any support?

 

I find it weird other educators have not expressed concern to be frank

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MrsLexiK

I just want to say thank you to all the teachers and educators. We are 50/50 on sending DS2 at the moment, he went yesterday and his mental health was so much better. Daily reflection that got sent to me had photos showing me they did what they do most days. He has a major speech disorder and association with his peers is so good for him (and other adults). DS1 I’m sending to learn (primary school), maybe I’m naive but I would hope schools would be as understanding for teachers for the teachers as they are for the students who can’t be there right now. Ie teachers that need to stay home do class planning, marking those that are able to are in the classroom physically. (This wouldn’t work with LDC I know). However our school and LDC/kinder are small centres. We are seaside coastal town.

 

I’m sorry your staff are struggling.

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spr_maiden

Not a teacher, hope it's ok to post here -

It was worrying to hear from a teacher friend that not once have they been asked "how are you feeling about all this? What do you need? How can we help?". It's been nothing but directives and no real recourse for reply/discussion.

I think poor leadership like this increases fear and uncertainty. I hope an outcome of the 'inevitable school at home for indefinite time' highlights how teaching is a skill set that is highly valuable and not something that anyone can do.

You're not babysitters. You're amazing, and my children adore their teachers and love learning with them. You are a massive support in many ways to children, and therefore their families. I'm sorry people minimise you.

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onetrick

I'm a secondary teacher so at the other end. My students are generally more aware of hygiene but I'm worried if schools shut that there will be massive gaps of knowledge for some of the year levels especially, and the gap will widen between the haves and have nots. It is ignorant to think a podcast will replace what I do in a 70 minute teaching period- that might work for once a week for my seniors, but for my juniors it's more like 10 mins of talk and 60 mins roaming, checking up on them and personalised assistance.

I also hate the idea of working from home- not just for myself, but colleagues with multiple children. One of my much younger colleagues made the comment 'you will still get paid so you need to do the same work'- I offered to give him my 23mo for a couple of hours. Work will be done, but it will be different if we go off campus.

I also feel for those of you in ELC/ primary schools whose parents send sick kids cause they have to work not to get an educatio . Not fair for you :(

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Lime-Polka-Dot

I started this post to hear what educators from ECTs through to trainees are experiencing.

 

Pay discrepancy etc at the moment is not relevant.

 

I am more concerned with their mental health.

 

I was highlighting that this is already an extremely undervalued and highly stressful job on top of the current situation for those reasons. Which already impacts the mental health of employees. It's absolutely relevant whether you think so or not. You asked for the opinion of ECTs / educators and I provided mine.

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~Jolly_F~

The teachers and school support staff I know are all feeling this way. They feel undervalued and that the government doesn’t actually care about education.

 

By saying that they are keeping schools open because they will lose too many healthcare workers and the hypocritical kids cant go here because they might be carriers but it’s ok to pile them all into schools and expect teachers and support staff to risk themselves without any acknowledgment didn’t help one little bit!

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laridae

I'm not surprised that she's feeling like this. I don't want to send my kids to school, I don't want to go to work, I'm hanging out until they will let us work from home (they are working on it). I took a day off yesterday as I was just not coping. It does feel like we are all waiting until they close schools, so we can go home and practise the social distancing that they keep telling us about properly. I can't imagine its easy at the moment, I'm actually surprised that others are surprised that she said it, I can almost guarantee she's not the only one that is feeling it.

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EsmeLennox

It’s an unsurprising comment, given it’s basically what government leaders have said. We can’t close schools and ELCs, because who will look after the children?

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Kallie88
Posted (edited)

I'm a casual secondary teacher so I'm not getting shifts anymore. My dh is a centre manager in daycare and feels like they're just waiting for the call to shut to be made. He's already had to deal with a parent being diagnosed and having been in the centre that morning. His old work had a child in yesterday that's also just been diagnosed. Both centers are still open today.. Anxiety among staff is high, especially since most won't be paid if they shut unless they have sick/ annual leave to use. In such a female dominated industry most of those workers have used sick pay to stay home with sick kids etc so don't have much banked.

Talking to dd's kinder teacher, they're doing their best to keep things as normal as possible for the kids, but the anxiety is there too and they also feel like they're just waiting for the call and hoping nobody there gets infected and spreads it before then. They're asking for parents to donate tissues if they can because they've run out and can't get more supplies right now..

 

So the exact 'babysitting' sentiment hasn't been expressed to me directly, but given the way the government is treating them I'm not surprised at all. No thought or resources seems to be going to teachers at this time, they're just expected to keep going as normal pretending there's no risk to themselves, their families, or their students.

Edited by Kallie88

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IkeaAddict

An ECT who says they feel like a babysitter at the moment probably shouldn't be an ECT

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robhat

I can totally understand why the current discussions in the media would make a teacher feel this way. A lot of the talk is focused on the idea that 'someone has to look after the kids while parents work' and assumptions that kids would be all over the shopping centres if not at school. I suspect also the casual assumption from many parents that 'I'll just keep the kids at home and teach them myself' could easily communicate the idea that many don't see teachers as doing anything beyond what a parent could do themselves.

 

It would be way more helpful if people acknowledged that schools may very well have to shut at some point, for who knows how long and actually made some effort to ensure that learning can continue for ALL students and that risk to those vulnerable is removed as much as possible. While most kids won't get this virus badly (if at all) there are still a lot of unknowns, there are families with vulnerable adults at home, there are vulnerable teachers and there are also many cases of children needing to be picked up from school by grandparents or travel on public transport... And yes, the waiting is stressful for everybody, including the kids. Right now there seems to very much be an all or nothing response, which doesn't seem sensible. It should be obvious for example that many country schools should at this point be fine to stay open while some city schools quite possibly should have shut a week ago. It's also reasonable to suggest continuing school for year 12 students but setting up other grades to work from home or come into school for reduced hours as that could make social distancing within schools and public transport more feasible. But the focus should be on maintaining a reasonable level of education and actually talking to the teachers who do this as to how it could reasonably be managed, some of which may be school specific since we most certainly don't have a one size fit's all society!

 

But nah, teachers are just there to keep the kids away from the shopping centres while their parents do the important work. Make sure those kids wash their hands with the non existent soap and the small handful of available sinks...

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José

An ECT who says they feel like a babysitter at the moment probably shouldn't be an ECT

 

This post is so disrespectful!!

ECT are already underpaid and undervalued.

Now in the current environment even my local radio station is broadcasting from their homes.

Yet ECT are expected to turn up every day. Never mind young children can't comprehend social distancing!

And what's the rationale for keeping schools and daycare open? So parents can go to work. Not because the work us intrinsically important. But because workers need someone to watch their kids while they work.

ECT feel like baby sitters because thats how society and the government treat them and describe them- particularly now!

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wilding
Posted (edited)

An ECT who says they feel like a babysitter at the moment probably shouldn't be an ECT

 

And you love your job 24/7? and don't think anything negative about it just even once? Must be nice and cruisey.

Edited by wilding
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newmumandexcited
Posted (edited)

I’ve mentioned it another thread so I’m beating a dead horse, but I’m a teacher and have never felt so disrespected and undervalued in my life.

 

I am part of a few fb groups and have quite a few teacher friends across the board in education and everyone is very upset. I stupidly thought I was valued a little more than this - not even as a professional, but as a person. Not once has the risk to teachers ever been acknowledged or discussed. I’m totally babysitting - how can there ever be anything else when 30% of students are out, all they talk about in class is Coronavirus and they are very very unsure. I don’t blame them but it’s poor management. I’m not a babysitter.

 

I think ECTs have it even harder - totally totally undervalued to begin with.

Edited by newmumandexcited
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Kallie88
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newmumandexcited

I'm an ECT. I am anxious, which is making my patience less than it should be and making it hard to focus and concentrate. I'm trying to do business as usual, but I'm exhausted at all the emotional support I'm doing for colleagues, children, parents and my own family. I've kind of gone into 'wartime' mode, where I'm doing my bit to help the doctors, nurses and scientists do their bit, and that's the message I feel the government and trying to give us.

 

You’re doing amazingly and it’s a great attitude to have.

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PrincessPeach

An ECT who says they feel like a babysitter at the moment probably shouldn't be an ECT

 

I know more teachers than I would like to admit & even they are all feeling like this, that is from primary through to high school, public & private system.

 

The reason they are giving for keeping schools open 100% conflicts the advice given about everything else. So kids are not able to visit grandma in a nursing home because they might transmit the virus to her, but they can go to school & transmit the virus to their 63 year old teacher. Or pass it on to a classmate who then takes it home to grandma at home.

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Orangecake

Teachers are wonderful and I haven't ever thought of them as babysitters or even heard this mentioned before the pandemic. I think the government is trying to balance their reaction as this may go for anything from 6-18 months and have a big impact on education within the country.

 

Ive heard a number of primary school teachers feeling like this though. I was chatting to one of my children's teachers this week and she said she couldn't wait to work from home. Another teacher has been on sick leave (older age group) and another will need to self isolate from next week due to family member returning to aust. Another teacher from a local school posted a long vent on local Facebook page.

 

Realistically, there are a lot of people who are not wfh either at the moment. Both DH and I have professions where we can do our jobs from home, but our workplaces are still setting up procedures and trials of large scale remote working. I expect that in the next few weeks it will become more common. At this time schools will be on hols and hopefully able to offer some remote lessons when term 2 begins.

 

I'm honestly not sure how we will all manage to work from home with our children there, teachers included, in addition to homeschooling.

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