Episode 25 – Student Panels, Raising the ATAR, School Canteens & 50 Shades of 2 Regular Teachers

In this episode we discussed and cited the following articles:

‘Students used to interview and hire teachers at Victorian schools’, Henrietta Cook, The Age, 16/2/15

‘Teaching degrees fail to get a pass mark: review’, Matthew Knott & Henrietta Cook, The Sydney Morning Herald, 13/2/15

‘Big food companies muscling in on lucrative school canteen industry to promote and sell their products to students’, Henrietta Cook, The Age, 1/2/15

Safe Schools Coalition Victoria – official website

4 thoughts on “Episode 25 – Student Panels, Raising the ATAR, School Canteens & 50 Shades of 2 Regular Teachers

  1. Great Podcast guys.
    Firstly, 50 Shades of Grey…That would be a conversation I need to steer clear of in the staff room as the light hearted relaxed banter that we relish in the child free moment of our day would be ruined by my rant…but I think it is a worthwhile conversation non the less…Here’s the link to a good post (Getting off the topic of education BUT like you said it is good to not always talk shop.) http://www.mamamia.com.au/rogue/fifty-shades-of-grey-review-rosie-waterland/
    In regards to the Students being used to interview teachers; on my drive to school on Thursday one of the school principals was interviewed and I felt he spoke quiet well. My reaction was like yours Rick: “Do kids really need to be involved in everything?” But it really came across to me in the end as a worthwhile venture. Any student was allowed to apply, they went through vigorous training (which sounds like really wonderful practical learning that will be very relevant in their own job seeking lives) and only a few were eventually selected to be on the panel but the others had been able to contribute to formulating the questions. It was made clear that the applicants were still interviewed by a teacher panel, referees still called as usual etc.If you are school that really puts students at the centre and that is a core piece of your culture what a great way to show this to potential applicants and see if they will be a fit for your school. If you are uncomfortable with that process then it is very likely not the school for you. I think it is not condescending or lessening the process but rather showing how important they think it is. An extra step to the process, another insight.
    And I too Rick am very proud to work at a school that is signed on to the Safe School Coalition. 🙂

  2. Hi gents,

    Love the weekly podcast. Your conversation about pre-service teachers and university courses struck a chord with me. I generally listen in on a Saturday and had a similar conversation on Friday afternoon with a small group.

    I must profess that I completed a Bachelor of Applied Science – Physical Education before moving into the Master of Teaching at Melbourne. My degree was aimed at physical educators as it has 19/25 core units and only a handful of electives to gain a second teaching method. I completed upwards of 80 days placement in the final year alone, which I felt was a great introduction to the profession.

    Sadly, this is not always the case as a number of students from the teaching component were not ‘ready’ to teach or had no real interest in being in a classroom and the demands it has.

    Some things that need to be looked at:
    – The quality of mentor teachers and also them taking their role seriously, providing feedback and valuing the profession by ‘failing’ underperforming teachers.
    – The quality of instruction at universities and their knowledge of what is currently happening in schools. (Some do it better than others)
    – PSTs actually having the opportunity to teacher their methods while on placement.
    – Basic literacy tests for all teachers entering the profession
    – Decrease the amount of places offered in education courses in order for it to become elite
    – The impact of a 4 year teaching degree vs. Bachelors degree & Dip.Ed/Masters

    I’m not sold on the ATAR cut off as you could have a passionate specialist teacher with great knowledge. I totally agree that too many are falling through the cracks. Maybe a portfolio application would be an option?

    Keep up the great work.

    • Hi Paul,
      You’ve raised some valid points and it is making me question my (initially) strong point of view about the ATAR score. Perhaps we need to focus on capping numbers in a course so that only the best get through rather than raising the ATAR.

      Your experiences to reach where you are now are testament to the fact that great teachers get in to classrooms via different pathways. Like I mentioned in the episode, I would have never got anywhere near the classroom if I tried to get in to university with my TER score back in the late 90’s when I graduated from high school. But I’d like to think now that I’m a worthy addition to the profession and assisting my kids to the best of my ability.

      I think the review we discussed in the episode must flush out those unis that are offering sub-par instruction and knowledge as you mentioned. Perhaps that is a place for some of us to go once we are done with the classroom? 🙂

      Thanks for the comment.
      Rick

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