It must be Collective Bargaining time. The “teachers are lazy” chorus is being chirruped in the media. Its latest iteration arose from a speech made by a 15 year old objecting to worksheets. We probably shouldn’t blame her- when I was 15 I thought I knew everything too.
Within a week Pebbles Hooper learned that having an opinion doesn't guarantee it’s worth airing; her chickens came home to roost. Perhaps an adolescent lack of awareness -that calling teachers ‘lazy’ might be offensive- is more forgivable.
Sadly, any fledgling hopes she might learn there are consequences for lacking respect (and evidence) fell flat. Like birds of prey, journalists flocked to gather anecdotes about ‘lazy teachers’ instead.
Of course, the rational know that the plural of anecdote is not data. The data shows that NZ teachers help kiwis fly. They consistently perform in the top tier internationally, while PISA survey data shows that NZ teachers are ranked -by students- among the highest in the OECD. Such data reflects NZ teachers generally.
Despite this, NZ teachers are paid poorly in comparison to other high performing nations. They are currently seeking to catch up a little- no wonder the speech got airtime.
Published in Dominion Post letters 21 July 2015