[Offtopic] Points to consider including in VIT Review Response

Kevork Krozian Kroset at novell1.fhc.vic.edu.au
Mon Aug 27 13:03:03 EST 2007

Hi Folks,

 Can't help but react to this thread by recalling my Uni lecturer back in the early 80s responding to a push to pay more to lecturers who were in high demand fields such as IT ( or Computer Science as it was known as back then). He had come from IBM leaving behind a huge salary but was now "just a lecturer" and so in a more modest environment financially. 

  I don't know that there is intrinsically anything below "professional" quality/status/output in what teachers deliver in their working day. It is surely supply and demand that dictates what they can charge, negotiated collectively on their behalf by a representative group called a union. When there is a shortage anywhere in the world, the relevant employer increases pay/bonuses/subsidies etc to attract people to that area. They are recruiting in Dubai right now , tax free with free accommodation and furniture and return flights twice annually to Melbourne at pay rates equal to the gross rates here ....
[  As a further aside there is a fortune to be made in taxis for disabled transport due to unreliable and insufficient supply of these vehicles/services for the demand out there. So you don't need a 4 year tertiary qualification and can make much more than a teacher for those of our readers disgruntled with their lot .... ]

 I believe teaching is still hostage to the public perception that it is a variant of child minding. Never mind that teachers can demonstrate that they are not just "minding" children but teaching them economically valid current industry level skills such as how to write a program as you would see written in industry ( slightly modified to fit into time constraints of the course ), how to create an eCommerce web site as you would use if you were running a business or working for a company running their business. Perhaps others can tell me what other fabulous work they are doing in their classes as well. 

  So why is this not valued at " industry professional rates " ? We are imparting this knowledge to a group of 10 , 20 , 25  students. They can apply  this knowledge 25 times in industry. We are teaching , assessing and improving the standards at which students learn these skills.  We are not just teaching. We are developing , testing, doing, teaching and requiring others "to do" as we have done or go further if they are able. Why is this not valued more than just " teachers can't do so they teach others how to do " ?

  We are relentlessly being driven to improve, increase , grow, expand, extend, challenge, customise, tailor for individual learning styles, as we impart this knowledge to these 25 students yet we are not unrelentingly driving the message home to our employer about the value they are extracting from us. How many industries have IT networks that come close to what we deliver in schools ?  We are squeezed into even more productivity improvements in return for an extra 1 or 2 % increase in wages.  About as ridiculous as the brainwave of the opposition in offering to reward outstanding teachers with increased pay of $3000 per annum. That is a couple of medium sized pizzas with a litre of coke per week for how many hours extra work ? was it 10 or 20 hours ?
  If we are only ever perceived as "skilled workers" we can never hope for any more than mediocrity in recompense . Translation , get a second job, venture, business , investment if you seek higher financial reward. Why not buy property, develop it and secure your future that way ? or you can teach at night in a TAFE if you want more money. 

 We need to better educate our employer about our value or if we can't then we need to think about a move to Dubai !
  I wonder what everyone else thinks ? 


Kevork Krozian
IT Manager , Forest Hill College
k.krozian at fhc.vic.edu.au
Mobile: 0419 356 034

>>> "Stephen Digby" <digby.stephen.p at edumail.vic.gov.au> 27/08/2007 12:39 pm >>>
Professionals generally negotiate the terms of their contract with clients (even the "oldest profession" !).
Modern employment practice (e.g. AWA) is working towards the mandating of all employment conditions by the employer with only the
very scarce or very highly valued labour able to undertake any real negotiation.
Teachers have little chance of becoming a profession in this real sense.

We will remain skilled workers - a valued trade.

The tag "professional" is usually used when management wants a worker to fulfil roles beyond the paid agreement - "it's so
professional to stay until the work is done regardless of pay".

Teacher covet the tag because we are middle class aspirants who want to maintain some social distinction from tradespeople.

What we need is the government to regulate the teaching trade so that the skill level of workers is maintained and workers are
properly trained before starting work on our children.

I just think that they should pay for it.

I also think that teachers can choose to belong any number of organisations reflecting the diversity of their views and if the
government likes one of them (because it promotes the values that the government likes) then it might assist with its funding.

Just don't like the current setup of mandated membership of expensive and ineffective "quango".

Stephen Digby, Learning Technology Manager
mailto: admin at cheltsec.vic.edu.au 
Cheltenham Secondary College www.cheltsec.vic.edu.au 
Ph: 613 955 55 955  Fx: 9555 8617 Mb: 0431-701-028
There are two kinds of failures: The man who will do nothing he is told, and the man who will do nothing else. Perle Thompson 

-----Original Message-----
From: offtopic-bounces at edulists.com.au [mailto:offtopic-bounces at edulists.com.au] On Behalf Of techo
Sent: Monday, 27 August 2007 12:25 PM
To: Information Technology Teachers' Offtopic Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Offtopic] Points to consider including in VIT Review Response

At 10:08 AM 27/08/2007, you wrote:
> > Hello Stephen -
> >
> > Just for the info for the the few of us non-teachers here - is there 
> > a professional association for teachers along the lines on the 
> > Institution of Engineers Australia, the Royal Australian Institue of 
> > Architects, the AMA etc?...
>It is interesting that the bodies you mention fulfill the role of what 
>the union does for teachers, but as Engineers, Doctors, etc are 
>'professionals', there is a slightly different focus in their 

Maybe there lies the problem - teachers should think of themselves as 'professionals' too. While the IEAust performed some of the
functions of a union, they were run by working engineers rather than career union officials, and had the broad interests of the
members and the profession as their focus rather than political or IR matters. I belonged to unions (such as APEA, MOA, ASU at
different times) that handled the industrial matters of the day. Both have a role to play.

As a matter of strategy, a professional association probably has more clout and better image than a militant union, and could
achieve better outcomes for teachers in general by lifting the status and public perception of teachers.

comrade Jim

We have to use this Disclaimer

Views, opinions, etc. expressed reflect those of the author and not Ruyton Girls' School

Jim Maunder
Ruyton Girls School
Melbourne, Australia

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