Saturday, 8 December 2007

A Uniform Education

Apparently the Brumby gov't is considering introducing a dress code for teachers, which has been predictably translated into "They want teachers to wear uniforms"

Well, there are a few professions where you usually wear a uniform: Queen's Counsel, Doctors, nurses, etc. They all have respected jobs, although tend to wear their uniforms over their regular clothes ('cept surgeons).
Although most jobs where you have to wear a uniform are not professions per se: They're traditionally trades or services*. There is a school of thought (a ha ha) that teaching is a skill a.k.a trade, so maybe we can find our place in that set... Sooo, lesseeee...

Painters wear white overalls, foresters wear green I think, carpenters wear light brown, the SES wear white, Firemen wear yellow (or black and yellow), ambos wear blue, I assume plumbers wear the regular dark blue, I don't know what sparkies wear. So what does that leave?
I'm thinking... when you graduate education your hood colour is emerald, but that's already taken by foresters. Well, magenta is for the Arts, but currently unclaimed in the rainbow of overalls (and teaching really is an art** too) - so what about a range in that colour? Purple for preschool teachers, Pink for Primary, Scarlet for Secondary and Red for Tertiary. Yarr!! Wiggle me up!
OR How 'bout we just wear our academic robes? Dude!! How much would I love to be teaching plastic-straw construction in that?!! Or Octopus!

OR how about we just stick with the current dress code: dressing professionally and appropriately.
Clean, un-torn clothes that don't show too much cleavage or leg, generally cover your shoulders (out of courtesy for various cultures) and sensible footwear for whatever you're doing.

*But then there's this whole other thing that a profession is simply a field where you continuously learn and have a professional collegiate community - There are very few skilled jobs that don't fit that bill these days.
** Mind you, its quite an applied science, with some nursing, social work, law and engineering chucked in.

Friday, 7 December 2007

I'm beginning to twitch...

I don't know how to feel about this one:

Man Finally Put In Charge Of Struggling Feminist Movement

"All the feminist movement needed to do was bring on someone who had the balls to do something about this glass ceiling business," said McGowan, who quickly closed the 23.5 percent gender wage gap by "making a few calls to the big boys upstairs." "In the world of gender identity and empowered female sexuality, it's all about who you know."

"With a charismatic, self-assured guy like Pete pulling the strings, we might even see a female elected president one of these days," said Nathan Roth, an analyst at the Cato Institute. "Finally, the feminist movement has a face that commands respect."

McGowan, however, said he didn't get into the business of women's rights for the praise.

"What these women were able to accomplish with the little manpower they had is very impressive," McGowan said. "I just bring a certain something to the table—I'm not sure what—that gave us that extra little push into complete female independence. I guess it just comes naturally."

Cheers, World. Cheers

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

My Soul, you has it.

Strangely enough, the whole process of applying for teaching jobs is at least two posts in itself. I'm torn about my angst with it: Victoria is the only Australian state to not run on an allocation model. That is, in other states and Victoria-of-old you would say "I want to work in the southern metro region" and you could get school anywhere from South Yarra to Seaford. But these days, state school must advertise their positions via Recruitment Online - the clunkiest piece o junk ever - using forms etc. and its all done that way.
My dilemma is choice versus effort.

On the upside, you get to nominate who notices you, and its not the lottery it once was. In theory schools get the most appropriate person for the job and people who are less adept end up doing CRT work or even changing careers (believe me, there are people from my course I'd never have teach my kids). You get to match personality and suitability with a school's needs and community.

However, in applying for a job you have to answer at least 5 "key selection criteria", with not more than a page per answer. As a graduate, particularly a post-graduate student, I had no idea what to put in these responses (they really leave post-grads to figure it out for themselves). They take a lot of work, and you tweak each one for each school. Some schools add a 6th, which is fine because a lot of them specialise in a particular area, or have specialist facilities or needs. Some schools have 14. >:( And unless its a freakin awesome school they can forget it from me. 5 or 6 KSCs should be plenty revealing. It may seem a little whingy to lean on this point, but think of how much time it takes to write a 2000wd essay; now imagine its 3500wds and about yourself; now imagine its the only impression someone get of you. Yeah, its tricky, and that's before you do it a gazzilion times.

Another aspect to this is the contradiction bw the process and the principles currently come from the system itself. As teachers we're encouraged to broaden our teaching style and assessment methods to capture all the ways knowledge can be acquired and demonstrated. For instance, some people get things better with diagrams rather than words, or through movement or song; similarly writers shouldn't be punished for not being particularly strong movers if they can demonstrate their comprehension through other means. I mean, develop the weakness, of course, but don't make life harder. In this application we're being asked to promote ourselves through a wholly written method. You can set up a webpage with animations etc and direct people to it, but they might not read it. At the end of the day it is, in essence, an application for an interview, not a job. And we are supposed to have completed a university degree, not a tafe degree, and so be able to do this sort of process. Then there are parties who stand by teaching as a profession and others proudly call it a trade/skill - this process smacks of 'profession', so I suppose I know where the State stands on that point.

All in all, its a bit spirit crushing, and its going to take a while of "I have a job" to balance out the week of effort and nerves spent getting the job.

On the upside, one 2-year degree later and I have a job. :D

Nothing to do

I recently read a post from across the world from someone recovering from the bad weather blues. He'd been away from his blog for a while and thought someone might've missed him. He was right. I, on the other hand, have no such welfare issues. I am on the singles shelf of blogland.
But I have hope, so I write today.
Actually, no, I have nothing to do, so I write today. Nothing. Check that: I have ironing, so, you know, nothing.

We got our uni results last week and went out for drinks afterward. The venue was 'ok' but there wasn't enough dancing for me. The most interesting part of the night was when I left that place for another with a friend, found a few boys who were dressed as 70s gym junkies and so couldn't get into the Elephant and Wheelbarrow. Shame! we cried. Double-standards! we declared. And promptly went into the alley to change pants with the boys and dutifully get them in. I focus on the battles of feminism, rather than the war.

In the few days before drinks I'd been helping with a conference, juggling seminars with job interviews and had an offer on the Thursday, so it was a kind of nice when my friend - who had been present when I received the offer - told everyone about my job before I got to drinks on Friday, and before I had accepted the job. That's a lot of people to call, so I chose the job, coz it was neater.