Let the teachers teach
Why is there a shortage of teachers? The answer is the same as for nurses and police: They can’t do their jobs. It’s not a criticism of their ability or effort but rather the administrative tasks that stop them from doing their actual jobs.
The often-reported shortage of capable, experienced teachers is exacerbated by the number of young teachers who start with great enthusiasm but leave disillusioned within five years. Teachers want to teach, for which they have been studying for at least four years, but they are stuck with doing administrative work and repetitive professional development in order to stay registered.
What can be done to remedy this at a reasonable cost and in a reasonable time? More money is always a positive, although most people don’t enter the profession for the financial rewards but for what they can do for their students. Respect for teachers has declined and it can’t be addressed by governments but, rather, by individual teachers who earn it.
Perhaps the only significant change at the moment is to recognize that teachers teach and administrators administer and never the twain should meet in one person. Dennis Fitzgerald, Melbourne, Australia