Secondary school maths teacher appalled by intransigence of her union to get children back to school


Appalled by the intransigence of her union when it comes to getting pupils back into classrooms, this maths teacher at a state secondary in the North of England resigned her membership. 

Here, in a powerful account, the experienced teacher in her late 30s – who asked to remain anonymous – lays bare the unions’ shameful attitude.

The idea that my union should advocate that schoolchildren be forced to wear face masks in schools would have been the final straw for me – if I hadn’t already cut up my NASUWT card a month ago. 

I cancelled the direct debit when I realised they just didn’t really represent me any more. Nor, I suspect, do the unions speak for the vast majority of teachers on this whole issue of going back to school. In fact, the unions have been a brake on us going back to work. 

When I’ve had to make phone calls to my tutor groups, their worried parents ask, ‘They are going back in September, aren’t they?’, and I’ve been really honest and replied: ‘If you want to know who’s been causing the problems, it’s the teaching unions.’ 

Appalled by the intransigence of their union when it comes to getting pupils back into classrooms, one maths teacher at a state secondary in the North of England resigned their membership (stock image)

Appalled by the intransigence of their union when it comes to getting pupils back into classrooms, one maths teacher at a state secondary in the North of England resigned their membership (stock image)

My union representative has been like a dog with a bone on the subject of returning to school and unable or unwilling to see both sides of the argument. I’m sure that’s the case in a lot of schools and the heads feel their hands are tied. Recently, our head drew up a risk assessment and asked us all to sign it. My attitude is that there’s always risk in everyday life. 

Inevitably, some of the things in the document were utterly absurd, such as prohibiting us from making a cup of tea for a colleague. But after months of trying to teach online, I was happy to sign it and get back to work. Yet the union rep insisted we shouldn’t and had so many daft objections.

I was left thinking, ‘Do you know what? We get paid to do a job and I believe that kids need to be in a classroom, learning.’ 

Teachers need to realise there are always going to be risks and I don’t expect my head to be able to guarantee my safety from a virus. It’s time for us to say enough is enough and get back to doing our job. At the moment, I feel embarrassed to be a teacher because we’re taking a salary and not earning it. 

I’ve got colleagues earning between £40,000 and £50,000 a year and they’re doing little or no work. Putting work online doesn’t count, to my mind – we’ve had a lot of kids who haven’t accessed it at all. 

We know who the COVID-vulnerable people are now, and obviously a teacher who is vulnerable needs to take that up with their head. 

But the vast majority of us should be going back to work. We’re behaving as if we’re working on the frontline and we’re not. 

'The idea that my union should advocate that schoolchildren be forced to wear face masks in schools would have been the final straw for me,' she said (stock image)

‘The idea that my union should advocate that schoolchildren be forced to wear face masks in schools would have been the final straw for me,’ she said (stock image)

There’s a lot of scientific evidence that the kids don’t transmit the virus much anyway. Social distancing was one thing, but when the NASUWT said kids should be wearing masks all day, it just became ridiculous. 

It’s psychologically damaging and completely impractical. We’re always told in teaching that it’s all about building rapport and relationships but how on earth do you do that if you and the students are wearing a mask? 

You wipe out the vast majority of your communication skills by putting one on. Imagine the Year 7s, starting at secondary school for the first time. How terrifying would it be to step into a school full of masked children and teachers? Masks have such negative associations. 

In any case, children should not be asked to protect adults, it ought to be the other way round. If teachers want to wear gloves and masks, that’s up to them, but I don’t. 

Teachers are always seeking the moral high ground and saying ‘It’s all about the kids’, but since March it hasn’t all been about the kids, it’s been about the teachers and the unions have played up that aspect. Schools do need to go back to normal, not just for the kids’ education and their mental health, but also for the good of the wider economy. 

Schools should be the example for the rest of society to follow and teachers need to get a bit of backbone and say: ‘Yes, we’re going back as normal in September. The kids are entitled to an education and it’s wrong to impose restrictions on that.’ 

Get link

xoonews.com


Manoj Prajapati

Related Posts

Psychiatrist Dr Robert Hampshire from Sydney has registration cancelled for inappropriate behviour

Comments Off on Psychiatrist Dr Robert Hampshire from Sydney has registration cancelled for inappropriate behviour

Sydney: Woman injured after her mobility scooter rolled off a platform and onto train tracks

Comments Off on Sydney: Woman injured after her mobility scooter rolled off a platform and onto train tracks

Josephine Skriver wins Sports Illustrated’s Rookie of the Year

Comments Off on Josephine Skriver wins Sports Illustrated’s Rookie of the Year

The dashing Italian property developer who won Princess Beatrice’s heart

Comments Off on The dashing Italian property developer who won Princess Beatrice’s heart

Anthony LaPaglia, 61, reveals what hotel quarantine in Melbourne was REALLY like

Comments Off on Anthony LaPaglia, 61, reveals what hotel quarantine in Melbourne was REALLY like

Massive 700metre wall will be built at the NSW/Queensland border to stop people sneaking past cops

Comments Off on Massive 700metre wall will be built at the NSW/Queensland border to stop people sneaking past cops

Getting married before the age of 21 increases the risk of a drinking problem in later life

Comments Off on Getting married before the age of 21 increases the risk of a drinking problem in later life

Surfer goes missing in heavy seas off Sydney – as rescue helicopter is called in

Comments Off on Surfer goes missing in heavy seas off Sydney – as rescue helicopter is called in

NONE of the alleged gang rapists who brutally attacked a five-year-old boy will not be charged

Comments Off on NONE of the alleged gang rapists who brutally attacked a five-year-old boy will not be charged

Incoming Greens senator Lidia Thorpe wants all asylum seekers to be released as COVID-19 cases soar

Comments Off on Incoming Greens senator Lidia Thorpe wants all asylum seekers to be released as COVID-19 cases soar

Vandals deface Nelson statue as police identify demonstrators who toppled Edward Colston’s monument

Comments Off on Vandals deface Nelson statue as police identify demonstrators who toppled Edward Colston’s monument

Sydney’s COVID-19 cluster IS linked to the Melbourne second wave

Comments Off on Sydney’s COVID-19 cluster IS linked to the Melbourne second wave

Create Account



Log In Your Account