education revolution

July 13, 2012

i know this idea won’t gain any ground but i want to put it down “on paper” anyways.

non-teachers all grumble about the 12 weeks of annual leave that teachers get, they moan about ‘pupil-free’ days, they roll their eyes at strikes.  teachers say its necessary.  particularly for training and up-dating and class/ instruction preparation.

(and teachers are worth (mostly) they pay they get and more.)

how about this to even things up?  we can still have the 12 weeks of “school holidays”, that is days when the kids aren’t in the school.  teachers can have four weeks of annual leave just like most other employees get.  they could even take these weeks off when they like, plenty of substitute/casual teachers about to fill the gaps.  the other eight weeks teachers can spend in training, up-dating and preparation.  if you can’t keep up with your industry and prepare a years worth of classes in eight weeks perhaps the job isn’t for you.



too poor to work…?

July 3, 2012

it’s an odd question.  even a stupid one maybe.  however it may sometimes apply.

i started thinking about this over the weekend.  paul and i were in one of those social settings where you don’t know anyone else and part of the polite chit-chat that is being made covers the question of “what do you do?”  of course the question should be phrased “what are you employed to do?”  as every parent knows there is plenty we do without being paid for it or identified by it.

i’ve read my share of opinion pieces etc about the feelings of a person being asked this question and replying “stay-at-home-parent.”  they range a lot don’t they?  since becoming a SAHP, and solely that, a little over half a year ago i haven’t been asked.  and i avoided it this time by claiming it was too cold outside for me and ducking away.  (i did slink back once the sun came out and the topic had moved on.)  but why did i feel like leaving this question not only unanswered, but unasked?  i’m not entirely sure.  perhaps there is that sense of shame that i’m bludging off on the excuse of looking after my kids.  there are a bag-full of other reasons too but it’s this one that i’m not “earning” a quid that i’ve been pondering these past couple of days.

when i was in the paid work force we racked up a lot of ‘money outs’ as i’ll call them.  six days of daycare each week, train tickets, coffees, lunches and snacks, make-up, and the too often take-aways because we were both to rat arsed to cook that nite, amongst others.  in my three week stint as a real estate agent we were actually going financially backwards!  was it worth it?  well, probably it would be if you were doing a job you loved and saw a future for you in it.  that was not my case.

i’m positive being out of paid employment in the areas i’ve sweated many years of bachelor and master’s degrees into is irrecoverably putting me back.  i’ll never get a job in my field again that will pay enough to cover school, child care, before and after school care, and all the sundry costs being paid actually costs us.  perhaps i’ll derive an income from something that let’s me avoid most of those other costs- we’re working on it.  at present, as odd and stupid as it sounds, i can’t afford to work.  i’m fortunate that my husband is on a reasonable wage and much of my effort supports him earning it unburdened.  what does a single parent do?

can you be too poor to work?  i think, in many shades and variations, you certainly can be.