‘I want to be recognised for what we do’

Lesley Graham, teacher

I’m second in my teaching department, so I’ve got a responsibility. I am also a teaching learning responsibility holder which means I get paid more and have an extra three hours per week to allegedly do my job, which is laughable. Even though I get these extra hours, it’s not enough time to do what I have to do. I also get into work really early at 7.30am, because I need to make sure that everything’s sorted, and if the teachers are absent, I have to make sure that they’re covered and everything’s already for their classes.

This is the first time I have ever voted to go on strike in my 33 years of teaching. I want to see our status to change. I don’t want to be a rock star, but I want to be recognised for what we do. The pressure on the great kids to get their A* grades or level 9’s, and those kids who quite frankly are not the most academically able, are doomed to fail. Creativity is gone, disappeared from the curriculum, and we’re going to end up with a lack of independent thinkers because they don’t know how to create or make anything yet the employment sector is crying out for innovative people. The system needs radical change with creativity at its core.

As told to Lizzie Gears-Pratten.

Symbolic image from pexels.com by Andrea Piacquado.

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