Too Cool For School



From top: Stacy Kenny; from left:  Jennifer de Poire, Edelle Mc Crudden, and Sinead Delany, all staff members of St Kevin’s College, Ballygall Road, Dublin. Centre: teachers at Lorreto College, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin Above:  St Colman’s Community College, Midleton, Co Cork this morning.

Oh it’s on.

Schools closed as teachers strike over Junior Cycle reform (RTE)

Pics: Sam Boal and Leah Farrell/Photocall Ireland, Proinsias Ó Tuama

31 thoughts on “Too Cool For School

    1. fosull

      Nope – this is still about pay.

      It’s about having to assess their students as part of their job, rather than getting paid extra to do it as a summer stage exam nixer.

      1. Clampers Outside!

        No, it is not.

        It’s about your own teacher grading your inter / junior / whatever papers. I’m with the teachers in believing that it is not a good idea in that it’ll add extra strain to the teacher / pupil relationship already strained by large classes and other education system failures and it won’t be good for either party.

        It’s also just a cut to education to save money without thought of consequence, IMO. This is the main reason for the change, let’s not cod ourselves, it’s not to fix anything, it’s to save money, and this is not how to do that.

        1. fosull

          Clampers, you’ve contradicted yourself with your last sentence.

          If it’s not about money, when then do you finish up your point by saying: “it’s to save money”?

          1. Clampers Outside!

            I meant, from the striking teachers perspective, they are not striking over salaries, over money. They are striking because this new practice is ill thought out and not good for the ed system.

            The govt is trying to save money through this exercise.

            Hope that clears it up.

          2. andyourpointiswhatexactly

            Nope, there’s no contradiction there. It’s about the government saving money, not about the teachers striking over money.

          3. fosull

            Now’t to “clear up” for me, thanks.

            I still believe that a sizeable number of teachers are striking here because of the threat it poses to their summer money, regardless of how they are pitching this.

            (By the way, I do agree with you and I actually think there’s a lot to fix in this proposed approach, but don’t buy the teachers’ concern.)

  1. CousinJack

    This is Ireland, no one has integrity.
    I heard one teacher say on the radio (newstalk this am) that they expected to get letters from local TDs about grading individual kids.
    Some kind of republic

    1. Sinabhfuil

      I’ve been thinking about this. A lot of people have been saying it: “Ireland is corrupt; no way will this be done honestly; teachers will favour their pets, teachers will favour the daughter of the rich farmer”, and so on.
      If teachers realise that this may be a factor, surely their correct action would be to become honest, to refuse the kind of corruption that would make it impossible for corruption to enter into the teaching of children? Or am I just some kind of crazy idealistic dreamer to imagine that Irish teachers would want this?

      1. Nollaig

        yep, I reckon that you are a crazy idealist! F O’Toole makes the point that 30 % of younger teachers are on temporary contracts – they have to compete for a permanent role / 12 mth pay check. They would stand a better change of promotion to FT if their class gets the best marks. So human nature kicks in…

  2. AliG

    This is about Pay – the millions they are paid each summer to mark the exams while on holiday. If they did that as part of their regular job then they would be happy to change.

    1. MUlch

      Its about integrity. Th UK have tried a similar system and it went down like a lead balloon.
      Its easy to say its all about money in a time when we are all taking it in the neck, but the teachers are spot on in relation to this one.

      1. CousinJack

        I don’t believe this is correct, a significant portion of scores for schhol qualifications are teacher assessed in England and Wales, and a sample from each school is reviewed by independent reviwers usually in a different part of teh country to ensure parity

        In Ireland we should be more concerned about teh number of 1st and 2:1 that UCC award compared to UCD and TCD

    1. All the good ones fly south for winter

      How about the take their favourite pupil on a road trip like in the book by Nabokov?

  3. GiGi

    Teachers differ and pupils die

    (as in their potential dies if you get what I’m saying).

    My mother is a teacher so I grew up with a coloured view as to what a teacher was. I looked for those same qualities in other teachers (interest, empathy, humour, enthusiasm etc.) and mostly found them to be honest but it was only when I entered my 30’s that I started to meet young teachers who really weren’t suitable to the calling at all. I believe that it takes a certain type of person to he s really great teacher. On one occasion a young Irish female teacher who I met on holidays told me that the snivelling brats she had to deal with in inner city Dublin were not worth her time and adventure holidays became her “coping mechanism”. She went on to regale everyone with takes and pictures of Kilimanjaro and white water rafting trips. My husband and I felt uneasy at her aggression. I though that maybe she was an anomaly but a short time afterwards we met a young make teacher who was in it “for the holidays and little else”. I still see evidence of great teachers who teach my nieces and nephews but is it the system that has failed these young teachers or these new teachers (the two I spoke of) that are failing the system?

  4. DazzaMazza

    We’re a corrupt little country. Planing, banking, government. Its rife. But the one system which is immune to corruption is the state examinations system. It doesn’t care if you’re parents are long term unemployed or if Daddy is a banker. Every student is treated equally without favoritism or risk of corruption. Marking in schools will lead to pressure from students, parents and even staff within the school. The exercise IS a cost saving measure, nothing else. Similar initiatives were tried and failed in the UK. I say fair play to them. Just like our health system, the people who work in it are ignored by credit seeking politicians who look to mark their term in office with a half baked innovation. Back the teachers.

  5. Villan

    Irish secondary school teachers are a funny lot, good enough and honest enough to grade their students end of year exams in first, second, fourth and fifth year. But not third year, oh no, definitely not.

    1. Kieran NYC

      Those are internal exams, whereas the JC is external and can be used to compare schools’ performances. Therefore pressure could be put on to grade students higher.

      But of course you knew that.

      1. Villan

        Sounds like a lame excuse tbh, presuming teachers are using the same marking schemes then schools’ JC results can still be compared. This scare mongering about Teachers being susceptible to external pressures is just that.

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