Gabbie Stroud has called for policy makers to pay more attention to teachers when making decisions on education.
The teacher and author was one of the guest panelists on an episode of ABC’s television show Q&A which aired on Monday, October 3, where she spoke about the struggles of being in the education system for teachers and students alike.
Speaking to Fairfax Media on Tuesday, the day after the episode aired, the Merimbula resident said she was glad she was able to appear on the show.
“Because education is such a big issue it felt like there wasn’t enough time to canvass everything I wanted to get across,” she said.
“But I was really happy with how it went and it felt good to represent teachers.”
READ MORE: Gabbie Stroud shines on Q&A
She said for so long teachers had been left out of the media, so she was proud ABC had given her the chance to talk on national television.
“I think teachers’ voices have been lacking as the policy makers and the politicians don’t consult with teachers before making decisions on education,” she said.
“They’ll look to Gonski, they’ll look to Tony Abbott before they’ll speak to teachers!
“Policy makers and politicians are ignorant of the fact that teachers can contribute to the discussion.”
From what Ms Stroud has seen after the publication of her book Teacher and from talking to other educators is that “our teachers are at a point of crisis”.
There was one major message she hoped people would take home from her appearance on the show.
“I hope that teachers who are out there feeling just as I did, that they're burnt out, will come to the realisation they are not burnt out, but what they are experiencing is demoralisation,” she said.
While they were similar, including such symptoms as feeling depleted, stressed and worn out, she said they were very different.
Being burnt out meant thinking “I didn't manage my resources well enough” and “I didn’t look after myself enough”, Ms Stroud said.
Being demoralised meant knowing what work needed to be done as a professional, but being told by someone in authority to take a different path which did not work.
She also hoped teachers would be involved in more discussions when it came to policy making around education and when at home more people would talk about teachers and their role.
Speaking on Tuesday morning, she said she had received “hundreds and hundreds” of messages since the episode aired.
“It feels like I’ve struck a nerve and I’m getting it right, that I’m giving a voice to something that needs to be spoken about and bringing it into the light,” she said.
As she has been offered another book deal, Ms Stroud now plans to write another book which will be a letter to the parents of Australia to help them understand where teachers are at and what is involved in learning.
Couldn’t have said it better @TESOLoz -demoralisation happens in different degrees & is strongly linked to leadership/system... If they don’t value what you value, or respect that you’re educated, passionate and capable then demmoralisation is very real. #qanda#tesolozhttps://t.co/iFdbq5SIUS— Gabrielle Weiss (@Gabby_Weiss1) October 9, 2018