An Open Letter response to the West Australian article entitled: “Teachers banned from giving kids sweet treats”.
I confess. As a high school educator – I’m the “Candyman”. I believe that an ‘occasional’ treat holds value when it is … ‘occasional’ and unexpected. Increasingly, my teaching world is defined by what “I CAN’T DO” i.e I can’t pat a student on the back to congratulate their effort, I can’t keep them back after class to say “I liked your attitude today”, I can’t refer to them in any kind of “semi-affectionate” manner, I can’t drive them in my car to an excursion, I can’t screen PG movies, I can’t have class “end-of-term-parties” and now … I can’t reward them with a lolly!
Perhaps some teachers are using “Minties” and “Fantails” as a form of slow assassination; however, the evidence is pretty slim. It seems some sectors are hell-bent on radical change for change’s sake and they won’t let up until we ban desserts at the Year 12 Ball and biscuits from our School Camp shopping lists. With teachers facing a wave of pressure from an ever-shifting-curriculum and scrutiny from media over some educator’s inability to spell “recommend” – it would be nice to think that our profession might be thrown a “jaffa” from a grateful government!