The Teachers Are Blowing Their Whistles!


CCTV has significantly reduced the violence in Aurukun.

65 CCTV cameras have been installed at Aurukun, the remote Queensland community from which teachers had to be evacuated 18 months ago.

Aurukun mayor Dereck Walpo said the installation of the CCTV cameras made it feel like he was living in a different place.

"People living in Aurukun feel much safer since the introduction of CCTV which helps, when we need to recruit qualified staff (such as teachers ) to work alongside our local staff," he said.

The CCTV system, installed at a cost of more than $1.7m, is operated 24-hours a day by police.

Mr Walpo said the ability for police to playback footage had "dramatically reduced large-scale unrest and ongoing community tensions". 

Big brother reduces violence in Aurukun, Shae McDonald, Australian Associated Press, 23 October 2017

Logan teachers had to buy their own air-conditioner!

I've been teaching in the public school system 16 years (still a current teacher) and I've worked in primary and secondary settings.

The staff in one staff room at a high school in Logan had to buy their own air-conditioner as the school was broke!

I challenge you to think of another workplace where you have to buy your own air-conditioner!

I've regularly seen and continue to see broken furniture, old broken teacher / student laptops, twenty-year-old desks in staff rooms, and no hot water or soap in staff rooms and staff toilets.

Funding issues in Queensland schools are at crisis levels NOW and mean fewer teachers and fewer teachers' aides and other school support staff for Queensland children. 

If less money was spent on the wasteful non-productive bureaucracy in Mary and George Streets and more funds were spent on teachers, school support staff and SCHOOLS - perhaps teachers like Kathy Margolis would not resign and Queensland children would be in good hands.



Mary-Jane, Reader's Comment,  Editorial : Give teachers the power to design lessons to suit individual classrooms, The Courier-Mail, 6 February 2016

Teachers working in country areas may be exposed to pesticides.

Just after noon on Friday 27 March 2015 a deadly pesticide was dumped on Butchers Creek State School near Malanda on the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland.

Fortunately the more than 40 staff and students were inside at the time.

The school went into Lockdown.

The students stayed in their classrooms with the doors and windows closed.

The pesticide, believed to be organophosphate, had been sprayed from a helicopter on a nearby farm.

Paramedics were called to the school.

It is understood that the paramedics checked the students for any possible side effects of the pesticide and have cleared staff and students from exposure.

Organophosphate can attack the nervous system, similar to the way the chemical weapon Sarin is used.



Butchers Creek State School staff and students cleared of pesticide symptoms after aerial spray scare, No named reporter, The Cairns Post, 27 March 2015

Pesticide scare at Far North Queensland school , AAP, The Cairns Post, 27 March 2015

Teachers may be exposed to diseases - e.g. tuberculosis - when teaching infected students.

A student at Cairns State High School was reportedly diagnosed with active tuberculosis in early March 2015.

Teachers and students at Cairns State High School who have come into close contact with the infected person will be tested for tuberculosis.

It is understood the testing will begin on Friday 20 March 2015.

Some reports suggest the infected person is a Year 12 student but this has not yet been officially confirmed.

Tuberculosis is a highly contagious bacterial infection that can affect any part of the body but typically attacks the lungs.

Tuberculosis spreads through the air when infected people cough or sneeze.

The disease can be fatal.

It kills 1.5 million people each year globally.


School screens for TB disease,  no journalist named, P.25, The Courier-Mail, Sunday 15 March 2015

Cairns State High continues medical checks for tuberculosis , Bianca Keegan, The Cairns Post, 25 March 2015 

Cairns State High TB results arrive : 14 people to have further tests.

110 teachers and students who came into possible contact with a person infected with tuberculosis were waiting to find out on 24 March 2015 if they were clear of the disease.

The patient was in isolation in Cairns Hospital.

Early test results indicated that the patient did not have a multi-drug resistant strain of the disease.


Fourteen people at Cairns State High School will now undergo chest X-rays and further tests to see if they have contracted the highly contagious bacterial disease. 


In the early 200's a case of TB was confirmed at a school on Badu island.

In the late 1990's a case of TB was confirmed at a school near Innisfail.

TB is a significant problem in Papua New Guinea.


Cairns State High TB test results due today  , Daniel Bateman, The Cairns Post, 24 March 2015

Cairns State High continues medical checks for tuberculosis , Bianca Keegan, The Cairns Post, 25 March 2015

Classroom heat greater than 28C may impact on you and your students' thinking and behaviour.

Michael Nagel, University of Sunshine Coast associate professor in development and learning, warns that when the classroom temperature reaches 28C, a student's reading comprehension would start to diminish.

"The hotter it gets, the dumber we become," Mr Nagel said.

"It impacts on cognition - thinking clearly and doing other mental tasks - we have evidence to suggest that when the heat surpasses those temperatures, people can become cranky and behave aggressively.

He warned that if a hot spell fell around tests like NAPLAN, the performance of Queensland students could suffer.



Robina Cosser says : So, presumably the classroom heat would also affect the thinking and behaviour of teachers.


This research could be useful to a teacher in a court case. 

And -

I took most of my university exams on the Sydney University campus.

I presumed at the time that everybody else was completing their exams in similar conditions

When I moved to Cairns I took one Indonesian exam at the Cairns Education Centre (on Greenslopes Street - now used for another purpose).

It was a modern building but had no air-conditioning.

The sliding doors were wide open and all of the fans were on full blast.

I will never forget how difficult it was to read the exam questions, think clearly and to write my responses while I continually struggled to control my exam and writing papers under the roaring fans.

I thought then that students doing exams in places like Cairns were being hugely disadvantaged.


Sweltering classes a brain drain, no reporter named, P. 14, The Courier-Mail, 10 March 2015

Some 'good' teachers spend more than $500 a year on resources for their students.

While out shopping with my high-school teacher daughter, I saw her buy 75 exercise books because parents will not supply them and schools have cut budgets for supplies.

This is not an isolated incident - coloured pencils, glue, whiteboard markers, scissors, pens, etc. are provided by teachers.

Some department heads are spending upwards of $500 a year so other people's children have 'free' education.

While this is not mandatory, there is an expectation if you are a 'good' teacher you will provide your own resources or your pupils will miss out.



Jayne Lee, Albany Creek, Letter to the Editor, P. 24, The Courier-Mail, 6 February 2013

Queensland teacher : however difficult our working conditions, we HAVE to continue teaching.

Teachers HAVE to continue teaching even when there is no power, or the LAN isn't working.

It's during these trying times that we as professionals, can't nip out for a coffee while everything is put right, we think on our feet and soldier on.

As for air-con, that is something most teachers only dream about.

I would love to see any politician work under the conditions we do.

The country would grind to a screaming halt!


QLD teacher, Reader's Comment : A little respect: attracting top teachers is not rocket science, Jane Caro, The Drum, Opinion, ABC, 4 October 2012  

The working conditions in some Queensland schools are disgusting.

Schools I have worked at are vermin-infested, have few working toilets, smashed doors and windows that take months to fix (if you're lucky), flaky asbestos-ridden ceiling sheets hanging down etc. etc.

The conditions are disgusting for both staff and students.

There have been periods of time where I have been greeted every morning by possum urine all over my desk and books.

The Education Department doesn't give schools enough maintenance money.



Teacher of Queensland, Reader's Comment 34 of 69, Vermin results in D for school report at Cavendish Road State High School , Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, 14 April 2011

Some Queensland schools lack really basic items - like door handles that open from the inside.  And soap.

The problems in Queensland schools extend far beyond building maintenance.

I had to wait 2 years for a basic whiteboard and wrote on butchers paper (that I purchased) which was blue tac'd to the wall.

Louvres had been kicked in and then boarded up so no fresh air could circulate and I had a broken door handle that wouldn't open from the inside for over a year.

Do you know how many kids thought it was 'funny' to trap me in my room as they left lunchtime detention?

To add to this joke, textbooks that contain out of date information and a map of the world for my wall that still recognises Yugoslavia as a country!

H_ll, we don't even have soap in the toilets, yet there are posters plastered everywhere about the importance of washing hands before eating and after going to the toilet!

Why weren't these basic issues addressed?

Because the money had been 'diverted to fix 'major vandalism problems' that occur because our school is in a low socio-economic area and the community couldn't give a st_ff about 'their' school!!

You need some basics to teach students.

Parents, you'd be horrified to know some of the conditions your kids endure each day.


How about a whiteboard first?



Anon. state school teacher, Reader's Comment 98 of 110, Vermin results in D for school report at Cavendish Road State High School, Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, 14 April 2011

Teacher's husband : Queensland classroom teachers have to spend much too much of their own money on basic resources for their students.

My wife and her teaching friends, to my disgust, spend quite a deal of their own money on items that should be provided by the Queensland government.

They all say that if they didn't buy the resources their students would miss out.

I cannot accept that Queensland classroom teachers should be digging into their own pockets to provide basic resources for their students.

I'm talking basic resources, not luxuries.



TJF of Brisbane, reader's comment, Pressures forcing teachers to quit Queensland schools, Carly Hennessy, The Sunday Mail : 24 October 2010.

The administrators in the Queensland Department of Education and Training give Queensland classroom teachers no support.

The general public only see the start and finish times and holidays of pupils and equate that with the working times of teachers.

I am angry with the resources development fairy that never helps me.

That means 80 hour weeks, not 30 hour weeks - lessons don't just happen!

In the meantime we have to deal with the Queensland Department of Education and Training ( DET ) , staffed with people who have their own desk, PC, air-conditioning and lunches that don't involve playground duty.

This is why new teachers last only 5-7 years in Queensland.

No support, no understanding, poor working conditions, lack of appreciation, understanding and support by the administrators in DET.

I suggest that all staff in the Education Department turn off their air-con for one day each week just to experience what Queensland classroom teachers have to cope with each day.



Peter of Brisbane, Reader's comment 8 of 68, Staffroom turns into war zone as Indooroopilly State High School calls in mediators, Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail : 26 November 2010.

In this working environment, teachers are prepared to do anything to crawl to the top.

I am a Queensland teacher and I can confirm that when you have -

 * a department run like the military,

 * wage suppression,

 * continual work load increases,

 * less time to prepare,

 * no support upwards

 * and a Minister who has no idea about education,

- you have a work environment where people are prepared to do anything to crawl to the top.



Sunnycoast, Reader's comment 23 of 68, Staffroom turns into war zone as Indooroopilly State High School calls in mediators, Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail : 26 November 2010.

Retired teacher speaks out about teachers' working conditions.

After four years of study and armed with degrees the equivalent of every other profession, teachers get stuck in classrooms without heating or air-conditioning and jammed into cramped working spaces.

No wonder there is such a huge burnout rate from the profession.


Retired teacher who has also worked at all levels of industry / commerce, Reader's Comment 12 of 19, Union says prepare for private school teachers strike, Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, 24 May 2010.

Teachers on playgound duty are sometimes attacked and sometimes injured.

Maths teacher Natalie Dove was being hailed a hero today.

A gang of five youths, two of them carrying knives, invaded the grounds of Marymount College on the Gold Coast during the busy lunch hour.

Natalie Dove stepped in to protect the students after a male student had been punched to the ground.

A 25cm kitchen knife was held to her head.

Construction worker Justin Gibson, who was building a new basketball court on the oval, grabbed a star picket to chase the gang away, while a colleague brandished a shovel.

They chased the gang away.

Mr Gibson said he could not believe how brazen the gang members were. "They kept coming," he said.

"When I grabbed the star picket, one of the kids with the knife said, 'you can't do anything, you'll get fired'.

"I said to him, "mate, I'm not a teacher, I'll hit you if you pull a knife'."


Robina Cosser comments : Teachers are expected to step in to stop fights.

They can be de-registered if they fail to step in.

In 2002 a male teacher was on yard duty at Langwarrin Secondary College (Victoria) when a group of girls aged around 16 started yelling at each other.

A brawl developed, the teacher sent for help but did not try to separate the brawling girls.

The Education Department sacked the teacher.

Their decision was backed by the Industrial Relations Commission.

The Victorian Institute of Teaching cancelled the teacher's registration.

But - as this Gold Coast gang member clearly knew, teachers can also be sacked for dealing violently with children.

So this gang member knew that he could safely attack a teacher, male or female, because teachers are vulnerable.

As soon as he realised that Justin Gibson was not a teacher, the gang member with the knife became afraid and ran away.



Teacher a hero as armed teens invade school, Greg Stolz, The Courier-Mail, 16 September 2008

Armed youths invade school, Greg Stolz, The Courier-Mail.

I was shocked at the working conditions of Queensland classroom teachers.

When doing my first "pracs" at primary schools this year I was shocked at the conditions teachers work under and with the behaviour that they put up with.

Both schools I worked in had dusty, vermin infested classrooms, broken furniture and broken computers.



Student Teacher, Readers' Comments 215 of 258, Premier Anna Bligh finds $1 Billion for Queensland teachers, Darrell Giles, The Sunday Mail : 7 November, 2009.

My daily routine - by a Queensland classroom teacher.

On my way to school every day I buy bread - out of my own wages - and I make sandwiches.

This is because half of the students in my class are not fed breakfast at home.

Then I get my teaching resources ready for the day.

I rarely get much of a lunch break because this is the time when we do some individual testing, or follow up with the principal about behaviour problems, or make sure children finish the work they avoided during class time.

After school I go home and do my planning and marking.

I email my students' parents regarding concerns when I am at home.

At the moment it is reporting time and I haven't had a night off in weeks, nor a weekend.

I have a hecs debt.

But I often have to spend $50 a week on resources for my classroom and my students, because the government doesn't provide stationary for us, or resources.

For example, I have to buy soap for my students because it is not provided, even with the swine flu concerns.

We were given one bottle of soap (which lasted two days) and no more.

And at my school many of the parents can't afford to buy books for their children, so I have to buy them out of my own wages, along with pencils, glue, scissors, tissues, printing paper and other resources.



Lazy Teacher, Readers' Comments 235 of 258, Premier Anna Bligh finds $1 Billion for Queensland teachers, Darrell Giles, The Sunday Mail, 7 November, 2009.

Education Queensland can take your wages in order to prepare for legal action.

Education Queensland has recently decided to stop handling all workplace health and safety issues that arise and refer them on to a special department that has been set up to investigate and penalise (financially) teachers who may be present when an accident occurs on a school site.

The impact on things like school sport, playground duty, musicals, rock eisteddfods, and any activity that involves a free radical component, is HUGE.

The day has finally arrived when the paranoid, fear mongering bureaucrat has taken over.

To teach in today's classroom not only dealing with a rising level of apathy from parents and the general community (not to mention those who just want to hide their head in the sand) - but you now need to deal with the fact that the organisation you work for can garnish your wages after a minor incident under the premise that it is preparing for potential legal costs (that may or may not eventuate).

If this legislation is allowed to stay in place, no one will stay in teaching.



Mitch of Brisbane, Reader's Comment 47 of 128, Queensland headed for dumb, immoral future, warns teacher, James O'Loan, The Courier-Mail : 7 November, 2009


This seems pretty amazing. Is it correct? Would anybody like to comment?  robina@theteachersareblowingtheirwhistles


joomla visitors

Members Area

Recent Blog Entries

Newest Members