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In praise of and as a homage to Interino teachers

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  • Are the Education authorities right when they say that they are going to prioritise “knowledge” over “interinidad”?
  • Are the interinos such a bunch of incompetent layabouts as the same education authorities seem to be claiming?
  • Or rather, are they a pivotal group in our Education system, mistreated and misused by the Education Authorities?

Those were the questions I had been mulling over and wanted to write about, ever since I read Ms Figar and Mr González’s statements in various media.

Unfortunately , before I had time to express my views, a tragic event took place in a secondary school in Barcelona on April, 20th. The young teacher killed was an interino.

I want to express from POPPIES my condolences to his family, my wishes for the prompt recovery of those injured, my sympathies for the family and the 13-year-old who did such an appalling deed, and my admiration for the teacher who  managed to disarm the boy.

At this difficult time, I fully subscribe what  Rosa Cañadell says in her article “Nunca Más”. And I can’t help but wonder with her whether more resources, better equipped and supported teachers, fewer hours, fewer students in the classrooms and a more open curriculum might not have prevented what happened. We’ll never know for sure, but it might have.

So, as an homage to the teacher killed and in praise of all those professional teachers working as interinos in the Spanish education system across Spain, here are my views on the questions:

Are the Education authorities right when they say that they are going to prioritise “knowledge” over “interinidad”?

This is a nonsensical fallacy:

  • Knowledge is something we acquire through different means, one of them is mastering what we learn, another is experience.
  • Interinidad is the state of holding a “temporary” position, job, etc. So, this would be like prioritising “knowledge” over “presidency”. Besides, many of the interinos know as much as —some even more than— many of the teachers who hold a permanent position and, it seems, far more than the authorities who made such a stupid statement. Moreover, in teaching, experience together with enthusiasm and a desire for lifelong learning are essential.
Are the interinos such a bunch of incompetent layabouts as the same education authorities seem to be claiming?

I imagine that, like within the group of teachers who hold a permanent position and like with any other in every walk of life, there are some incompetent layabouts who should not be teaching, but this is not because they are interinos but because they do not like teaching.

However, most of the interinos I know

  • Work very long hours.
  • Have far too many students per class and too many class-hours,
  • Often lack resources and support.
  • Are hired and sacked not according to the needs of the system but the whims of the education authorities to save money on education and spend it on publicity.
  • Sometimes stand in for teachers who are on leave because they can’t stand teaching and I agree, should not be teaching.
  • Other times take whole charge of difficult classes, spend their free time performing tasks other teachers are not willing to do, encourage students to perform better.
  • Motivate their students.
  • Are constantly learning … and, in short
  • are a pivotal group in our Education system, mistreated and misused by the Education Authorities.

And as such, they should be praised and respected, because they are fully professional teachers who like what they are doing. The Education system needs them and I truly hope they become members of its education staff.

Apasionada de la lengua inglesa y sus múltiples matices, mi objetivo es ayudarte en la preparación de la oposición a profesores de inglés y contribuir a que la escuela pública ofrezca la enseñanza de calidad –de y en lengua inglesa– que nuestros alumnos necesitan en el s. XXI

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