Over the last six months or so I have been working on a new project for this blog. This has arisen because of my interest in the History of Education, my involvement with the Australian College of Educators’ Archives Group and my commitment to telling stories.
My generation of teachers entered the profession under quite specific circumstances – the need for more schools to meet population growth and increased demand for skilled and educated workers to grow the post-war economy and ensure prosperity.
We were, one might argue, very fortunate. We rode the wave of government support and demand for an increased teaching force. On the other hand, as the stories will show, we accepted restrictions, commitments and conditions that would not be widely tolerated today. We took Caesar’s coin, and expected to render unto Caesar that which was his – going where we were sent and teaching what we were asked to teach.
I have to date had conversations with 20 Baby Boomer teachers – that is, those who entered teaching after leaving high school between 1961 and 1976. I have asked them how they got into teaching, where it took them and how they think it shaped both their life and who they became. I have written each on up as a story, or profile. I have made them anonymous both for consistency and to focus on the story rather than on the network of relationships and interactions which is inevitable in the relatively small world of Australian schooling.