June 25, 2021

isPodcast - Episode Two

isPodcast - Episode Two

Shane Green talks with the author of The Bonsai Child and The Bonsai Student, Dr. Judith Locke, Mike Broadstock talks to Casey Grammar Principal Fiona Williams and ISV's Aynur Simsirel about being a principal in a pandemic, and we explore what's happening in education, including a short film festival for student movie makers.


Mentioned in this episode: 

Judith Locke and The Bonsai Child and The Bonsai Student 

The Parents Website 

2021 Student Film Festival 

isRecruit 

eheadspace and Kid's Helpline: 1800 551 800 

The Initial Teacher Education discussion paper 

Casey Grammar School 

Huntingtower School 

You can find isPodcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Transcript

Note: isPodcast is produced for listening and is designed to be heard. We encourage you to listen to the audio, as it includes emotion and emphasis that’s not on the page. While every care is taken, our transcripts may contain errors.   

Natalie Moutafis: 
Hi, everyone. This is Nat. Before we get going, we just wanted to say thanks for all the great feedback on our first episode, especially from our school leaders. We hope you find our next show just as interesting and informative. 

Hello everyone and welcome back to isPodcast: ISV's new show for schools and the wider community. Today, we explore what's happening in education, including a short film festival for student movie makers, and Mike Broadstock talks to Casey Grammar Principal, Fiona Williams, and ISV's Aynur Simsirel about being a principal in a pandemic. 

But first, how much do you do for your child? If you're doing too much, you may be overparenting says Dr. Judith Locke, the author of The Bonsai Child and The Bonsai Student. She tells Shane Green you could be limiting your child's development. 

Shane Green: 
We're joined by Dr. Judith Locke, clinical psychologist, former teacher, and of course, author of the popular, The Bonsai Child, and the sequel, The Bonsai Student. Judith, welcome to isPodcast. 

Judith Locke: 
Thank you. My pleasure. 

Shane Green: 
Judith, we're here to talk about the new book, The Bonsai Student. But let's wind back to the first book, The Bonsai Child. It's a very evocative image. Basically, what can happen when there's overparenting. 

Judith Locke: 
Yeah. Absolutely. And look, it's funny because I had been thinking about The Bonsai Child as a term for some time, it was all kind of crystallised for me when I was in the Huntington Gardens near Pasadena in California and, I saw this thing that was on a tree, this sort of information for children, where it was talking about the fact that trees need wind to grow stronger. 

It just absolutely brought it all together for me, where I just thought, yes, of course, we need challenge to grow stronger. We can't just have children growing up as these kind of heavily nurtured, perfect sort of experiences. They do have to experience all range of sort of challenges and not just have this perfect life, or else they're truly not ready for the future. 

Shane Green: 
Now, this will sound familiar to many parents. How common is this approach? 

Judith Locke: 
Look, my research suggested anywhere between 40 or 60 per cent of parents at Independent schools. I researched parents in Independent schools in Brisbane. Even when I go around and talk to schools around the country, I find that most of them are saying that; it's quite a proportion of the population. 

And it's probably on a continuum. I don't think you are either a Bonsai parent or not. I think possibly in some areas, parents might be a little bit overdoing the effort, giving their child too perfect a childhood. But for others, they're more extreme. So, it just kind of depends on where you are. 

Shane Green: 
You're talking about the extreme there, and I do remember one very telling anecdote from The Bonsai Child, that we featured on The Parents Website back in 2016. It was about what teachers were noticing when it came time for the school camp, with some students in Years 5 and 6. 

Judith Locke: 
Yeah. Teachers noticing that children couldn't dress themselves, didn't sort of know what to do. Couldn't even take their plate to the community sort of kitchen and things like that. 

So, it becomes really problematic that the parent has done so much for the child, that they're not ready for what should be an age-appropriate experience. It's funny, I even heard another anecdote about school camp recently, where some teachers are reporting that children don't want to go on school camp, which, it's very unusual now, because most times school camp was much more fun than your home environment. 

I suppose with things like TV, endless amounts of TV stations and that sort of thing, school camp, they sort of see it as being, not as an entertaining thing in their life. 

But these teachers were talking about the fact that some parents now offer their children money to go to school camp. So, they pay them per night to go to school camp, which is just absolutely crazy. The child should be wanting to go to that and wanting to have the experience of that. 

It's funny how often schools see the problems via these school camps, where kids aren't really comfortable in separating from their parents, or don't know what to do when they're away from their parents. 

Shane Green: 
That's quite amazing. Of course, we see cases of separation anxiety, but not to that extreme. 

Judith Locke: 
Yeah, absolutely. And look, a lot of problems that are being experienced by many schools is that parents still try and stay close to their child. So, you'll get parents booking into hotels near the school camp site, and things like that, and wanting their child to go to camp throughout the day and then come back to the parent at night, because the child can't be away from their parent. 

Now, yes, that might be an anxiety issue, but often, and really that should be treated by therapy that enables them to go to the school camp next year. That's not a fait accompli, if they do have a sort of an anxiety, that separation anxiety that is treatable, definitely the parents should be highly involved in that. 

But the thing that's sort of concerning is that they might actually find it a much more pleasant experience to be with their parent for the night, rather than with their friends, because their parents are doing everything for them, and sort of giving them all the indulgences and things like that. 

And really, particularly in about Year 5 or Year 6, children should want to be with their friends more than their parents. That really is developmentally what should be happening. For a child still to be clinging to the parent does not bode well for them having a full and interesting life. 

Shane Green: 
I think it's particularly significant, you don't use the term 'helicopter parenting'. Can you explain why the terminology is so important? 

Judith Locke: 
Really, technically, in terms of academic research, helicopter parenting is much more relevant to children at university, when hovering around your adult child, when they're going to university, is developmentally inappropriate. 

It is developmentally appropriate for you to still be near your child when they're young, and not allowing them to go to a park when they're six years old without being present. That would be under-parenting. 

But over-parenting is kind of good ideas gone too far. For example, it's not allowing them to get on public transport, even though public transport is safe when they're in high school years, or still doing their homework for them in high school, that's where it becomes really problematic. 

So, it's good intentions, but gone too far. And like overeating is just doing too much of a good thing and overexercising is doing too much of a good thing, overparenting is doing too much of the good things of parenting, which risks harming the child in developing their essential skills and independence. 

Shane Green: 
I think you've also coined a new term: the Sherpa parent. 

Judith Locke: 
Yeah. Sherpa parenting is a term I've recently come up with, and it was following me seeing a mother pushing her two children up a hill. The two children were on scooters. The children weren't pushing the scooters themselves. The mother also had their two schoolbags on her back and was physically pushing them up. 

She really did look like a Sherpa, somebody who's carrying all the difficult equipment, and the person is just in front of them climbing the mountain, unencumbered by any sort of responsibility. 

I know in the mountaineering community, they talk about, well if you climb a mountain with a Sherpa, are you really climbing? Or are you kind of just day tripping with someone doing all the hard work? 

I think when parents carry their child's bag into school, when they're doing all this sort of hard work of it all, even in Year 12, if they're taking on all the child's chores that year and not making them do anything difficult, just to allow them just to do Year 12, that sort of Sherpa parenting doesn't truly prepare them for the future. 

All of these terms, they're terms, they're sort of evocative images that I hope sort of make a connection with parents. It's still just overdoing it, but it just gives it a bit of richness for people to understand it more easily. 

Shane Green: 
Now to The Bonsai Student. Firstly, congratulations. It's a tremendous resource. The book was the logical next step. 

Judith Locke: 
Yeah. Thank you. Yes, it was. Originally, The Bonsai Student was actually a chapter in The Bonsai Child, but it was such a huge chapter that I realised that it would be better as a standalone resource. 

So, I pulled that chapter out of The Bonsai Child, and then developed it is a whole book, because there's so many topics, such as homework, the morning routine, the afternoon routine, report cards, and things like that. So, I thought it was much better to sort of make it into its own resource. 

Shane Green: 
You've got a great section on schooling 101. Basically, it's about parents knowing what's happening at school and what's expected of their child. 

Judith Locke: 
Yeah, absolutely. I really wanted to push in the book that schooling is not just about academic results. It’s not. I think we've gone that way too far with leaderboards and stuff like that, where schools are being compared just on their academic results. 

I think academics, yes are important, but other things are much more important, like developing community mindedness, developing social skills, developing an interest in the world, and that sort of thing. So, that's much more important than just good marks. I would argue if a child is just there to get good marks, they're certainly not getting the best out of the school. 

Shane Green: 
You mentioned life skills. In fact, you identify five essential skills. 

Judith Locke: 
Yeah. That's probably one of the favourite chapters I've ever written, on the five essential skills, because I talk about each one of them:  

Resilience, the ability to face difficulty. 

Self-regulation, which is the ability to stop current pleasure for future gain – so doing the sort of tough things now for future enjoyment, like studying hard or doing your homework. 

Resourcefulness, which is being able to solve problems as they come up, not relying on other people to do that. 

Respect, of course respect for authority figures, but also respect for the rights of others and playing the games that your friends want to play and things like that. 

The last one is Responsibility. Responsibility is an extension of respect towards the sort of thing where you are seeing your role in the community to actually be enhancing the community, to not be more about your rights than your responsibilities. Standing for people on the bus, older people on the bus and things like that. 

Those five skills are essential, but unfortunately, some really well-meant parenting practices now may sort of thwart the development of those skills. 

So, I talk about how that happens, what to look out for in your child, if they've got these skills, and then what to do, if you see them lacking in any of these areas. 

Shane Green: 
Judith, I'm sure many parents listening will be thinking 'That's me!' And they might be despairing when they recognise they've been overparenting, but your message is, it's never too late? 

Judith Locke: 
It's never too late. I've got to say it does get a little bit harder, the older that they are. I would much prefer parents to read this when their children are younger, to sort of make sure that they're sort of slightly altering things now to change the trajectory. 

But look, I've worked with parents of 20-year-olds. I've worked with parents of children who finished university, and you can turn it around. There are real strategies in both books about turning things around, and the big key message of both books, particularly in terms of schoolwork, it's very much about stepping back so the child steps up – the very act of a parent stepping back, not reminding them to do their homework, not waking them up 20 times every morning to go to school and things like that. 

When you step back from that and allow them to experience the consequences of their choices, that in itself should start to alter behaviour. But of course, it gets much harder if your child is in Year 12 and you're only starting that then. I always recommend that you start earlier, but look, it's not impossible to change, if it's been going on for some time. 

Shane Green: 
Judith, thanks so much for your time. So many great insights and ideas. Thanks for joining us on isPodcast. 

Judith Locke: 
My pleasure, and happy stepping back everybody. 

Shane Green: 
You can find out more about Judith's work and the books on the link we'll provide on the program's website. 

Natalie Moutafis: 
Being a school principal can be extremely rewarding, but also very challenging, with long hours and the stress that comes with looking after the wellbeing of students and staff. In 2020, it was harder than ever. Mike Broadstock looks at what it's like being a principal in a pandemic. 

Mike Broadstock: 
It's not easy being a principal, even at the best of times. 2020, a year of bushfire, flood and pandemic, was harder than ever. And it looks like we're not done with COVID yet. 

Independent Schools Victoria's principal support team reached out to the leaders of all our member schools last year to see how they were travelling, checking in to see if they were okay, if ISV could do anything to help, or just to lend a friendly ear. ISV's Aynur Simsirel, herself a former principal, shared with us what they had to say. 

Welcome to isPodcast, Aynur. 

Aynur Simsirel: 
Thank you, Michael. 

Mike Broadstock: 
COVID's taxed everyone's mental health. Principals had to consider the wellbeing of their school community as well as their own. How did they cope? 

Aynur Simsirel: 
I think surprisingly well, given the actual role of a principal, being one that they're constantly perhaps coping already with uncertainty at times, conflict, competing priorities. 

Though this was perhaps the biggest upheaval for education in memory, principals actually seem to surprisingly cope still really well throughout this pandemic, for most of the part. 

Mike Broadstock: 
Independent schools are all very different. Can you tell us about the different challenges principals faced? 

Aynur Simsirel: 
I think the different challenges, given the actual diversity of Independent schools, is really the very resources that often Independent schools may have access to, or not have access to. 

In addition, I think one of the major factors for Independent school success is really just how close knit the school community can be. Which can sometimes be an additional community expectation and challenge for principals as well. 

Often, I think, relying on their own initiatives as principals as well, so really having to work out what the next step is within their own sort of schools together, without necessarily relying on the wider resources, if you like. 

Mike Broadstock: 
Your team spoke to principals at all our Member Schools last year. What did they have to tell you? 

Aynur Simsirel: 
It was quite extraordinary, actually their stories, listening to some principles about the extraordinary set of circumstances and challenges that they were facing. 

Such as one principal not having even met their school community and having joined or become a principal in the middle of the pandemic and finding ways to build relationships without the opportunity to even meet face to face with their school community. 

It was a huge challenge, but you could just see how there was that real relentless sort of conviction to not let go, knowing that they were perhaps the calming face and hand of their actual community, and their communities really did rely on them and look up to them. 

I recall one principal having to actually cope with losing a family member, of one of their student's family members being lost to the actual pandemic. So, it could be coping with technical throughout the day and really ensuring that everything is in place for remote learning, but at the same time, sharing that pain with families and really being a part of family stories, was a huge challenge for principals. 

Mike Broadstock: 
We know that schools are communities as well as schools. How does a community face being totally separated? 

Aynur Simsirel: 
We heard stories of principals definitely connecting one-on-one on Zoom, or whatever platforms they could find, but also posting out little letters and postcards. Posting out little gifts and birthday cards to their students and sending messages at the most sort of unexpected times, where those little stories that just were so heart-warming and kept the whole community going. 

And reminding each other that, yes, we're apart, but we're still connected in some way or another and reaching out, even if it meant through a telephone call, beyond school hours as well. And that's what was actually happening. 

Mike Broadstock: 
Thanks for your time, Aynur. 

Aynur Simsirel: 
Thank you, Michael. Pleasure. 

Mike Broadstock: 
Fiona Williams is Principal at Casey Grammar, a Prep to Year 12 Christian School for boys and girls in Melbourne's Southeast. Fiona had only stepped into her role when the pandemic first hit last year. We had originally arranged to discuss what it was like back then, but the pandemic has a long tail. Fiona Williams, here we go again. 

Fiona Williams: 
Yes. Here we go again. It's been a very long year in the life of a new principal, and we are really working hard to try to keep our school community together again, as we move into remote learning yet again. Remote learning, number four, for us. 

Mike Broadstock: 
Do you feel more prepared this time around? 

Fiona Williams: 
Absolutely, more prepared. The staff swung quickly and easily into remote learning this time around. So did our students. There was none of the panic. It was all very calm. While there might've been a couple of junior school students in tears, that's more about missing their teachers than it is about going into remote learning. 

So, definitely, we've got this remote learning covered now, but it's a vastly different story to this time last year. 

Mike Broadstock: 
What's it like being a principal in a pandemic? 

Fiona Williams: 
It's actually quite isolating. You're on your own a lot more. We don't have the colleagues around us that we normally have whenever a crisis hits. Certainly, last year, when we first went into remote learning, I brought my Crisis Management Team together. We put together a policy for managing the remote learning program, and I drew a lot of strength and support from the team around me. 

But as the lockdown continued, I became increasingly isolated, even though they were at the end of a Zoom meeting or at the end of a phone, they still weren't in the same room with me. I found that quite difficult. 

One of the things that we learned last year is how important relationships are, not only for teaching and learning, but the support of colleagues as well is really, really important to us in schools. 

Mike Broadstock: 
Staff and students often turn to their principals for advice and support. Who were you able to lean on for help? 

Fiona Williams: 
Well, there were various bodies out there that I turned to during the pandemic. ISV were incredibly helpful. They have a number of different support staff there that I drew quite heavily on. They were always just a phone call away. Very responsive and extremely helpful. 

The other groups that I relied on were AHISA, and they were very helpful in that, by about September, I think, of last year, I was really feeling it. They responded by appointing a mentor to me, and that was really helpful. That's the relationship, obviously, that will continue for as long as I'm a principal. 

The other organisation that I drew strength from was the Ecumenical Schools Australia, which as a Christian School, we belong to this organisation. It's a fairly smallish group of schools, and I drew great strength and comfort from the more experienced principals there. 

One of the really difficult things as a new principal for me last year was, watching really experienced principals struggling around me. We're all in the same boat. None of us had experienced anything like this before. Seeing those experienced principals struggling really, I guess it frightened me a little bit, because I was turning to them for advice and assistance and support, and they really were in the same boat as me. 

Mike Broadstock: 
So how long had you been a principal when the pandemic first hit? 

Fiona Williams: 
A few weeks. 

Mike Broadstock: 
Wow. 

Fiona Williams: 
I commenced in January of 2020 and the pandemic hit at around about March. From the minute I stepped into the role, there seemed to be a few crises to deal with. 

You may remember back then; we'd had some significant bushfires and some number of staff and students had been evacuated from fire zones during the school holidays. We were dealing with supporting them. 

Then there was the smoke haze, which was pretty much as soon as school came back, and there was a lot of questions around the health and safety of the students playing outside. We had a trip to Canberra lined up for our Year 6 students. There were quite a few anxious parents about going to Canberra, because at that time their smoke haze was really bad. 

So, we were dealing with those issues and then suddenly we started hearing things from China, and the possibility of a virus. Then before we knew it, we were in lockdown. It was quite a difficult start to being a principal and a very challenging period. 

Mike Broadstock: 
So, how has the Casey Grammar community responded? 

Fiona Williams: 
I've been so impressed by the way that the community have responded. One of the things that attracted me to this school in the first place was the strong sense of community. I was very worried during the lockdown period. How would our community remain bonded together? How would we maintain that sense of community? I felt a real responsibility as Principal to really work hard towards trying to maintain that sense of community. 

One of the things that I did during that lockdown period, which I never thought I'd ever do, was I became the video queen. I was making lots of little videos and sending them home to parents, to students and to staff, just to try to remind them that school was still here and that they were still connected to their school. 

I made a point of doing one video from the playground, so the junior school students could see me there and remember how much they enjoyed playing there. I did video clips for staff from the staff room. So just try to maintain that sense of connection to the school. 

On reflection, I was probably wasting my time, because one of the things that happened was that this community bonded together even more strongly than they had before. 

One of the wonderful things that we've been enjoying since we've been back at school is this even stronger sense of community. People are much more involved in the life of the school, coming to school events, and really keen to be part of the school community, now that we can in fact come together again. 

Mike Broadstock: 
What did you learn from the experience? 

Fiona Williams: 
Well, I learned the importance of connections of people. The importance of teachers and students being together in the classroom for their communication and their learning. We realised that it really is difficult to try to teach over Zoom or various other video platforms, that that connection to your students is absolutely imperative. 

The students realise that as well. I think when they first went home in the first lockdown, it was all a bit novel and a bit exciting. The excitement soon wore off for the students. One thing I never thought I'd ever see in all my years of teaching was teenagers really, really keen to come back to the classroom. 

So, it was a really joyous occasion when we were able to come back, back in June of last year. But unfortunately, it didn't last very long. But certainly, the students appreciate now being in a classroom with their teacher, being able to ask questions, not relying on technology, not relying on the internet, but actually having their teachers there at their fingertips to assist them with their learning. 

It's a really important thing that we've learned through COVID. 

Mike Broadstock: 
Has it changed how they teach? 

Fiona Williams: 
Oh, definitely. Yep. Definitely. They use technology a lot more effectively than they did before. They're using the various electronic platforms that were available to them before, but they may not have been using quite as effectively as they could have. 

The staff were on an incredible learning curve last year, and they really have mastered the use of technology in their classrooms. Now they're using that much more effectively to supplement the face-to-face teaching that they enjoy so much in the classroom. 

Mike Broadstock: 
Did you have students in the school? 

Fiona Williams: 
Yes, we did. And we do right now, in lockdown number four. We have a small group of students who are the children of essential workers, and they've come in every time that we've had the remote learning. I've certainly got to know them really well. 

There's about 40 or 50 students out of a school population of about a thousand. So, it's only a small proportion of our total school population, but they are being very well looked after by learning assistants, librarians, and some of the teaching staff who are rostered on. 

Mike Broadstock: 
This time around – shut down number four – are you doing things differently? What are you doing differently? 

Fiona Williams: 
Well, we were certainly a lot more prepared this time around. The staff swung straight into remote learning without any real difficulties. I think our parent body are much better prepared this time around. And so, we didn't have to do the work with the parents that we had to do last time around. 

I guess the main difference this time around is being able to swing agilely into remote learning and having earned the trust of our students and our parents, for them to know that it'll be okay, to not panic, and that the students learning will continue, even though we've gone to online learning. 

Mike Broadstock: 
How do you feel when you think back on your first year as a principal? 

Fiona Williams: 
It was a very difficult period – a very difficult time to manage. 

I guess, one of the benefits of being a new Principal going into a pandemic is, we didn't know what we didn't know. So, we just ran as crisis managers really, throughout the course of the year. 

People used to say to me, how do you enjoy being a principal? My answer was, 'I really don't know yet, because I feel like a crisis manager'. And really that's all we were last year. It was a very strange year to be a principal. 

I'm starting to experience, this year, the joys of being a principal. One of the greatest joys about being a principal is having the students here at school, and being able to go out into the classrooms, and into the playground and spend time with them at assemblies, and all those things that we take for granted that we couldn't do last year when the students were locked down. 

So, I am enjoying being a principal now, although not right now in lockdown, but I'm looking forward to the students’ return, because being a principal really is a privilege and a pleasure. I really love what I'm doing now, but not so much last year as a crisis manager. 

Mike Broadstock: 
Fiona Williams. Thanks very much for your time. 

Fiona Williams: 
Well, thank you. 

Ben Hardy-White: 
A lot of people ask me, "What is your film about?" I have my own views on what the film is about, but what's really special to me, is hearing what other people think, and people coming to me with views on the film with ideas about it that I'd never even considered. 

You have people that come to you, and they say, 'Your film is definitely about climate change. Isn't it?' And that is so just rewarding to know that you've made something that has such an ability to create so many different opinions about it. 

Really, as an artist, I think that is one of the best things, is handing it over and asking people: "What do you think? What, what does this mean to you? What is the message of this thing?" 

Shane Green: 
That was incredibly articulate, former Eltham College student, Ben Hardy-White, who won the People's Choice Award in the Year 12 category of ISV's Student Film Competition in 2019. 

His extraordinary film, Year of the Cat, is set on the beach where a diner is being stuffed full of cake. Sort of like Mr. Creosote from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, except instead of being overwhelmed by what she's eating, the diner is gradually being devoured by the swelling tide. 

Ben says making the film and taking part in the film festival, was a really positive experience. We held the festival again last year with a tremendous response. The good news Nat is that it's back in 2021. 

Natalie Moutafis: 
That's right, Shane, which means students get to share their creativity on film, and the rest of us get to enjoy it. 

Shane Green: 
So how do students take part? 

Natalie Moutafis: 
The Student Film Festival is being run as part of the 2021 Arts Learning Festival. ISV is inviting Victorian students in all year levels, across all school sectors, to submit a short film – or films. 

There's an optional theme, which is the same as the broader festival theme: Reimagine, recreate, renew. Entries close Friday, the 10th of September 2021. We'll put a link in the description. 

Mike Broadstock: 
ISV has also launched a new employment web portal, isRecruit, to help our member schools attract the best education talent. It can be used to search resumes, advertise job vacancies, and schools can keep all the applications in one place. 

Shane Green: 
It sounds like it streamlines the whole process, Mike? 

Mike Broadstock: 
Yeah. One of the real positives is that schools can outline their values at the outset, which helps them attract the right applicants. 

Shane Green: 
What else has is happening in education, Mike? 

Mike Broadstock: 
On the COVID front, ISV Chief Executive Michelle Green, told the media that there is a strong case to give staff in schools and childcare services, vaccination priority. 

Shane Green: 
That sounds fair enough. They often keep working, when many of us are based from home. 

Mike Broadstock: 
Yeah. Like Michelle said, 'They're on the front line and many feel vulnerable.' 

Natalie Moutafis: 

On a related note, Headspace CEO Jason Trethowan, wants young Victorians to know that mental health support can always be accessed online and over the phone if needed. We'll link to that on our show page. And they can always get support via Kids Helpline, which is 1800 551 800. 

Shane Green: 
Thanks, Nat. 

Mike Broadstock: 
Finally, Education Minister Alan Tudge, has released a discussion paper on initial teacher education. 

Natalie Moutafis: 
He wants to return Australia to the top of the international education rankings by 2030. 

Mike Broadstock: 
That's right. He says improving teacher quality is the way to do it. But according to the ITE review panel, some teacher education courses aren't meeting the standard. And only half of the people, 52 per cent doing the courses, are completing their degrees. 

Shane Green: 
So how do we improve the situation, Mike? 

Mike Broadstock: 
Well, the Minister says the government is already taking steps, such as the literacy and numeracy test for teaching graduates, but says that it would help for instance, to have alternative and shorter pathways to encourage mid-career professionals, to become teachers. 

Natalie Moutafis: 
And of course, there's this discussion paper. 

Mike Broadstock: 
Yes. The review panel is especially interested in hearing from Year 11 and 12 students, current teaching students, school leaders, teacher educators, and anyone who is thinking about becoming a teacher. 

They have until 18th of July to give their feedback on the paper. We'll link to that on the podcast page as well. 

Natalie Moutafis: 
And that's it for episode two of isPodcast. Thanks for joining us. We're going to leave you with the Sonata for flute and piano, first movement by Francis Poulenc, played beautifully by Huntingtower School VCE student Leo Kong, and accompanied on piano by Mrs. Ying He. 

Natalie Moutafis: 
isPodcast is brought to you by Independent Schools Victoria. It's produced and recorded by Greg Lawrence and Duncan MacLean and presented by Michael Broadstock, Shane Green and me, Natalie Moutafis. You can find transcripts of our shows with links to what we've discussed at podcast.iseducation.com.au.

You can find isPodcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.