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Protecting Childhood. Fighting against age-inappropriate educational expectations


Our mission is to advocate for happy and healthy childhoods where learning is child-centred, age-appropriate, activity-based and fun. Education should meet the holistic development of each child, free from standardised testing and ranking.

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Teacher Stories

Two passionate and experienced teachers moved us to create Protecting Childhood and its subsequent advocacy for children and teachers.

Kathy Margolis was a primary school teacher in Queensland for 33 years. In February 2016 she resigned form Education Queensland in frustration and pain. She wrote her reasons in a letter to the Brisbane Courier Mail, and posted the letter on her Facebook Page. Friends asked if they could share the post, and within a few weeks it had been shared 35,000 times. Kathy was bombarded by press, radio and TV requests nationally and internationally. Queensland minister for education Kate Jones also phoned her.

In a recent union magazine there was a comment that Kathy Margolis’ words will soon die away into history and be ignored. Not so says Kathy.

Kathy’s 2nd Feb Facebook post :

Teacher’s Facebook post on why she quit teaching goes viral

Former teacher Kathy Margolis on her viral Facebook post (ABC Radio)

Queensland teacher Kathy Margolis quits after 30 years, letter explaining why goes viral

'I have never seen kids so stressed and anxious. I cannot do a job that is fundamentally against my philosophy'

Stressed Teachers: The Project

Teacher unleashes Facebook tirade about why she is quitting after 30 years

"Education is in crisis": teachers and parents speak out

Gabrielle Stroud was a primary school teacher in the Catholic system in NSW. Teaching was a vocation for her and she taught in primary schools for fifteen years in NSW and the UK. She wrote an article for the Griffith Review as to why she left the career she loved - . It too went viral early in 2016. A radio interview with Richard Fidler on ABC radio national Conversations followed. This too hit a the national nerve.

Why school teacher Gabbie Stroud loved and left her career

Teachers Thriving. An interview with Gabbie Stroud

Bega Valley teacher quits classroom to fight for change

Gabbie Stroud’s resignation post on Facebook

Children ‘victims’ of Australia’s standardised education system

The combined publicity regarding Kathy and Gabby’s resignations will not be forgotten by Protecting Childhood. We admire them for having the courage to speak out on behalf of our children. Thank you Kathy and Gabbie!

Australian primary teachers resign in protest at standardised, assessment-based education

What is going on in Australian schooling?

Our school system is in strife. Teachers are being forced to teach a crowded curriculum which is pushing students too hard, too fast. They have been turned into data collectors, administering a copious number of standardised tests which neither inform their knowledge or understanding of the children’s abilities/needs, nor enhance the learning of the children. The students are the collateral damage.

Kathy Margolis, Qld

Education today is run on a business model. Schools aren't business. I don't want to work in a business. I want to work in a school. I was rushing my beautiful, beautiful kindergarten students through their assessment tasks at the end of the year. I was not giving them the attention that they deserved. I was trying to jump through hoops that the system has put forward. I realised I wasn't serving the needs of my students. I was serving the needs of politicians and bureaucrats.

Gabbie Stroud, NSW

Kathy Margolis explains some of the inappropriate curriculum expectations at “Children Come First” workshop, 22 March 2016

Kathy Margolis on Prep in Queensland and "what happened to the concept of readiness at “Children Come First” workshop, 22 March 2016

A poem by Marie Cullen, teacher and director at LessonBuzz, dedicated to Kathy Margolis and all the teachers who know that teaching is more than a job: it's a gift of legacy passed on through the generations.

What's the RUSH?

I go to school most every day,

I want to learn with fun and play.

I might be part of the human race,

But I can't keep going at this pace.

I want to write stories created in my head,

Inspired by my teacher and "brought to life," I said.

I love to hear of pirates and knights,

I love to listen and then go and write.

I wish they would stop all this testing and assessing,

It wastes my time and I find it quite depressing.

We're not learning the arts and values,

It's just a performance and it seems quite shallow.

Families and friends and a school community;

That's what's needed for our unity.

I've only got a few years to be a child,

I need teachers who are fully reconciled

To go the distance, to run the miles,

To give their time, their hearts, their all,

And we will remember them when we are tall.

Other Teacher Stories

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