Monday, March 26, 2012

Teaching Perils in South West Queensland


There is a certain doubtful charm to some characters in outback Queensland and the nether regions of Australia. This is the woes of the present  Principal in Wyandra's state school. Wyandra used to be a railway stop between Cunnamulla and Charleville in outback Queensland. I grew up on a property about 37 kms east of this small township. It consisted of a railway station for the Westlander that arrived from Brisband on the way to Cunnamulla every Wednesday afternoon and went through again about Thursday midday and then returned Saturday afternoon all the way from Brisbane and back again Sunday midday or there abouts. I had two pubs, two general stores and a petrol station in its heyday with a local school and a church building that was used by all denominations as most religious personnel only visited once a month I think. It has a war memorial, a race track a bit out of town, a CWA building and a few houses scattered around town. There also used to be an orchard down by the banks of the Warrego River.
It only has one pub now. There used to be a bit of rivalry between the two pubs and one was a bit more classy, if you could call a pub classy. It has a ladies lounge where women could go and have a lemon lime and bitters or just sit and chat over a shandy or two while their men folk got sloshed in the public bar and then the ladies were called on to drive them home. That was in more gentile days before women invaded the public bar and got just as drunk and vile as the men. In fact often the women tended to drink the men under the table with little effort and excel in all sorts of martial arts. Untrained, of course, which made it all the more interesting.
Anyway here is the article and a comment I wrote about it on Just Grounds. The stuff of teacher nightmares or harsh realities of a teaching job in some places.
That is the sort of individual who should not breed. Can you imagine what the grand kids think of grandma's antics at their school and having to change school because of it. Imagine the values of those children at a later date. I prefer not.

Interestingly this woman Moon was a dux of the school and a school captain in Charleville. I wonder what criteria they require for school leaders up there? A colourful extended vocabulary of the most basic words of the English language and a pretty turn of phrase and of course slap stick skills combined with a bit of kick boxing. Sounds like a savage bit of work. Intelligence and good sense do not seem to be a part of the criteria for leadership up there except for the now state premier.
Gee, really when you come to think about it, to teach up there you would require a solid lump of 4 X 2 or a baseball bat by the door of the class room, a karate black belt, an armoured car and not to forget a razor wire electric fence in your out of town residence with an alarm set to go off if the security is breached to the local constabulary to drive out as an emergency measure.
Sounds like fun if you are foolish enough to want to try to teach certain types of people how to read and write. First they have to learn to think. That would require some rather massive effort if their brains don't just haemorrhage from the effort. This makes School of the Air such an attractive prospect for most teachers out there as they can just switch the dial to the off position and stay out of sight when these animals hit town with their mouths a yappin' and their fists a swingin'.
Even Dandenong Secondary sounds attractive and tame after that.

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