Chris Edmund might be better known as the Great Australian Spelling Bee‘s “Pronouncer”, but the 2016 Logie nominee also taught acting at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts for 30 years. We asked him what he thought parents should know about teaching.
The challenges of being a teacher
“I think there’s a perception out there that teachers take long holidays and have short days,” Chris says.
“But actually the reality every teacher knows is that it’s becoming increasingly stressful to be a teacher. There’s more accountability, more pressures from parents and unreasonable demands on personal time that go unseen. It distresses me that so many teachers worldwide are leaving the profession. People really need to start appreciating the stresses and the difficulties that teachers face day-to-day before the situation gets worse.”
The importance of resilience
“Parents need to teach kids about having the right temperament if they want to get ahead in life,” Chris says.
“Kids need to know that they should be able to deal with rejection sometimes, to recover and to pull up their bootstraps. So my advice to students is that is takes a certain courage to succeed and you should really, really work for whatever it is that you want in your heart.”
Is homework overrated?
“I’ve been reading quite a lot about this lately,” Chris says.
“It’s interesting because countries like the Netherlands are setting almost no homework and still achieving the same results. It’s a vexed issue — studies have shown that if there’s too much homework it can lead to all sorts of unnecessary stress for children and I think that can be a very dangerous path to set kids on.”