It’s the stuff of childhood dreams, being able to choose your teacher for the year.
But for some schools in Victoria student selection panels are a real thing.
Students at Templestowe College, Melton West Primary and Eltham Secondary College, are just some of the Victorian schools implementing such a system.
“It means students get their have voice heard on genuine, important decisions,” says Tess Shacklock from the Victorian Student Representative Council, who sits on a selection panel that is part of the hiring process at Templestowe College.
“I’ve seen so many good quality teachers come through the program,” Shacklock said.
So how do the teachers react to being subject to such interviews?
“Some people react differently to students than they do to the principle and you do get different reactions. Some of them can be a little bit worried that they’re being interviewed by a student.”
“We have all different ages as well. We don’t just say only the senior students can do it. It’s important everyone gets a chance.”
The Australian Education Union believes that students aren’t the best people to be choosing who is right for the job.
“Students are yet to develop the necessary expertise and knowledge to be involved in such an important and complex process,” a spokesperson from the AEU’s Victorian branch said.
While it is important student voices are heard, they should not be directly involved in the hiring of teaching staff the spokesperson added.
“There is a role that students can play.There’s certainly something the principal can do in terms of talking to students about what they see as important, but it’s not appropriate to have students on the actual selection panels.”
What do you think? Would you want your child to be able to choose their teacher? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.