A teacher’s role has always been much more than simply imparting the fundamental skills of reading, writing and arithmetic. In any one day a teacher might also play the role of counsellor, friend, mediator, life coach, guardian or confidant. Working directly with our future generations of adults, society places a large load on teachers’ shoulders. As new social issues emerge, we look to educators for answers. So in a society where explicit online material and drugs are of increasing concern, how are educators bearing the burden of keeping our students safe?
When faced with the vices of an evolving society, educators are typically the first port of call to clean up the mess.
“If society is shifting in a particular direction, which it has … then teachers kind of have to mop up as a consequence of that because schools are more and more edgeless in their communities,” Peter Mader says.
“It used to be very clearly defined, those edges, but it’s now blurred or edgeless, and you can’t ignore the emotions that are on your doorstep.
“So, you’ve got to work with those, turn them into something more positive, and use that as the basis for a good educative experience.”
The disturbing rise of porn viewing by teens
According to Melissa Abu-Gazaleh, managing director of Top Blokes Foundation, a teenage boy in the 1960s had a 22 per cent chance of viewing a porn magazine, probably stolen or borrowed from a male adult.
Today, however, Abu-Gazaleh says an Australian boy’s first time of viewing porn is between 9 and 11 years of age, and that young males aged 12-17 years are the fastest growing users of unlimited and free hardcore pornography.
Mobile technology has brought damaging depictions of sex quite literally into the hands of any student with a mobile device, and schools are being called upon to address the issue.
– Chelsea Attard