Missing the point

21st April 2000 at 01:00
I WAS amused to find myself described as the perpetrator of a "horrific attack on our educational system" by Alan Graham (TESS, April 14). It is regrettable, however, that Mr Graham's penchant for the dramatic is in no way matched by an equal level of enthusiasm for accuracy - about the only part of my letter of March 31 which was not distorted was my own name.

I would defy Mr Graham or anyone else to find in my own letter even the slightest hint of criticism of teachers who spend time over and above that actually contracted, on school-related work. He ignores the fact that what I did say was that those who do not need to work those extra hours should not be forced to do so.

Mr Graham states that I believe that those spending more than their contracted time on schol-related work "can't do their jobs". This is completely untrue.

I certainly do not advocate any reduction in teachers' holidays, as Mr Graham seems to imply. By "the time of the employer" I mean time totally within that presently contracted.

There is also a world of difference between "caring about the personal and emotional well-

being" of one's pupils, and feeling that they will be emotionally damaged by one's absence, even if only for a day or two. It is this latter position which Mr Graham adopted in his letter of March 24, and is the one which attracted criticism from me.

I can foresee no agreement - I am one of those who "works to live". Mr Graham appears to be one of those who "lives to work".

Rory Shand

Holburn Road, Aberdeen


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