MP slammed for social media comment about teachers

Just when you thought you’d seen or heard it all from politicians, they say something else to surprise you –
MP Andrew Laming is under fire over comments he made about teachers on Facebook. Source: YouTube

Just when you thought you’d seen or heard it all from politicians, they say something else to surprise you – or in this case, make you mad.

One Federal MP has been slammed on social media over a post questioning whether teachers were back at work yet.

It seems like an innocent question, but maybe it was the way Brisbane based MP Andrew Laming worded it that’s got everyone so hot under the collar.

He wrote on Facebook on Monday, “Are teachers back at work this week, or are they ‘lesson planning’ from home? Let me know exactly.”

The Brisbane Times reported some of the fiery comments back at Laming’s post, with people jumping in to defend teachers.

“Is parliament in session or are you ‘working in the electorate’?” one person replied.

“Why is ‘lesson planning’ written [in] inverted commas? Are you insinuating it doesn’t exist? Do you know how many hours of our own time goes into planning and preparation for things that generally have to be done but also for the things that are done out of our own sense of professionalism or love for our students…?” another wrote.

And if that’s not bad enough, it’s given his opponents something to talk about too.

Queensland Education Minister Kate Jones told the Brisbane Times Laming’s comments were a “cheap shot”

“Clearly Andrew Laming hasn’t spent any time in a classroom lately,” she said.

“I visit schools all the time and see firsthand how hard our teachers work.

“I wish all teachers the best as they work hard and prepare for the start of the school year.”

Since the story broke on the Brisbane Times, Laming deleted the post – but not before major media outlets could pick it up and people could share it hundreds of times.

The MP has since posted a story about avoiding teacher burnout, but it seems the damage has already been done.

What do you think about the comments? Were they a “cheap shot” at teachers? Or do you think they were ok?

  1. Petra Simpson  

    Andrew laments you should be ashamed for such an ignorant comment , I know so many teachers ,and they are all so dedicated to their job , they put so much time and effort into teaching ,if politicians gave as much as our teachers do this country would be a better place .

    • Gavin Weston  

      I agree with your reply but there is one thing that I think is different between these employment situations. One is that Teachers who are worth their money do give a lot of time and effort and thought to making their lessons so that it catches the students interest. This aspect takes time and effort to get right. I am not a school teacher but my brother in law was a great teahcer and I have spent time with him and know just how much thought effort and enquiries he put into making his “lessons do the job”, as he put it. I also know as I was a Scout Association leader for seven years and put a lot og effort into this. We had so many boys who were not doing well at school but when it came to the more practical side of life as in Cubs, Scouts and Venturers. I put time in with the boys not doing so well on a one on one basis with parents permission who often sat in on my sessions and these boys improved themselves both in Scouting and at School. I received many great thanks from parents who cared for their children. It was an experience I would not have missed for anything.
      Polititions gather in their groups to discuss how they could manipulate matters to be able to gain the advantage in Politics. That is besides the time they are spending travelling at the tax payers expense to goodness know where and not to the benefit of the taxpayers to any real degree. Some of the Pollies are genuine but the standard has slipped over the last couple of decades as far as I am concerned.

  2. Judy Donald  

    Andrew Laming walk with me for 6 hours and I bet I know which job you would prefer. Ignorant twit!

  3. Wal  

    What an idiot, parliament “works” what, 100 days a year, half that time less than half even attend the sessions, the rest of the time they are busy trying to find ways to supplement their incomes by utilising every “rort” they can. when it comes to a vote in a session, the speaker has to “ring the bells” to summonse those who haven’t bothered to attend the debate to come and vote. How can they vote when they haven’t heard the debate….. just follow the leader like sheep. Then have the hide to make such an insulting comment……..

    • Susan Bell  

      They hear the debate over speakers in their offices. During the debate, if they are not participating they are seeing constituents, lobbyists, public servants etc., etc. i their office listening to the debate.

    • Wiso  

      Wal ……….. Just goes to show how ignorant you are of the work that politicians do !! They work twice the hours a teacher does and they don’t get to go home to their home and family every night either.
      If teachers worked as hard as pollies we wouldn’t have so many illiterates in our society. Who else but teachers get 10 weeks holiday every year ??

  4. Judith  

    I’m afraid I don’t even understand his comment.
    What does he mean and why is he asking?
    The story is incomplete and the full story however might explain his remark.
    Let’s see the post to which he was referring, and then make comment.
    Sometimes we jump in too soon to criticise and he may have been an idiot but what caused his comment in the first place?

  5. Joe  

    If politicians worked half as hard as dedicated teachers the country would be in a much better state. Maybe Laming was trying divert attention from his own poor work performance by endeavouring to throw stones at the innocent

  6. Peter williams  

    Just another GRUB out of touch with the electorate

  7. P. Taylor  

    I believe he has a point. I worked at a school for 27 years and the teachers used to complain incessantly about how hard they worked in the holidays when it was suggested they were fortunate to have so many holidays. Well so what so do thousands of other people. I worked numbers of hours at school in the holidays and it was only a very few – probably about 5 teachers that I ever saw at school. The other thing is I used to suggest they might like to get another job if they were not happy with their ‘lot’.Only one staff member ever did and he lasted no time due to quote ‘it was too hard and was not worth the remuneration he was getting. Teachers are traditionally moaners!!!!!

    • Dianne  

      How much work did you take home and how many hours did you work in the evenings, at night, early mornings and on the weekend? Teachers have earned their ‘holidays’ in unpaid extra hours, long before each term is ended. Tally up, the average hours a competent teacher spends in total, doing the job, and then compare with a 40 hour a week worker. You would find teachers work the equivalent of many more 40 hour weeks then there actually are weeks in the year so actually no real holiday at all and a poor hourly return given the qualifications, skill development and professionalism required and work conditions that many would not tolerate. You say teachers are moaners, perhaps some that you knew just needed less stress, better funding and more appreciation. You do not even disclose when you worked those 27 years or in what position, which would be important details to know as pressures in the education sector have and are increasing exponentially.

    • John Thompson  

      Not sure what else you have done with your life but I went into teaching as a 35 year old after working as electrician then my own working in construction and general maintenance in iron ore facilities and refineries. I have now worked as a primary teacher for 32 years in Australia and overseas and still working in the job I love. In all my time in the workforce from age 15 I have worked with and alongside people from labourers to trades people and professionals. They all have had a wing about something. You can’t pinpoint teachers they way you have. It just shows what little you know about human nature. Prior to teaching I used to work a 40 hour week and if I worked over that I was paid overtime rates. When I started teaching I nearly gave it up as the workload was unbelievable. 6 hours a day contact time sounds great but the other hours before and after the students were at school pushed my daily hours to around 9-10 a day. As I became more experienced I was able to reduce the time but not the stress required to deal with new policies, pressure from admin, unresponsive parents and of course politicians and people like yourself. One point I would like to make is I’ve seen more people give up teaching because it’s too hard than the other way round.

  8. Good day Mr. Laming, did you go to school? I believe because of dedicated teachers make you having the position that you’re holding now. Teachers are one of the gracious job in the world, they are next to parents. Wondering what’s happening in Australia in general. Students assaults their teachers including principal and now politicians trying to doubts the teachers commitments! What the hell?

  9. Marg standen  

    Seems to me every time a politician open there mouths they put there foot in it. OR are the media misconstruing what’s being said. Teachers consistently saying how much time they put in after hours be it at school or home. The jury is out!

  10. Anne mangraviti  

    I wonder if Mr Laming goes to Canberra when Parliament is not sitting. I am a teacher and have been for over 30 years and in all that time and no matter what school I was at TEACHERS have always given above and beyond be it weekends to practice school plays or extra lessons for HSC Practical students. No matter what holiday it is teachers go to school to give holiday workshops so their students have a better chance of achieving their dreams.
    I am sure he is the sort of person who thinks teachers who take students overseas for the cultural or language immersion are having a free holiday Can I say I willingly invite him to come and do all the paperwork to have the trip approved all the negotiations with the travel agents to access the best price for our students and then be on call for 24/7 during “holiday time” please let me know when he will be available to take a trip unlike his colleagues who buy properties on their supposed work trips! What a joke of a person he is for making that comment!
    Maybe he should spend some time in a classroom and really see what is involved.
    And just for the record I went to school Monday to give extra speaking lessons to my year 12 whilst I was there so were FIVE other staff members some of which returned Tuesday. I will be back next monday and also the last Monday of term. Why you might ask? Just so I make sure my students have the best possible chance of achieving their dreams under difficult teaching conditions that I will not go into here. And just like my school so are there thousands doing the same thing. Actually it was the conscientiousness of oned much loved country teacher that cost her her life!!!
    Before making such stupid comments maybe he should think. I have never bought into the teacher arguments but I am sick and tired of this profession constantly being bagged.

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