Why does my vocal school in Melbourne have so few teachers?
My vocal school at Melbourne’s Victoria Vocational Institute has only one full-time teacher, while the majority of its students are on a fixed-term course, so they’re not getting much help in terms of learning or support in terms to get on.
The students who are getting help aren’t in the classroom because they need the support to get through the day, or in the library because they’re studying and are reading or listening to music or listening online.
They’re doing it in the school, but they’re doing that for a very long time, and they’re very lonely.
I’ve had students come up to me and say they’re getting the worst of it, because there are so few vocal school teachers in Melbourne.
There are only a handful of full-timers and that’s because the school doesn’t have the funding to hire full- and part-time staff.
The other problem is there are many more people in the community that can provide the support that students need to get going in the right direction.
I work as a teacher at a school in Perth and I get quite a lot of requests from parents to help their kids learn the vocational way.
But there’s a very limited amount of support available for vocal school students, and even though they’re in a state of transition, they’re still getting bullied.
It’s a really difficult situation for them.
I have a very close relationship with a young student who’s a member of the school’s choir and she’s been really helpful, and she really cares for her students and helps them.
But even though she’s a vocal school student, she’s very much an outsider and it’s not something that she has much confidence in.
That’s why we’ve got so few staff in our school, because we don’t have enough support for our students to take on a permanent course of study, to learn what they need to know.
When you’re in an environment where you’re constantly being called on for support, it really hurts.
A lot of the staff at my school are incredibly passionate about their work, and it doesn’t help when you’re working for them at the same time, it just feels a bit unfair.
I know there’s support available, but it’s very difficult for young people to get help when they’re going through that transition.
So we’re working with the Government and looking at all of the ways we can help to make sure that we can support these students to get to a permanent place.
We’re also working with a school near me that’s trying to get a full- time teacher and they’ve already started recruiting teachers, so we’re trying to reach out to other schools and to local community organisations to get some help.
We’ve got a lot more work to do, but I really believe that there are plenty of resources that can help young people get through that process.
I also know that if we can all work together to get support for vocal learners, we can make a real difference.
The singer, poet and author, Suresh Bhardwaj, speaks about life as a transgender person and the role of music in challenging the stereotypes surrounding trans people.
He has a book out called ‘I Am Not A Transsexual: Transgender Life in India’, published by the Centre for Transcultural Studies, University of California, Berkeley.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.