NSW Premier’s Debating Challenge 2020 - Years 5 and 6 State Final

Duration: 42:49

The Premier's Debating Challenge for Years 5 and 6 is a huge competition, with 659 teams completing more than 1,500 debates in 2020 despite being delayed and forced online by COVID-19. This state final was held over Zoom on Monday 14 December and features Terrigal Public School (on the affirmative) and North Sydney Public School (on the negative).

The topic was 'That primary school classes should swap their teachers around every week instead of having the same teacher all year.' and the speaking time was four minutes.

Congratulations to both these teams and to all the students and teachers who contributed to the competition thriving in 2020!

Transcript – NSW Premier’s Debating Challenge 2020 - Years 5 and 6 State Final

TONY DAVEY: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 2020 State Final of the Premier's Debating Challenge for Years 5 and 6. My name is Tony Davey and I'm the Speaking Competition's Assistant for The Arts Unit of the New South Wales Department of Education. And I'm coming to you from the Cammeraygal land of Eora Nation.

Before we move on, both teams are going to do their own acknowledgment of country for us. Because obviously, they're spread out around New South Wales on very different lands. So first of all, Terrigal Public School, I'll get you guys to kick us off.

STUDENT 1: Terrigal Public School acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet today the Darkinjung people. We recognise and pay our respects to the elders, both past and present. They hold the memories, the traditions, the culture, and hopes of Aboriginal Australia. We further extend our respect to all Aboriginal people present today.

STIAN CONSTABLE: I would like to acknowledge the Cammeraygal people who are the traditional custodians of the land on which this meeting takes place. I would also like to pay my respects to the elders, both past and present and extend our respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders here today.

TONY DAVEY: All right. So, I've just got a little spiel for you about the competition and then we'll kick off. Obviously, it's been a very strange year in the Premier's Debating Challenge with things being delayed by COVID-19. This is the very latest we've ever held a final.

But, we still had 666 teams start the year, which is obviously a very scary number, and slowly whittle their way down through 8 rounds of finals to this last debate in the very last week of the year. So, the first thing we should do is congratulate both of these teams for making it this far. It is just a ridiculous effort to be the very last 2 teams standing. Congratulations, you guys.

And of course, that's what makes today so much fun. We're going to really enjoy hearing from you guys. Best of luck to both teams. With that, I think we should kick this thing off. So, I'm going to hand you over to the chairperson from North Sydney Public School to start the 2020 State Final. Best of luck, both teams.

STIAN CONSTABLE: Welcome to the final round of the Premier's Debating Challenge for Year 5 and 6. Today, each speaker may speak for 4 minutes. There will be a warning bell at 3 minutes and 2 bells at 4 minutes. There'll be a continuous bell if the speaker reaches 5 minutes.

The be adjudicators for this debate are Tony Davey and The Arts Unit of New South Wales. Our negative team for this debate is called River. Our first speaker is Catherine Walsh. Our second speaker is Zara Eade. Our third speaker is Lexi Wright. And our fourth speaker is Chhaymean Chea. Over to you, affirmative chairperson.

GRACE HAYDN: Thanks. Our affirmative team is called the Terrigall Tigers. Our first speaker is Coco Furniss, second speaker, Sophie Semetka, and third speaker, Abby Peterson-Hampshire, and our fourth speaker is Zoe Smith.

The topic to this debate is that all primary school classes should swap their teachers around every week instead of having the same teacher year round. Now please welcome the first affirmative speaker to open the debate.

COCO FURNISS: There is a massive problem in this world. Kids have the exact same teacher for an entire year. This is making them unprepared for change in high school and later on in the future, some kids aren't getting teachers they like and are basically stuck with them for every day for a year. This is affecting students' academic ability and willingness to learn.

We define the topic as all primary school students in Year 1 and above will have a class that rotates between 3 teachers. The teachers will change every week within the stage. For example, a child has 3 teachers and they rotate, so that they have the same teacher again every 3 weeks. This will not happen within the support unit at schools.

I'll be speaking about how it will help Year 6 students prepare for high school, getting used to change, and it also help teachers get to know lots of students. My second speaker, Sophie, we will be discussing how the kids will be happier, teachers can work together, and finally, the teachers can use their own skill set to teach their students.

Now to my arguments. Firstly, this change can help kids get used to change early on. This is because they have a different teacher, each of their own roles and skill set, which will give students 3 aspects to learning. It'll give them the experience to help them get with challenges such as the loss of friendships, different jobs, and different houses.

Life in general can turn around completely overnight. Even if your teacher is on leave for reasons such as maternity leave, illness, holidays, and long service leaves, this change will help kids know how to get through these times as they change every week.

Just in general life is full of change from jobs to home life. And without experience, kids aren't prepared and comfortable with this. This is why we need to implement a minor amount of change to their life in order to make it an easier concept for the future.

Right now, teachers walk past students who they don't even know the name of. And even if they do know their name, they don't know them personally. After a change, teachers can get to know so many more students personally and actually be able to match face name to heaps of students, so that a student can come ask for help, or just a chat, to many more teachers rather than one, improving the child's mental health, providing students with a safer environment.

Teachers will be able to know all the students off by heart, which will make the students feel known. Having connections with more people gives you more experience and skills. They'll feel lot more comfortable with many more teachers. And teachers can learn from the kids too.

Finally, right now Year 6s are going into high school with minimal or no knowledge or preparation about having different teachers every hour. After the change, students will be preparing for high school since Year 1, without even realising it. So, when high school rolls around, they can be prepared and calm about this aspect of high school.

Heaps of kids, and you'll notice, if you have or are in Year 6-- are so scared about high school. But at least they could have this issue gone. So, many kids are constantly struggling with the high school transition. And it's no wonder when they go from one teacher to several every day.

Having a sense of familiarity when they go to high school or make this difficult time a lot easier, because they already are used to having a few different teachers. A change is as good as a holiday.

CATHERINE WALSH: They firstly said that the opposition's idea was that right now kids aren't prepared for high school. And this is flat out wrong, as students already have orientations, open days, and introduction days at the beginning of the year. This is enough preparation and they don't need six years of prep for high school. High school students are definitely settled and aren't having problems, as the affirmative team suggested.

The other team's idea was also that students will get to know lots of students. This is incorrect for three reasons. The first reason is that this will not be helpful for teachers if they have to learn four times the amount of notes or more, almost up to 100 names and remember all these student strengths and weaknesses.

Because if anything, it will actually make it harder for the teacher to know individual students, because there's so many more that they have to remember. The second reason is that teachers will never be able to have close bonds with the students, because they won't be spending the whole year with them.

They also said that students will get used to change. But this change is not very important. And they will get used to it in high school, where they need it, not in primary school. They already have RFF and things like that they can get used to change with.

Now on to my arguments. Right now teachers are assigned to specific classes all year round. We have never seen anything wrong with it. But we have an affirmative team that wants to swap teachers every week instead of doing things like we always have done. We don't see any benefit of doing this. We see that by doing this, it will only crumble our education system for primary school students and future generations.

Also, you have not made it clear to us how to do this. If we decide to have meetings where the teachers discuss what they told us that week, which they will not have time for this. Because already right now, they only have one class and they are using all their spare time to make lessons.

This way clearly does not work or benefit learning of any way. And neither does the second option I'm about to explain. The second option is that teachers have a different subject. But it could take up to six or seven weeks, depending on how many classes is in the school and for them to be taught by this teacher again.

And by then, they will have forgotten or not be focused on what they want four weeks ago. This will waste lots of time and cause students to go behind drastically. The final way we came up with was the teachers will discuss with the whole class what they've learned previously. But this will not work either. We take time out of learning and waste time of the day we should be doing education - using for education.

Now I as first speaker will be discussing how teachers will have had time planning for classes. Then they already are recapping what other teachers have already done will waste valuable learning time and how it will break or not allow students to have bonds with their teacher.

Our second speaker, Zara, will be discussing how we already have a good mix of teaching with RFF teachers and how it will confuse teachers and students in their learning. Firstly, when teachers are switching classes every week, they will have to teach up to 150 students on separate strengths, weaknesses, and academic level.

Teachers will struggle to keep up with every child's separate progress. This will take so much time and effort from the teachers and will end up taking out of their learning time. Teachers are already struggling to fully finish lessons and find suitable worksheets for just one class. If we suddenly make it so they have to do this with up to 6 times the amount of children, they will simply not have enough time to put the right amount of effort into each student.

The students who find it hard to concentrate and understand what they are learning, because the lessons haven't been made in depth or aren't clear. For example, a teacher has been informed that in a few weeks he will have to swap classes every week. This idea that the affirmative team has made is completely wrong. The teacher will work harder and harder with the planning weeks worth of classes for each and every class with their grades.

He will have to take down posters he had stuck on the walls, stamps, pens, pencils, highlighters, whiteboards, or whiteboard markers, and more. With only a week of planning for every class will wear out the teacher's brain plus planning time for each class. This is a waste of time clearly.

My second point explains to you how making this change will benefit all students learning and certainly not improve the education system. Actually it will take away from the learning time and is in no way a good idea. Right now students are starting the day off straight up with learning with one normal teacher.

After the change, so much time will be wasted recapping with a new teacher, because they don't know what they learned in the previous week. If it happens every week, students will miss many hours of school and may not have time to complete the entire curriculum. For example, it is usual Monday morning where the students-- this change is not being made.

Students come in to do a maths lesson that is leading on from what they have learned last week. They don't waste any time and get right into it. The teacher knows who to give the easier worksheets to and who to challenge. Overall, this will improve the class's education and that is what we are aiming for.

Now, pertaining to Monday morning after the change, they come into class and the teachers start off by asking the kids what they learned the previous week. This can take up to 40 minutes, even after they finally understand, they spend another 20 minutes figuring out who gets higher worksheets.

[bell ringing]

They end up wasting one hour per week, That's so many hours in the whole year and it's such a waste of time. That's why I'm proposing this.

SOPHIE SEMETKA: Good morning, before I begin, I would like to point out some very, very misleading arguments put forward by the opposition. They stated that it will crumble our future generations. This is very invalid, because, well, firstly, how will it crumble our generation? It doesn't destroy our generation. It actually helps it by so much.

It teaches students how to cope with change. And that's actually a very big disadvantage in children's lives as they move on to high school. And so, it actually really does help. Therefore, their argument is invalid. They tried to convince you that teachers won't have to be able to teach more students. This is flat out wrong, because they'll be teaching the same lesson in each class.

This is very relatable to our school, because, well, firstly, we have science teachers and they do the same lesson in each different class, because they move on classes, because they only have one session to teach students. So, they do the exact same lesson. Therefore, their argument is invalid.

The opposition stated that students already are prepared for high school. This is completely misleading, because even though students are going to orientation, it doesn't prepare them for the change of having so many teachers. And again, it doesn't teach them how to cope with change. Therefore, their argument is invalid.

Moving on to my points. Right now kids are stuck with the same teacher all year. And while they would probably have skills of their own, they are not being exposed to all the different perspectives and skills they need. If you were to make the change and have it that kids are taught by several different teachers, they would gain a lot, both academically and socially.

For example, some teachers may be really experienced in a certain subject. And that means that they can focus a little bit more on that subject when they are on class. This way, kids will be taught - this way, kids will be taught subjects by teachers who are actually a bit more experienced in something such as music, art, or science.

This way, they are getting the most out of their learning time. Also teachers have different experiences in life. And with this, kids will be able to connect with a range of different talents, skills, and experiences, helping them get the most out of them academically as well as emotionally. Hearing things of people's different points of view is really valuable in life.

Moving on to my second point. Right now a lot of students are not feeling happy, enthused, or just comfortable with a certain teacher. This is a big problem. Because if the student doesn't feel comfortable with a teacher, it could carry on to having anxiety. But not only that, the student will not be enthused to do school work or even going to school at all. This change will help so much with students' grades, happiness, and equality.

After the change, if, say, a certain kid does not like the teacher or is not enthused around the teacher, they would have to be a whole school year with the same teacher. They will have time to be with the teacher that might really connect with them.

Overall, kids get to have an amazing range of teachers, which will help the kids to be enthused and excited to see which teacher they have next. And whether they like the certain teacher or don't, they still can swap over.

Moving on to my third point. Right now teachers are being relied on to mark the work, do reports, and communicate with parents on their own. When this comes out, you've only got the perspective of one teacher. If we shared this load between 3 teachers, since some of them will know different kids better, they'll be able to talk to that kid's parents, and do their reports, et cetera.

This will make life a lot easier for the teachers, because they can mark and write things about the students they know the most about. The teachers will also be able to connect to connect and communicate with other 3 teachers on this class and can learn from one another.

Work planning won't be a problem, because the teachers are able to collaborate and separate different sections of learning between them so that the lessons are planned to be the best they can possibly be. And it also means that teachers can use a certain lesson they have planned on different class, meaning less work for them.

Also teachers can have different roles and can organise it that parents know who to contact, who to meet with, and who does what job. A change is as good as a holiday. Thank you.

ZARA EADE: Firstly, the other team said that this change would make students happier. This is flat out wrong. How will this change make students happier when it would just put more stress on them?

They will not be able to grow close with a single teacher, because they will have multiple. And therefore, not be comfortable with sharing their problems with these different teachers. This will cause them to be stressed, because they won't know how to solve some problems.

The opposition stated reports only come from one teacher's point of view. This is incorrect, as RFF and other teachers that are involved also have a say as well as principals read over them.

Children are already learning to cope with change in situations outside of school with personal family issues. School is supposed to be a comfortable environment. And we don't want to make them feel like change is always going to be happening and they can't get comfortable with it.

The other team stated that this change will help teachers to collaborate. Firstly, this will only make things worse, because teachers don't have time to plan lessons for up to 4 classes. The second reason that this will make things worse is that the system that we currently use already works fine. And when teachers have to work together 10 times more, it will take up their personal time. And therefore, they won't be able to get through and do more important things.

The other team's idea was that teachers will be able to use their own skill set. This is flat out wrong, because we also have other teachers, such as RFF, that have good skill sets. And so they do have multiple skill sets. And it can be hard for a student to have to get taught by multiple different teachers if they all have different skill sets, because they might not understand their way of teaching.

Now back to my case. My first argument is that we already have a good balance of RFF teachers and regular class teachers. Right now, students have around 4 other teachers during the week, teaching things such as digital technologies and library, as well as their regular teachers.

This is a good balance of learning to work with other teachers without creating a stressful environment. After the change, this will be discontinued and replaced with a confusing system, which will not benefit the student's education at all.

For example, a Year 5 class has just started to get used to their teacher when the week ends and they go home. The next week, this Year 5 class has a completely different teacher - has a completely different teacher and they and they are not used to them at all.

Who has different rules and ways of teaching. The week flies by and just as this class starts to get used to this completely new teacher, the week ends. And they have to start again. This will continue to happen with the students having to remember the differences between each teacher, such as their rules and way of teaching, or whether they're super strict or nice.

Therefore, this class will never settle in, which is why this change will never work. This is important, because we have no reason to make this useless change when we already have a good mix of regular classroom teachers and different RFF lessons. Which is why we absolutely must not swap teachers every week in primary school classes.

My second point is that this change will cause a confusion between kids and teachers, especially younger students. Right now when young students from kindy and Year 1 go to school, they get one friendly teacher to bond with. After the change is implemented, these little kids aren't going to be able to wrap their heads around why a strange person is all of a sudden teaching them.

For example, a kindy kid is so excited for a first day of school and loves her new teacher. But the next week, a completely different person teaches her and she is all of a sudden very shy towards her. In the teacher's shoes, it would be very hard for them to memorise all 100 odd students' names and it would just make things worse.

This is important, because students should be able to learn well and love school, not get scared of their new teacher every week. And teachers should be able to have enough time to plan good lessons, not be wasting all their time memorising names. Having this change will not benefit anyone, because it will just cause confusion and it will be pointless.

My third point is how implementing this change wont allow teachers and students to have a bond. For example, a primary school girl aged 12 was just informed - that is why we are approaching here.

ABBY PETERSON-HAMPSHIRE: The negative team today had 5 main points. They were that kids will not be - that they will not be able to teach the kids well. It will make kids' academics worse. Teachers already have a broad range of RFF and other teachers. And that it will cause confusion. And that they won't be able to have that bond with the teacher.

So, first off, they said that we will not be able to teach kids well. We have several reasons why that's wrong. It's actually going to be easier for the teachers, because they are able to plan maybe like a certain lesson. And then they're able to go and teach that to the other classes.

They might have planned a week of learning and then instead of having to go off and plan another week, they're able to then go on and teach that other week, that whole week of learning, to another class, so that it makes it a lot easier. It's already planned out. They plan it once. And then they're able to do it 3 times. So, it actually eases up the work a lot.

So, they said that it can be, it's too hard for the teachers. But like we like we've been stating, it's going to make it a lot easier. Because one, teachers are going to be able to communicate and work together on that one class. And yeah, so they said that planning is going to be a nightmare. But like we said, teachers can plan lessons that they're going to repeat.

So, they said that it will make the kids' academics a lot worse and they said that they're always going to have to do reviews. But like we said earlier, it's actually going to be a lot better. Because teachers have different skill sets and that they're able to focus on that different skill set for the certain week.

So, a teacher might be really good at music, so they're able to teach that more during the week than the other teachers usually would. And they're able to delve deeper into those different subjects a bit more than they usually would.

So, they said they will not know what work to give who. That's actually not going to be so much of a problem, because think about it, they're actually going to be having these kids for one whole week of 5 days. So, they're obviously going to get to know those kids pretty well.

Because in the end, they're having that kid for over a term during the whole year. It's not like they're just going to go - they don't know who a kid is when they've spent a whole week with them. And like we said, teachers are going to be able to communicate with each other and say, oh, yes, so-and-so do this well, they need to be moved up. And then other people need support with that. So, communication is going to be the answer to that.

So, they said that the kids already have a massive range of teachers and that they don't need anymore, because of RFF time. Generally, we don't have these teachers very often. We might have them once a week for one session. And generally, these actual lessons that are taught are planned by the teacher that is actually going on the RFF. So, they're not actually being taught it in a way that is individual to that teacher.

It's usually something just like a worksheet or something like that where the teacher is not actually giving a full-on lesson like their regular teacher actually would. It's kind of like they're just giving them this work to do. They're not able to connect with the kids.

But if we actually change it so they have those kids for the whole week, they will be able to. Because what they're doing is they're planning out these lessons specifically. They're actually doing lessons and communicating with the kids in that way.

So, they told us the kids will never settle in. But it might be a little difficult to start off with, but once you get into the habit of it, it's going to be a lot easier and makes things a lot easier for the future.

So, you're going to have a teacher for a whole week. And then you're going to know them pretty well. You have another teacher for a whole week, you're going to know them pretty well. And the same thing's going to keep happening. And then you get back to that teacher it's going to be like, oh, yeah, OK, I know them. I know how they work.

And it's actually going to be a lot easier to settle in, because often kids get in to a class where they don't like the teacher and they aren't able to communicate with the teacher. If they have 3 teachers, there's a lot bigger chance that they're going to be able to fit in and find a teacher that they like.

They said it would be confusing, kindy kids will have to cope with it. Like we said in our definition, kindy kids are not going to do this, so that they can just start to settle into primary school. They said the kids will get scared, but it's actually kind of the opposite, because kids will at least have 3 teachers. So, at least one of them, they're going to be able to connect with.

They said that they won't have a bond with the kids, but like we said earlier, they're going to be with that teacher for a total of more than a term. And they're going to spend whole weeks with them. So, it's actually not going to be a problem. And they've got more it's to be able to have that bond, because they've got several different teachers. And it's going to be a broader amount of people but they'll be able to connect with.

LEXI WRIGHT: Before I begin, we found 3 main ideas or issues in today's debate. Firstly, will students be able to cope with this change? Secondly, will it benefit teachers and students connection? And thirdly, will it improve our education?

The first thing that came up was will it help students cope with change. The negative team stated that this will prepare students for high school, or at least give them some familiarity with it. Firstly, primary school is the way it is, because it works better with younger kids. And secondly, everybody has orientation and prep days for them to get to know their high school and how it will work.

Will teachers and students bond better? The opposition stated that students will be able to talk to different teachers about the issues. But firstly, students wont have close bond every teacher because they'll only be seeing them for 5 days and then stopping.

And secondly, the opposition also stated that some teachers are going to be mean and they're not going to like them. But, your teachers can be - all of your teachers can be mean or all of them can be nice. It's really just - yeah. The opposition's idea that students might not like a teacher. But, I've already said that.

And thirdly, will it improve education? The other team's idea was that teachers will be able to use their own skill set. But, this is flat out wrong, because if students have all these different skill sets, then they won't be able to understand teachers different ways of teaching.

But, if you have them for the full year, you will get to know their way of teaching and understand it better. For example, a Year 6 student has a teacher that is really good at music for that week. But this student needs some help with the hard math question. The next week, a teacher comes along and is really good at English, but still cannot help the student. Either way, it's not really working.

The negative stated that this will improve education this is extremely false for 3 reasons. Firstly, you would waste about 40 hours a year just recapping what you would learn that week and figuring it out. This is almost a week of school.

Secondly, if teachers are having to plan for 3 times the amount of students, they're not going to be able to put as much effort into each student. And kids who struggle won't be able to catch up on lessons that are not in depth and understandable.

And thirdly, this can cause a lot of confusion for teachers and students. Teachers might have RFF at 12 o'clock one week and 9 o'clock at the next. They're not going to remember everything. And it's going to be very hard for them to keep up.

The opposition's idea is that it is a good idea that teachers are cooperating and planning together. But firstly, it is the opposite effect. Teachers will have an extremely hard time planning with other teachers, because it will be hard to figure out - because they will waste valuable time. Teachers are already planning for their class. And to have to collaborate with others too will be a lot harder for them.

And secondly, teachers have very different schedules during school hours. This means they are going to be having to collaborate out of school hours, which will be very hard for them. But now on my team's case. Catherine's first point was that it is really hard for teachers to plan lessons. And if we make this change, our teachers would have to collaborate 10 times more, making their job 10 times harder.

It is important students get the best education so they can have the best future possible. With this change, this is not able to happen. Our team's second point was that with teachers not knowing what students have already learnt and their academic level, it will decrease learning time and heavily affect students' education. It is important all students learn to the best of their ability so they can succeed in everything they try.

Our team's second speaker Zara's first argument was that there is already a good mix of RFF teachers or not their main teacher and class teachers. The mix currently is good, giving teachers time off their class to do planning, and other work they need to do, and time off to teach their class. And our team's last point was that for little kids, this would be very confusing. Kids who are just starting Year 1 - and that is why we are talking today.

TONY DAVEY: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome back a representative of the adjudication panel, Alex De Aruajo, to deliver the adjudication and announce the state champion of the 2020 Premier's Debating Challenge for Years 5 and 6.

ALEX DE ARAUJO: Hey guys. So, firstly, before I begin, I want to congratulate both teams on what was an absolutely amazing debate. But not just for the debate that we saw today, but also, obviously, for just making the state finals in the first place.

As Tony said at the start, there are so many teams that enter this competition. And to make it to the final in arguably one of the more difficult years debating would have had in recent history with COVID and having to do everything over Zoom, and adapt to all of the technology, and not have to face-to-face experience there normally is, that was fantastic. And it was really, really good to see.

Also just quickly, I want to apologise if it looks like I'm not looking directly at the camera. It's because I'm actually filming on a separate device to upload to the Arts Unit. So, if you do want to see me looking straight at you, I'm sure that you can go online and rewatch this adjudication when we post it up. But for now, just assume that I'm looking straight at you.

So, the first thing that I'll do in this adjudication is I'll go through what we thought generally. And then secondly, I'll go through the 3 issues that we saw in the debate. And that will lead us to the decision at the end. So, what generally we thought about this debate was ultimately that it was really, really good. And also that it was really, really close.

In fact, it was so close that we had a 2-1 split decision on the panel. All teams, both of you, should feel really, really happy, because you've made it to the grand final and you had at least one adjudicator believe that you won based on the strength of what you said. And that was really awesome. And indeed, all of us could see the arguments of both teams winning. So, it was that close a debate.

So that said, while it was a close debate, there has to be a winner. And the way that we'll show who the winner was we'll go through what we saw as the 3 main issues in the debate. So, those were firstly, how would rotating teachers improve kids education? Secondly, how would rotating teachers affect the relationship between students and teachers? And then finally, how would rotating teachers help students preparedness for life and change generally?

So, firstly, on the effect on kids education generally. The negative started this off by telling us that this policy is just a waste of time which teachers could otherwise use to plan lessons. Instead, teachers now have to spend it making lesson plans for 3 classes rather than just one. And they have to dramatically change the classroom by taking down posters or changing materials.

The affirmative tell us, in fact, that no extra time would be spent on planning lessons, because they can just use the same lessons for every class. In fact, teachers would save a tonne of time only having to plan one week for each lesson rather than 3 weeks. Which meant that they would have more time to spend, presumably on things like paying the lessons in more detail in other teacher-related and admin duties.

Also importantly, the affirmative tell us that this makes life easier for teachers through being able to work together with their other 2 teachers in that class to plan lessons, separate sections of learning between them based on what's best, and just generally make that work a bit easier.

We also thought here that the negative talking about RFF quite a lot indicates that actually would be enough time to organise all those things. And RFF was an example of that. So, we thought the affirmative did a very good job here proving that there would actually be more time for teachers to be able to spend on academic duties.

The affirmative then tell us that students will be exposed to teachers with different skill sets and perspectives, which generally enhances their learning. We think they could have spent a little bit more time outlining the precise benefit of that. But we do think it was a very clever argument and very well made.

The negative in response tell us that individual teachers are taught to have enough of a range of a skill set already. And ultimately, we thought that was also a good response. But we do think that the affirmative still had a small benefit here in exposing teachers, or students rather, to a slightly wider range of skill sets based on the teachers that they had.

The affirmative then thirdly tell us that having multiple teachers means students are more likely to get one that they like out of the 3, which makes them happier and more likely to come to school. Now the negative firstly tell us that you could just get 3 mean teachers rather than one teacher. And that would be really unlucky. And that was certainly true.

But we thought the better response that the negative gave us was it won't actually make them happier, because of the stress of changing teachers all the time and not being able to grow as close with their teachers. And we thought that was a very good response from the negative. So, ultimately, we thought this probably wouldn't make most students happy. It might actually make my students a little bit sadder, but nothing too disastrous.

Finally, here the negative tells us that students would never be able to settle in class, because they constantly have to remember all the differences between teachers each week, like their rules or their ways of teaching, and they're just unable to be comfortable in the classroom as much. Again, we thought this was a good argument and could have had a little bit more response from the affirmative team.

So, at the end of this issue of generally improving kid's education, we believe that there would be a lot more time for teachers to spend on creating lessons and doing other admin-related duties and that students would be exposed to a slightly greater variety of skill sets and perspectives from their teachers.

However, all of this chopping and changing of teachers would come at a cost in that students probably wouldn't be able to settle as much in class and they might be made a little bit less happy and a bit more stressed from all of the changing. So, let's look at how rotating the teachers improve the relationship between students and teachers. That was our second issue.

The affirmative tell us here that students will be able to form connections with more teachers, which will make them feel comfortable and more well-known. The negative tell us on the contrary that having way more students on a teacher's side means that they'll struggle to remember each one is proper individuals. And having less time with them means that they'll struggle to form close bonds.

And this is where the bulk of the negative team's material during the debate came out. They told us that the connection with students will become weaker, because they won't be able to know each student's strengths and weaknesses. And that means they won't be able to adapt to the lessons as well.

They used the example of not knowing who to give slightly easier worksheets to and who to give slightly harder worksheets to. And this meant that learning in the school experience generally suffered. And the negative were also quite clever to tell us that this is particularly bad in kindergarten when kids might be scared or even uncomfortable around new teachers.

We also thought that while the affirmative's material about teachers saving a lot of time was really good, and well explained, and was very important to that specific issue on kids education, it also played into this argument. Because it emphasised the point that teachers could generalise their lessons without adapting them to each class. And that was how they could save their time.

The affirmative talking about only planning one week's worth of content and then just using that for each of their 3 classes over that 3 week cycle made us believe a little bit more that it might be generalised and not necessarily tailored to the individual students in each class.

What affirmative do say here is that a week is enough time for a suit to settle into a teacher before moving on and they get that teacher then later 3 weeks in advance. And we thought maybe that was true. But we felt, ultimately, it probably wouldn't be enough for teachers to adapt to their students.

And while we thought the students might be able to adapt to the teacher, the problem with a negative team raised was that of teachers adapting to students. And given they had about 90 students or a class of 30 odd students each week over the cycle, that would be very difficult for them to do in one week's time.

So, at the end of this issue, we felt that while students might know more teachers by name or generally, we thought that teachers wouldn't be able to form as close relationships with those students. And that would mean, ultimately, their education and their school experience would suffer.

Finally, on rotating teachers helping students' preparedness for life. The affirmative tell us that life involves a lot of change from your friends to your jobs and even the houses that you live in. And that changing teachers in primary school will make change an easier concept generally for them to deal with. They tell us also that this is particularly true in the context of changing teachers in high school and making the transition easier.

The negative have 2 responses to this. The first is to say the students already have things like orientations, open days, and introduction days for them in high school. And secondly, that learning to deal with change probably isn't that important. And you can learn to deal with these changes naturally as you get older. And indeed, specifically with high school, you can learn to deal with multiple teachers in high school anyway. And you actually do generally have the opportunity to experience multiple teachers in primary school regardless.

So, we didn't think that there would necessarily be that much of a benefit through students learning to interact with change. We thought it was a very well explained argument from the affirmative team, but we thought they could have made the exact benefit a little bit more clear and the negative team had a suite of good responses.

So, at the end of the day how the majority of the panel saw this debate was that there was generally a mixed result in terms of general education on teachers, on students rather, in that teachers would have more time, there would be slightly more skills. But students would be less comfortable and perhaps less happy.

We thought generally that there wouldn't be too much of a benefit in terms of experiencing more change and learning to deal with it. But ultimately what swung this debate for the majority was the enormous harm to the teacher's relationship with students and the fact that they wouldn't be able to deal with them one-on-one as well. They wouldn't be able to plan their lessons for each child as well. They wouldn't be able to get to know them.

That would have serious implications for a child's enjoyment at school as well as their education. So, because of this in a 2-1 split decision and an incredibly close and high quality debate, we've awarded it to the team negative. Well done.

ZOE SMITH: Thank you, North Sydney Public School. It was a fantastic debate and you did amazing. Thank you to all the adjudicators. Really appreciate all of your effort. And thank you to Tony Davey as well. Merry Christmas and have a happy New Year.

CHHAYMEAN CHEA: Thank you, Terrigal, for giving us such a great debate for our last in 2020. We have both made it to the finals, so it's such a great accomplishment. And I would like to congratulate you. Thank you.


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