The Network of Establishing Teachers newsletter (Previously called the YANT Newsletter) for members of the the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association / Te Wehengarua (PPTA). This newsletter focuses on the change of name from YANTs to NETs; registration portfolios; and PPTA annual conference.
First, why the change of name?
The YANT Committee has been meeting regularly to consider issues of concern to young and (also older) new teachers. At its last meeting the committee got to grips with the fact that the use of the word “young” first in our title seemed to turn away many older teachers. They were also in the process of establishing themselves in the profession.
Lengthy debate ended with unanimous support for the new term, and a paper written for the executive to gain approval for the change, leading to the above.
In a recent Collective News there was a warning that some schools are developing new appraisal processes that seem to be unnecessarily bureaucratic and low-trust.
Often these processes require extensive collection of evidence by experienced teachers, not just by beginning teachers working towards full registration. The Teachers Council simply does not require this, and this has been confirmed by them.
Members’ attention is drawn to the words in the council's Registered Teacher Criteria handbook 2010: "The degree of formality and extent of documentation of evidence supporting the demonstration of the Registered Teacher Criteria will clearly be different for experienced teachers renewing practising certificates, in contrast to what is required by provisionally registered teachers working towards gaining full registration, which may be more extensive and formal" (p5).
The notion that the council now requires teachers to maintain an e-portfolio of evidence is also untrue, although individual schools may require this information for appraisal purposes.
The Teachers Council runs RTC workshops and there is useful information and supporting material at
PPTA Annual Conference
A number of very interesting papers will be debated at annual conference here in Wellington on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 18, 19 and 20 October.
There will an update on the ongoing struggle to control class size, a matter that members consider very important. Community awareness, campaigning, lobbying and members seeing class size as an industrial issue are all significant factors in this.
Educative mentoring is covered - a subject that the network has been involved with and is keen to see advanced, because it is a very effective lever in supporting effective teaching, especially in the early stages of a teacher’s career.
Implementing measures to reduce workload while major changes are taking place is the focus of another paper, and a range of actions are urged to achieve improvements in teachers’ working lives.
A fourth paper argues for an alternative economic model, noting that the interests of secondary teachers are intertwined with the economic situation of their students and their families. It contends that neo-liberal policies have done their dash and we need to think again about the way our economy actually operates.
Lastly, there is a close look at just how and why the current collective bargaining process is seriously flawed, and argues that there has to be a better way. The paper points to the example of Finland, where there has been a decades-long consensus among politicians, teachers and other stakeholders about how education could be improved, resulting Finland being at the top of student achievement rankings internationally.
We have had a very good contingent of establishing teachers come and enjoy the business and social aspects of conference in recent years. They invariably find it a very enlightening and enjoyable experience.
You will be well looked after!
Nominations will be sought from now on for PPTA positions in your branch and region. If you are interested let some of your colleagues know and put your hat in the ring!
Feedback or queries are welcome!
Counties-Manukau Executive member
YANT Committee Convenor