Time to support teachers who bring out the best in students
Teachers need to be properly trained and supported to bring out the best in their students
For teachers to do their best work, to bring out the best in each of their students, they need to be properly trained and supported, and there has to be enough of them.
Our bargaining strategy for the 2018 STCA round reflects the reality that to have the right number of well-trained teachers in schools, we have to pay them enough to get them in and keep them there.
We need more teachers across the board
It’s well established that at the moment that’s not happening. We simply don’t have enough teachers to be able to guarantee that our children will have trained, registered teachers guiding their learning.
It’s not just an Auckland problem (although housing costs have severe impacts on teacher shortages), nor is it just in maths and technology (although recruitment into those subject areas has long been affected by more lucrative career options). It’s across the board.
To bring out the best in the next generation we need to act now
As the number of new secondary teachers joining the profession continues to fall (from 1200 to 700 a year) and student numbers climb (they’ll be 10% higher by 2025), it’s inevitable that many high school students will have overly large classes and won’t have access to specialist teachers.
Because we are committed to bringing out the best in the next generation we need to act now.
The goodwill tanks are almost empty
Of course, the challenge for the government is to come to bargaining later this year with the funds and a plan to fix this. (We’ve got plenty of ideas for the latter, but only they can provide the former!)
Money isn’t the whole argument though. Teaching is always going to be a really complex and challenging job but more needs to be done to ensure the conditions of work allow teachers to bring their best. Shamubeel Eaqub says “the goodwill tanks are almost empty”.
Teachers need time to teach
We need to be supporting our teachers to be the best by addressing the compliance and administration demands that occupy such a large part of a teachers’ job.
Teachers need time to teach, they need access to professional learning to best meet the needs of their students. They need to be trusted to bring out the best in students.
Showcasing real teachers who bring out the best
While we often just put our heads down and do the best we can, managing intense workloads and finding professional learning on our own time is having a big impact. The pool of prospective teachers in schools – our top students - see their teachers and how hard they work and they’re choosing other options.
A key part of our bargaining strategy for this year will be to share what we do. Making the job sustainable for current teachers and attractive for prospective teachers will be underpinned this year by our campaign to “bring out the best”. We will be showcasing real teachers and asking people to share their stories of teachers who ‘brought out the best’ in them. There is a website and lots of ways our teachers (and the wider public) can support this campaign
Time to choose differently
It’s simply not necessary that the government has to tell teachers leaving the profession from overwork that they’re terribly sorry but their hands are tied. They could choose differently, and we’re asking them to do that.