- Date published:
7:32 am, June 6th, 2019 - 77 comments
Categories: accountability, education, families, health and safety, jacinda ardern, labour, Politics, quality of life, schools, Unions, wages, workers' rights - Tags:
This is a really big test for the Government.
Jacinda is great, from yesterday’s performance at Te Pai Stadium out west I would say extraordinary, but successful governments are built on accomplishments as well as inspiration.
Teaching is approaching a crisis point. Sure it has taken 9 years to wreck the system and the ideological burp that was National Standards as well as financial cuts and reprioritisations played their part. But this Government is expected to repair quickly the damage that the last Government caused. When you promise a better world you should not delay in delivering it.
And there have been a couple of missteps. When you publicly claim that your offer is better than what it actually is you need to expect some push back.
The problem as I see it can be summed up in three simple propositions:
How about this from a young teacher on the problems with the job?
I have no work life balance, and am sick of working a full day at school, just to come home eat and do more school work. I honestly don’t know how I can sustain this long term and have seriously considered leaving the profession on multiple occasions. As have many of my colleagues.
What keeps me going is the fact that I love the stuff that happens from 9-3. Teaching is an incredibly rewarding job but the lack of funding and support for children with additional learning and behaviour needs is making even this challenging. I know I’m a good teacher, every child in my class loves coming to school. However, the more bogged down I feel the less I love coming to school.
While recruiting new teachers is important, it is also important to retain teachers who are looking outside of the profession. From my small group of uni friends one has already moved overseas, and another has left the profession. You need to do something to retain us, or we will continue to look elsewhere. Pay us what we are worth, reduce our workload and value the profession that I am proud to call myself a part of.
Sure the wellbeing budget is pumping resources into areas that will help deal with some of these problems.
The problem for the Government is that it has presented this as a pay issue. My strong sense is that if the Government did something about work loads and reduced testing and the endless need to collect data, then many teachers would find the job less stressful and more rewarding. The dispute is not just about or only about pay. It is also about the inability of teachers to achieve what they want to, that is teach kids.
Negotiations happen today. I hope the Government approaches the negotiations with a fulsome broad view of the problem. And a desire to cut through the red tape and the bureaucracy that is making what should be the most rewarding of jobs into a problematic mess.