Kia ora koutou
Strike: Well, the strike has been and gone, and now collective bargaining has begun again. It remains to be seen whether the voices of primary principals and teachers have been heard. Quite a number of comments in the many forms of media have berated teachers for the strike. However, it is a fact that teaching has changed hugely over the last twenty years and the expectations of teachers have dramatically increased over that time. As teachers, we have been a bit like the proverbial frog in the water that is heating up. We’ve known that the changed expectations have been in the best interests of students, and, so, in good faith, we have taken them on board without demanding the requisite resourcing to do so. But the water is now boiling and teachers are feeling the pain hugely; and we have realised that this is simply not sustainable. Something must be done.
We have really appreciated the expressions of support that we have received from our parents, which have included verbal expressions, chocolates and emails. We realise that there are no quick fixes to the situation education finds itself in, but an offer of twelve minutes more release time per week when teachers are so overworked (to take release time to 1 hour, 12 minutes per week) does not indicate any promise of a real commitment to reduce workload. It could even be considered offensive in the face of the reality being experienced by teachers. It can only be called “a start”, if it is accompanied by a plan which maps out how the future will be different and when by. We have not received that.
New Build: We recently met with Ministry personnel about getting the new build process under way. The first part of the process after the Memorandum of Agreement has been signed, is for the school to develop an education brief for the Ministry and, in particular, for the design team. This brief will give them information about the educational purposes the new building is intended to meet. This education brief should be developed with input from the school community, students and teachers. Hence, we are in the process of developing a consultation plan. The sooner we get the brief written, the sooner the design phase can begin, and the sooner the building phase can take place.
Time is running out this term, so we have planned to hold a community consultation evening Wednesday, 24 October, 2018 which is week 2 of term 4. We will see if Kelly Club can provide care for children and use facilitators to gather your thoughts in various ways about the new build. Anyway, just wanting to put this date out so that you can put it on your calendars. This is an opportunity to do some blue sky thinking as we consider what facilities we might want to try and include within the build.
It is very exciting times at Amesbury School, indeed!
Enjoy the rest of the week and here’s hoping for a sunny weekend.
Nga mihi nui