Next term we welcome back Mrs Fran Hall who will be starting our third new entrant room and also Mrs Heidi Cleland who will be taking over from me teaching mathematics to the students in Room 1.
It has been a long time since I have run a regular teaching programme and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time teaching the Room 1 students. It has reminded me why I and all of our teachers have got into teaching in the first place, to try and make a difference.
The exciting part of the job is to try and work out how children learn, what motivates them, introducing them to try something new and encouraging them when things get hard.
The one hour a day I have been teaching also reminded me on a much smaller scale the stresses and frustrations that all of our teachers go through daily and the hidden workload beyond the contact time of marking, planning, researching and resource making.
Teaching is a fantastic job with many perks, but it is vitally important that we be able to continue to put excellent teachers in front of your children. You will be well aware of the issues that Auckland is facing with a teacher shortage, but I can tell you from my own experiences that we are beginning to see the same problem in Dunedin. Six years ago when I first started at Kaikorai Primary School, we had 40-50 applications for a teaching vacancy. In the last position we advertised, we had ten applicants with many of them being overseas trained teachers.
The contract negotiations that are currently taking place are significant for the future of education in New Zealand as we need to continue to attract highly skilled and talented people to teach your children. We must continue to make teaching an attractive profession for people to join. That is why we hope that we have your support and understanding during this time. I for one hope that the planned strike action on the 15th of August can be avoided and that a compromise can be found before then.
We hope that you have found your child’s report and subsequent interview a useful guide as to how well your child is going. Each report takes on average a few hours to complete and this, of course, leads to many hours of work for each teacher over the last few weeks. I would like to publicly thank all of the teachers for the commitment they have shown in completing this significant and important job.
I enjoyed reading each report and learning more about the successes that all of the children are having both in and out of the classroom.
I hope you all get to spend some family time together over the next two weeks and the children come back refreshed and ready to try their best over the remaining two terms!