Lure a teacher, lose a teacher, then repeat again and again

Half of our teachers don’t last five years. What a waste of investment in their training!

It is happening because the government and the teachers’ unions, particularly the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI), the largest teacher trade union in the country, have paid scant attention to teaching conditions that deliver bigger class sizes and burnt out teachers.

The President of the secondary teacher?s union, the Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA), Jack Boyle, has at last woken up! He told Duncan Garner on the AM show that the current situation is untenable and a long-term plan is needed to fill vacancies and avoid future losses.  Quote.

As high school students go back to school over the next week, the shortage of secondary teachers isn’t quite as bad as it was this time last year when schools were 800 short.? End of quote.

History repeats itself, but some people never learn. Boyle estimates they are 200 teachers short but this could go up when new students rock up to school this week. The coping mechanism is simply to increase class sizes. He estimates class sizes of mixed levels of 60 students. Quote.

But Mr Boyle says the influx of overseas-trained teachers is just “papering over a pretty glaring gap” that will widen over the next few years unless there’s a “circuit breaker” of a policy change.

  TV3 AM Show end of quote.

Hooray! The problem will be addressed then? Sorry, no it won’t. His buddies at the Ministry of Education say they have it all in hand when they don’t actually recognize the problems. Ministry of Education spokesperson Ellen MacGregor-Reid said class sizes of 60 won’t happen. Instead they are running an overseas recruitment drive. Quote.

“We are confident that we can help. We have the supply coming through. We know it’s tight out there, but we’re seeing some good results.”

The Government last year announced a plan to lure retired and former teachers back in front of classes.

“We know that we have filled 220 places already with international teachers, but at the same time we have been running a package of initiatives which is aimed at getting New Zealand-trained teachers back into the classroom,” said Ms MacGregor-Reid.” End of quote.

Is there no end to this cycle of incompetence? Lure a teacher, lose a teacher, lure a teacher, lose a teacher….When will the unions and the government wake up?

What have these two unions done to date to stem departures from their ranks? Have they considered the need for a complete overhaul of the teaching system, given highly trained teachers are disappearing faster than ice creams on a stinking hot day?  What recommendations have they made to their buddies in government?

The NZEI met with the PPTA last November?and agreed on a joint campaign for better pay to attract and retain teachers and to?give?them?the time they need to teach.

Strike action from primary and secondary teachers is not just about their pay. It?s about student-teacher ratios, it?s about the amount of paperwork they are drowning in, and it?s about the special needs students they don?t get any additional support for. Quote.

National presidents of the PPTA and NZEI Jack Boyle and Lynda Stuart say: ?We know that this government has inherited a teacher shortage and a desperate situation for children with additional learning needs because of the failure to plan and fund education properly and we acknowledge that they are working to try and fix it.?

ppta end quote.

Blaming the previous government is garbage. ?The current government has had 18 months to come to grips with the problem.? We know why the leaders of the two largest teacher union groups are letting the government off the hook.? These unions support Labour and they will never, ever, admit to faulty ideology. One rule for all – never mind that, in practice, one rule doesn?t work for all.?

Don?t pay individual teachers what they are worth, pay them all the same. Children are all equal and deserve an equal amount of their teacher?s time ? never mind special needs kids with a penchant for disruption. Forget that special needs kids don?t behave like normal kids.

Well, you can forget about the Ministry of Education addressing any of these issues when they are hell bent on repeating the cycle of luring and losing teachers.

Unions have been more than happy to accept membership fees from teachers for years and years but they have failed to understand teacher needs and done nothing to represent their needs at the government level.  They are all too happy to take the money and run with a government that is happy to spend the money and run…

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