It’s time for the new Labour-led Government to prioritise better support for new teachers if the teacher shortage crisis is to be averted, a national hui of New Educators said at the weekend.
Beginning teachers attending a NZEI Te Riu Roa New Educators’ Hui in Palmerston North say the high workload, low pay and lack of effective mentoring support leads to new teachers leaving the profession feeling exhausted and disillusioned.
The thirty new teachers from around the country discussed their concerns with Green Party education spokesperson Chlöe Swarbrick and NZEI Te Riu Roa president Lynda Stuart over the weekend.
New Educators Network leader Stephanie Lamborn said new teachers needed time to teach, and secure and supportive environments to work in. They also need better pay to attract and retain teachers.
“We are the future of the teaching profession and we love teaching and the kids we work with. But we are burning out because of the paperwork, the lack of resourcing to support kids with additional learning needs, and the lack of good mentoring and support in many cases.”
“I’ve heard from lots of teachers who only get put on fixed term or relieving roles, and are not getting the mentoring and support they need. This job insecurity is not a good foundation for supporting us to become the best teachers we can be,” Lamborn says, “and what’s worse is seeing less qualified friends leap ahead of us in their salaries.”
Lamborn said in spite of a recent package announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins to help address the teacher shortage crisis, the Government still had a lot of work to do to make teaching an attractive proposition. She said new educators are keen to join the NZEI campaign this year.
“If I had more time to teach I could develop a high quality programme that caters for each of my students’ individual learning needs. It’s time for teachers to have time to teach, and support for beginning teachers so we can be the best we can be, from day one.”