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Education, Government Policy, IES - "Investing in Educational Success", Lead / Expert Teachers, New Zealand, Protest - Have a Voice, Teachers' Own Words

Teacher Voice: We’re not in it for the money, by Jenine Maxwell

Kia ora. My name is Jenine Maxwell and I have been a teacher for 31 years, with only the odd year off here and there for babies.

Although most of my career has been spent in New Entrant classrooms, I’ve taught at all levels and at different management levels. I am currently a D.P. with both curriculum, Senco and classroom responsibilities.

Everyday I am grateful for a job that I am still passionate and hungry for, one that allows me to connect with, and make a difference in, people’s lives. Schools are the centres of their communities and as such we engage not just with students, but also with the parents and whanau of our precious charges.

Batman - teachers aren't in it for the moneyI work hard, with long days and many hours put in at home, on weekends, evenings and holidays, both devising programmes that will help my students succeed and keeping up to date on relevant research.

Can receiving an increased wage motivate me to work harder, magically find more hours or an enchanted potion to meet all of my students’ needs in the minimum time?

Absolutely not, particularly as I, along with most teachers I know, have never been in the job for the pay packet anyway.

If I am identified as an excellent teacher, dragged away from the students and school that needs me to go and help another, supposedly less successful school, I would then have only half the amount of time and energy to devote to two settings.

Common sense, not politics, tells me that I would soon have two failing settings, as well a nervous breakdown, to show for my hard work.

For the Prime Minister to accuse NZEI of political motivations is disingenuous to say the least.

If Key were offered the same conditions, an increased pay packet to spend half of his time across the ditch fixing their economic woes, I doubt he would accept the challenge. And if he didn’t, would it be because he was in the back pocket of the unions. He would consider such an accusation preposterous.

Yet for some reason he views teachers as so naïve and malleable, that we would follow NZEI’s recommendations without any research, thought or common sense of our own.

As a taxpayer, I find it astonishing that he is so determined to pay government employees more money, while failing to increase spending on resources and staffing within schools. I wonder how many parents would be happy with that equation?

About Save Our Schools NZ

"One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds." Gandhi

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Teacher Voice: We’re not in it for the money, by Jenine Maxwell

  1. Tragically many people do believe we do it for the money.
    However after 32 years I can assure anyone who cares to listen, that money doesn’t make the job ‘do-able’.
    If you try to do the job for the money it will gradually destroy you – you will just gradually become less and less satisfied with the job. Eventually you end up doing a really bad job, unhappy and you just have to leave.
    No amount of money will compensate for doing this to ourselves earlier in our careers.

    Like

    Posted by Kelvin Woodley | August 24, 2014, 8:06 pm
  2. These comments from teachers need to be out there in the media – they should be sent to John Campbell so that we get our voice heard. This post and the others like it are awesome – let’s get it out to a wider audience.

    Like

    Posted by hhenkin | August 24, 2014, 8:37 pm

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