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Beginning Teachers (BTs), New Zealand, Teacher Training, teacher unemployment

Job-hunting teachers told just get on your bike…

no-jobsIf you are a finding it hard to get a teaching job, Dr Graham Stoop feels he has the answer to your problems:

“We accept that finding a job can be challenging for new teacher graduates, and encourage them to look at a range of options when seeking a position, such as teaching in rural areas,”

Graham Stoop (Ministry of Education)

Thank you, Dr Stoop, for your comments.  As Basil Fawlty would say, you get an A Level in the bleeding obvious.

Teachers searching for work are doing all they can to secure a job, and such simplistic advice doesn’t help.

On Your Bike

It’s easy for Stoop to make these Tebbit-esque “on your bike” pronouncements, but unemployed teachers with bills and student loans to pay don’t want a meme-style answer or a simplistic and ill-considered life hack. What they do want is proper advice based on proper research into the problem and proper help finding appropriate work.

Or here’s a thought – why not stop churning out more and more new primary school teachers year on year into an already flooded market.

So thanks for your advice, Dr Stoop, but let’s be clear – it’s not that teachers are not trying to find jobs, it’s that there is a job shortage.

Rural jobs

On his sage advice to look for jobs in rural areas, does Dr Stoop even have evidence that rural schools are crying out for applicants?

I know of well qualified teachers with years of experience who have had trouble finding jobs in rural NZ. So how easy would it be for a BT? Or someone who’s been out of the job market for a few years? I assume Stoop has some clear facts and figures showing that things are better in, say, Matamata or Wanaka, than in Auckland or Christchurch, or why would you make these pronouncements?

NZEI did some research recently and found that over half of new graduates would indeed consider moving to find a job but, as was pointed out, even for those who would move, it’s not that straightforward.

For example, a teacher can’t always just upend their partner from their job in order to move to a rural school. Or does Dr Stoop think, perhaps, that all those struggling to find teaching positions are single, 21 year old BTs, able to go where the wind takes them?

Simple Maths

There are many complexities to the problem, but what it boils down to is very simple maths. Lots of job applicants and not many job. It’s really that simple.

And all the bike rides, sage advice and  120gsm vellum paper CVs in the world won’t magically make thousands of unemployed teachers fit into a handful of teaching jobs.


Further reading

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4 thoughts on “Job-hunting teachers told just get on your bike…

  1. Great article, thank you. Making it even harder is the fact that some Auckland schools are finding it difficult to attract applicants for fixed term positions because you turn your life upside down, find expensive accommodation because travel on a limited budget is impossible in Auckland and the next thing you’re unemployed again. Wages for young teachers are awful and some just cannot afford to take on certain jobs.


    Posted by Greg Patel | July 27, 2015, 4:08 pm
  2. A lot of rural schools are reluctant to employ BTs because they often then struggle to employ someone to do the BT release


    Posted by Sonya W | July 27, 2015, 9:54 pm
  3. As a graduate teacher who has been seeking a job for the last seven years. I have applied for well over 100 jobs I have had 3 interviews and got down to selection 1 of 2. It is a myth that rural teaching jobs are more available, in the beginning I wanted to teach in my local area but missed out to out of area applicants.

    Now I am applying world wide and am prepared to move countries just to secure a permanent job. I believe I am a great teacher and have the references to back this belief. Unfortunately to continue teaching past next year I now have to pay up to $4000 to retrain in order to retain registration – this after finally paying off that student loan.


    Posted by Jacqui H | July 28, 2015, 2:44 pm
    • I think this is what Education Council need to address urgently – the registration process is flawed given the lack of jobs out there that enable graduates to get their registration and many to keep their registration. It needs to be looked at to see what better way this can all be managed given the disparity between job numbers and applicants. It seems rather outrageous to have to pay $4k just to re-prove your capability under these circumstances.
      ~ Dianne PS Good luck with the job hunting – I hear there is a huge need for primary teachers in England, if that helps at all?


      Posted by Save Our Schools NZ | July 28, 2015, 3:15 pm

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