Primary school principals are enthusiastic about supporting a new charter guaranteeing a fair go for newly graduated primary teachers.
Many who get work at all are getting relief work or short-term positions, which often means they don’t receive the support and mentoring they need for full certification within six years of graduating.
NZEI President Louise Green said this was a concern, “because if we want great teachers for our children, teachers need to be well supported from the beginning of their career.”
The charter guarantees that any beginning teachers the school employs will receive the induction and mentoring support they are entitled to. The school also commits to never employing new or beginning teachers on a trial or otherwise illegal fixed-term basis.
“Signatory schools receive a certificate and window stickers to show they support beginning teachers. It sends a very strong, positive message to a school’s current and prospective teaching staff,” said Ms Green.
The Education Council and New Zealand Principals’ Federation have expressed their support for the charter. Positive conversations have also been held with the Ministry of Education.
Ms Green said the charter was about creating a shift in practice and awareness, but the long-term answer to a lack of permanent jobs for new graduates depended on the Ministry of Education undertaking workforce planning, which was sorely needed.
“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.
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.
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?
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.