Too often the narrative around why we need a pay rise can become focused on how hard the job is. The act of teaching is hard, however be assured, a career in teaching is a privilege. That said I do believe each and every teacher in this country deserves a generous pay rise, not because it's a tough job, but because it is a bloody important and complex one.
Here are my 13 reasons why...
1) What we do is important! There is no question. Being a teacher is one of the most important roles in our community. We are not only fantastic (low cost) caretakers and babysitters for much of the year, we are also trusted to provide young people with the knowledge and skills they need to survive and thrive, whilst also addressing community concerns and government priorities - we are miracle workers (and hence we deserve the pay to go with it. What we do is seriously important work on many levels. “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” - Malala Yousafz…
Well, today marks the day that many of you will have experienced the first high stakes external exam of the 2018 NCEA exam season and whilst I do wish you all the best, I also want you to know that you are bigger than any NCEA exam.
An exam is defined by the Collins Dictionary as a formal test that you take to show your knowledge or ability in a particular subject, or to obtain a qualification.
I would rather focus on what an exam is not:
It is not a measure of if you are bright.
It is not a measure of your potential.
It is not a measure of your worth, either now or in the future.
It is not a measure of your ability to learn, unlearn and relearn.
It is not a measure of your ability to communicate.
It is not a measure of your ability to collaborate.
It is not a measure of your ability to research.
It is not a measure of your creativity.
It is not a measure of your curiosity.
It is not a measure of your willingness to take risks.
If there is one thing I am pretty adamant about, it is that the Principal's primary role is to be the 'leader of learning'. To that end one of my real focus areas in my first term as Principal is to observe as much learning as I can in action. As many of you will know, at Albany Senior High School (ASHS) we have three strands to our curriculum - Tutorials, Specialist Subjects and Impact Projects.
I came into the school knowing that I loved the curriculum design and the way that the time allocations clearly signalled the value of each element. What I did not know was how well each element (in their current form) was meeting the needs of each and every learner. And as in every school there is often a bit of a disconnect be…