An open l etter to primary teachers:
I hear and understand what you’re saying. I’ve been there, I’ve gone on strike, I’ve marched in the streets. Look at the archives — and look at the outcomes. Gradually, incrementally, things have improved but it’s always been a balancing act.
I recall a particul arly vociferous NZEI meeting where someone stood up and said we should move a vote of no confidence in the government. Trembling at the knees, I got to my feet and said that the time to move a vote of no confidence was at the general election. I say it again now. If you’re not happy with what this government is offering teachers and what it’s doing to address the challenges it’s inherited, in two years you can vote for representatives of other hues. Try as I might, I can’t resist the temptation to say, “Good luck with that”.
These days, we promote “Learner Agency”. We want our learners to have voice, choice and ownership. This applies equally to teachers. For example, there are serious concerns about the range of complex needs teachers have in front of them every day. There always were, though proportionally, they seem greater. In part, this relates to the fact that conditions such as foetal alcohol