Rowandale School principal Karl Vasau is passionate about how Tūmeke Tumuaki can help his fellow school leaders reach into their communities this week to help build consensus for making greater change through Te Ao Kei Tua | Creating Our Future..
The week recognising the contribution of principals to their schools and communities – groups that Karl says are massively important to helping make the changes required to increase staffing levels in our schools and improve principals’ hauora.
Te Ao Kei Tua | Creating Our Future is built on getting more teachers, teacher aides, learning support, administrators and specialist support staff into primary schools.
He says that extra resourcing will allow teachers to teach and principals to lead the curriculum, mentor their staff and build a fun and invigorating educational culture in their schools.
“We are focussed in this next collective on addressing the gaps and the things we need to help us do our job as principals,” he says.
“I am very fortunate that I am a principal of a very large Manurewa school and I have the extra leadership in my school to share around and to do certain jobs.
“I cannot imagine the stress that some of our smaller school principals go through every day, being so isolated from the support that I take for granted.
“These are some of the things that are in our claims to help all of us do our job.”
Karl knows on a personal level that fixing those problems will help principals do their core role – of leading the education of our tamariki – after publicly admitting three years ago that he needed help when he realised his own health and wellbeing had been suffering.
Without the “support, love and awhi” of his Board of Trustees, he says, he would not have broken out of the downward spiral.
It’s why he is asking his fellow principals to keep talking to their Boards about the collective agreement claims and wider campaign as that will help address their wellbeing issues.
“We ask that all Boards of Trustees out there really understand and have a read about some of those claims because we need your support to get this message out there,” he says.
“It’s through voice and stories that we will win this campaign.”
Despite this week about recognising the impact of principals, Karl is quick to also recognise the work of his team at his school in south Auckland.
“We do this job as a principal because we love what we do. I often say to people that I have the best job in the whole world because I love it,” he says.
“But our beautiful staff and our wonderful teachers and support staff turn up day in and day out and make this job better.
“Their collectives are up as well so we need informed Boards supporting all of us.”