What does the issue of staff to student ratios mean for you as a teacher, and the tamariki you teach?
In our current teaching environment we now cater for tamariki from 2 years of age to 6 year olds. The needs of our youngest tamariki are quite different to that of the older children. We now spend a great deal of our time meeting the basic needs around settling, relationship building and toileting.
Our kindergartens were designed for 3 and 4 year olds, not 2 year olds, so it is challenging mahi as we now cater for a wider range of needs.
Our tamariki share the same learning space which also brings it challenges. A trained teacher is now supporting the younger tamariki with leaves the other 3 teachers to work with the remaining children. Pressure then falls on the kaiako who have to supervise the children, interact with parents and visitors …. Group work is constantly interrupted and teaching opportunities are often missed as staff are so stretched in their day to day mahi.
What will it take to fix staff to student ratios?
The MOE need to increase funding and add a teacher to those kindergartens who have 2 year olds on their role.
When we fix staff to student ratios, what impact will that change have on you as a teacher, and the tamariki you teach?
We will have the ability to work effectively with our tamariki through having the support to work with the children in our kindergartens based on learning needs alls abilities. The quality of education and care will improve as kaiako are able to implement and follow up on learning experiences and younger children will also be supported around their individual learning needs.