What does the issue of staff to student ratios mean for you as a teacher, and the tamariki you teach?

Children are not receiving the time and attention that my team and I want to give. Our group size and 1:10 ratio is incompatible with delivering a sustained quality early learning experience.

With numbers of children presenting with complex needs and requiring additional support ever increasing, our capacity to teach and respond in ways that are professionally satisfying are being compromised.

What will it take to fix staff to student ratios?

It feels like we are waiting for a collapse or crisis to effect change, when really, we just need recognition that in a time-poor society, it is always children who are missing out. We know investment now pays dividends later, so let’s direct some funding where the evidence confirms it makes a meaningful difference.

When we fix staff to student ratios, what impact will that change have on you as a teacher, and the tamariki you teach?

Improving ratios would essentially gift me back time… to develop as a teacher and leader, and to have more sustained interactions with children.

The tamariki would feel more secure in their relationships, in their identities, and have their ways of being and of doing affirmed.

Professional satisfaction is a significant concern at the moment, where recruiting and retaining quality teachers is becoming increasingly difficult. I arrive at work every morning, buoyant and motivated, and leave most days feeling defeated.

Having less children to ‘manage’ would afford me more energy, reduce my stress and help me to recognize my own success. The present prevailing sense of failure and missed opportunities is having a detrimental effect on how I value and trust myself.

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