What does the issue of staff to student ratios mean for you as a teacher, and the tamariki you teach?
At our kindergarten we have many tamariki whom are wearing nappies or are going through toilet training. This takes one teacher off the floor for a lot of the time during the day as these nappies have to be regularly changed and the tamariki need to be constantly reminded and taken to the bathroom. So they can be successful whilst training.
This means that the ratio of kaiako to tamariki is compromised as a teacher is effectively off the floor during these toileting times. It’s difficult to promote the best learning outcomes for tamariki when one teacher is missing from ratio. Sometimes it feels like the other three teachers are just “putting out fires” as two year old tamariki use the equipment and resources differently to their older peers.
What will it take to fix staff to student ratios?
I think we need a lower ratio of kaiako to tamariki that are two, so we can give everyone the attention they deserve and foster better learning outcomes with another teacher in the environment. I think kindergarten will attract more tamariki as we will be able to offer a better kaiako to tamariki ratio.
When we fix staff to student ratios, what impact will that change have on you as a teacher, and the tamariki you teach?
It will have a huge impact on learning as teachers will have the time and space to focus on tamariki strengths and interests knowing there is an extra kaiako to help with our two year old tamariki and their associated needs . There will be better job satisfaction for kaiako and we will all be a lot happier and this with flow to whānau and tamariki.