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

There is an increasing number of children with additional needs (Autism, behaviour issues, language/speech issues, ADHD, etc). The current ratio makes it hard for teachers to meet individual requirements of children. The focus is on children with additional needs and it is a struggle to design and deliver curriculum to suit children’s interest and strengths. There is an increasing number of children in nappies and toilet training among the older children and one teacher spends the whole day assisting children with nappies and toilet training. This affects the ratios to supervise the classroom. It is a stress for teachers in terms of Health and Safety to make sure that the environment is safe for all children by scanning all areas throughout the day.

What will it take to fix staff to student ratios?

Increase staff-children ratio especially for younger age groups. Also Ministry needs more trained support workers to support children with additional needs. Currently the wait time is very long!

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

Effective supervision, meet children’s needs effectively, better resource management, effective curriculum design and delivery, less stress on teachers for better mental health.

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