What does professional time mean for you as a teacher, and the tamariki you teach?

The time we spend together as a team, planning, evaluating and sharing ideas, has a major impact on the quality of teaching our tamariki receive from us. Having time to share important learning, goals and aspirations, and teaching plans with each other, means we are actively collaborating on our teaching strategies, all on the same waka, and our tamariki are getting a more authentic, layered and meaningful learning experience.

What will it take to fix the limitations on professional time?

As a 48 week, full day kindergarten, we not only miss out on quality time together to plan as a team, we also have less individual professional time to complete the mahi we are required to do – such as learning stories, reviews, whānau hui (one on one), growth cycle requirements, inquiry etc. This has resulted in our whole team feeling overwhelmed and overworked, and guilty that we are not delivering the top quality educational programme that we used to before we switched models. 48 week, full day kindergartens need to retain the same professional time allocations as traditional model kindergartens to prevent teacher burn out and ensure our tamariki are getting the best quality teaching and learning possible. It does not make sense that the less time you spend on the floor with tamariki, the more professional time you get.

When we fix professional time, what impact will that change have on you as a teacher, and the tamariki you teach?

We will be able to engage in meaningful collaborative planning as a team, and spend more time developing a curriculum/programme that meets the needs of each individual tamaiti in our kindergarten. As a teacher (Head Teacher) I will not feel like I am constantly just keeping my head above water, but will be able to support my team to continue to grow and develop and ensure that our tamariki, whānau and community are getting the education and care they deserve.

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