What does the reliever shortage mean for you as a teacher, and the tamariki you teach?

The reliever shortage for me and my team is bringing about additional pressure to our day to day teaching. When a teacher needs to be off work due illness or other reasons I am notified either later in the day or early in the morning. This means my own personal time is consumed with the process of trying to find a qualified reliever at short notice. Sadly the teacher requiring time off often feels guilty for the additional work being created of trying to find a scarce reliever. The times when relievers can not be obtained, which is very often in our small rural community, teachers are having to forfeit their non contact time. This means less planning time for the learning of our tamariki. From time to time teachers will still come to teach not feeling 100% because they don’t want to apply extra pressure to their team.

What will it take to fix the reliever shortage?

Ensure relievers are paid accordingly to their level of experience, remove any pay caps, and ensure they are receiving professional learning opportunities.

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

Teachers will be able to have a leave day without guilt. Our precious time for teaching and learning will be as it should be. I won’t be stressed wondering where a reliever will come from.

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