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

Reliever shortages are becoming quite regular now, and finding good permanent relievers is becoming quite difficult. Staff shortages has a huge impact on the teachers, the team and the quality of education being taught within the centre. The aforementioned is a problem nationwide and is not limited to just my centre, however for me it also creates another issue for myself.

I am a male that has worked in ECE for over 20 years, I am passionate about what I do, but I am also always cautious that I am not left alone with any tamaiti. Within Kindergarten this can be a challenge as our ratios are 1-10. We are licensed for 30 tamariki so when a staff member is away, and we don’t have a reliever, this leaves 2 qualified staff, with 30 tamariki. While a kaiako is changing throughout the day, it only leaves me with the children.

Working in this situation can be quite stressful as I am watching out for the safety of the children, but keeping myself safe at the same time. I have had lots of these types of scenarios over the years as I am sure most of you have, but as a Male the stress can be amplified as we are keeping ourselves safe, and ensuring our tamariki are getting the best education with limited human resources.

What will it take to fix the reliever shortage?

Pay them what they a worth – A teacher, is a Teacher, is a teacher.

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

Quality education, quality curriculum delivery and quality interactions.

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