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

The reliever shortage has caused a huge amount of pressure for teachers at a time when they are already dealing with adjusting to new and different challenges from the effects of COVID on tamariki, their whānau and their own personal lives.

While trying so hard to maintain the well-being of tamariki and their kindergarten community, teachers own well-being is deteriorating coping with different staff each day, sometimes unqualified, as colleagues are at home isolating or sick.

This impacts greatly on tamariki as they turn only to the teachers they know for support, placing even more pressure on the familiar teachers working. No matter how hard we as passionate and committed teachers try to maintain quality education, we feel defeated at times that what we are actually providing is not good enough for those who most deserve it … our tamariki who are our future.

What will it take to fix the reliever shortage?

More qualified teachers. Teaching as a desirable profession.

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

We will all have consistency. Tamariki will feel more secure in their environment with less change which will improve their learning and development. Teachers will work with relievers who know their systems and routines and be able to take on more responsibilities easing their workload and allowing them to provide more quality interactions with tamariki and plan for more desirable learning outcomes knowing plans have a better chance of being implemented when there is consistency and momentum, less disruptions.

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