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Support staff: 101 reasons why

For Support Staff Day 2017, we asked the community to send in 101 reasons why support staff are so important to their schools and centres. We were absolutely inundated with responses!

School-wide Learning Assistant comments

Because skilled and experienced Learning Assistants are effective and flexible, key members of our learning team and their value should be reflected in their pay.

Wainuiomata High School Mural

Jules from Christchurch

Supporting support staff to better support teachers and learners.

Kindergarten Teacher

because schools and Early Childhood Centres cannot run without these wonderful people. Many support Staff go well above and beyond their duty to fulfill their roles. Our special needs tamariki are already being lost in mainstream. Their needs cannot be met by 1:10 ratios. we need extra Support Staff.

Specialist ORS Learning Assistant comments

Their current pay scale does not reflect their skills, experience and value to the education system

Kate from Greymouth

I want a decent wage to keep up with the cost of living.

Michelle from Greymouth

We go the extra mile to help the school run smoothly…helping Teachers, running errands in our own time, using our own vehicles, working unpaid overtime. Value US!

Carmel, Annette, Irene & Sally from Waverley Primary

* Children deserve all the support they can get!!
* We do such wonderful work, so the school budget should be increased to cover
the cost
* We are needed in schools
* Children need all the help they can get
* Children deserve the best support for their education
* We value children and their education – so should you!!!

German volunteer worker in North Canterbury Area School;

We deserve to be recognised not only for what we do for our school but what we do for the children who we support.

Science teacher in North Canterbury

They’re able to be reader writers for our students with special needs.

Primary teacher in North Canterbury

Their contribution in our class is invaluable and they are crucial people in the lives of some of our most vulnerable students.

Lisa from Napier

I work hard for our children and I deserve it…

Berhampore School

We do a lot more than what is in our contacts. Without our work the school would be in a flop. The children really appreciate the work and scaffolding that support staff do to help them operate in the classroom.

Michelle from Napier

Every child is worth it!
Teacher Aides are too!

Tania from Flatbush School

Our children & community are worth so more than the Ministry thinks! And this especially applies to our special needs children who are and have always been seriously underfunded.

Sheree from Flatbush School

They are worth it!

Year 4/5 Classroom Teacher

They are an essential part of my classroom learning program. They both support and accelerate the learning of the children.
As a classroom teacher they bring different pedagogy to the learning environment and allow me more freedom to support learners across the whole class.

Castlecliff School Staff

– Teacher aides said ” My role in the classroom is important to many of the students who otherwise may have less support.” ” More and more teacher aide hours are needed for more and more students.”
– Our office administrator said ” We are a highly valued part of the school team. We support our students, teachers and principal in many different ways.”
– Kaiarahi o Te Reo said ” To invest in our future – for our kids!” “We want the best for all tamariki to reach their highest potential to succeed in life.” “As valued members of our kura we give the children who need a little more help the extra support they need to get through the day.”
– Teachers said ” support staff help with all children in a class teaching small groups in reading, writing and maths. They bring creative thinking to make new concepts easy for children to understand.” “Without them, our jobs would be impossible! They make our days easier in so many ways – with behaviour, learning, working with our special kids – and with the laughs!” ” They are an integral part of the classroom who greatly enhance the children’s learning.”
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much!”
“Ehara taku toa i te toa takitaki Engari, he toa takitini.”

Administrator Sheryl

We don’t want to lose experienced, caring staff, who are excellent at their jobs, to other business sectors that pay better.

Elizabeth, Teacher in our Junior School

I would have to run the class as per normal with 2 special needs children and one disruptive child. TAs need a wage to support their families and to live comfortably.

eLearning MoE Facilitator

Support staff are the life blood of a school to give support to teachers in their role. They are so valuable and need to be paid for that value.

teacher aide from Oamaru

Their roles are diverse and a lot of resources are required to support children with various learning needs.

Teacher Aides from Auckland

It’s about time we are recognized and valued for what we do because we and our kids ALL matter.

Whangarei Primary School Support Staff

Because we go above and beyond what we are paid for.
And our children are our future.

Teachers from Christchurch

Because they do an amazing job in supporting and nurturing our students

Dinah, our Maori Focus Class Teacher in the Senior School

They work as hard as classroom teachers. They nurture our children. They have positive influences on children’s learning. They work beyond their paid time because they are passionate about their job.

Lisa, a Junior School Teacher at Flatbush School

We couldn’t do what we do without them. They deserve more for what they do and how they support and shape our tamariki! Pay them a decent living wage!

Support Staff, Whanganui East School

– Quality Support = Quality learning!
– There are so many children who need extra help who are missing out.
– Better funding means more money and that means more money for students education.
– The diversity of our job an all the extra tasks we willingly take on. All Schools NEED Support Staff.
– Please thaw the Ops Grant to ensure quality education for our students giving support staff recognition.
– There are more and more children with needs, who need supporting in the classroom and playground and not enough Teacher Aides to support them due to lack of funding to schools.
– More and more children with behavior issues that need one on one teacher aide support.
– They help students engage in their learning everyday in every way!!! Working alongside individuals or groups of students, making resources, being creative, enthusiastic teachers!

Arakura School (Wainuiomata) Staff

– They are awesome, they have the knowledge and patience to work with our well below and special needs.
– They work exceptionally hard (largely with our priority learners). They have specialised knowledge int he programmes they run and we would be lost without them!
– We work hard and our pay doesn’t reflect it!!
– We work hard and support many kids.
– Without them being valued and receiving adequate pay, our school and children will suffer. Support Staff assist with all areas in school: feeding, clothing, cleaning – and that’s before 9 am.
– Our classrooms are better places with their amazing knowledge and support. Our children are making progress with their extra hard work and dedication.
– Because we are awesome and our Job Description changes every day!
– They are absolute super stars! Our teachers and students value them so much. I don’t know what I would do without them!
– I can not be an effective teaching practitioner without their support.
– They all help accelerate akonga achievement! Teaching staff cannot be as effective without them!
– I deserve more…. It’s a hard job caring and teaching special needs children.
– Of all the work they do to support children that need extra help!
– They do a lot for our students and support them in their learning.
– We need job security!!

Janetta, Our Junior Syndicate Leader of Flatbush School in Otara

We need them! Also, they need more money to keep them as Teacher Aides as they leave us for better paid jobs in order to support their whanau!

Westmere School Support Staff

“Our schools could not function effectively without the support of our valued support staff, office, administrative staff, teacher aides working alongside teachers and students. The freeze on our operational funding means there is no money to pay these valued staff fairly”

Belinda from Oamaru

They build relationships with our identified learners so that they can work alongside them and in turn the learners can make accelerated progress.

Olivia from Oamaru

It allows all students to go away on camp.

Frances from Oamaru

They support children with high health needs so these children can actually come to school.

Phil from Oamaru

Our teacher aides are incredibly capable, yet keep coming back to this difficult but financially unrewarding job. Let’s make it worth it for them.

Rebecca from Oamaru

They support the learning for all children so that each child can be at school. At the moment they are not being paid enough for the work that they do.

Principal from Waikoikoi

They are valuable members of staff who work tirelessly to help children, staff and Management.

Christine from Waikoikoi

Children in the early years need support if they require help with developmental programmes.

Parent from Waikoikoi

They help our children with their learning and extra support they might need.

Jennifer Gower

We could not do our job properly without them.