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Teachers need our support and recognition

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Media Release

3 October 2003

Teachers need our support and recognition

Teaching is an intellectually challenging, stimulating and rewarding profession and needs society’s ongoing support and recognition so more young people make it their career of choice, PPTA president Phil Smith said today.

He said World Teachers’ Day this Sunday was an ideal time to reflect on what teachers contribute to society.

“Their influence goes far beyond the classroom. They help create our future leaders, our product designers, artists and writers, sportspeople and engineers. They instil in people an enthusiasm for life-long learning and a desire to contribute positively to society.”

Mr Smith said most teachers would be preparing for a very busy fourth term on World Teachers’ Day and probably wouldn’t have time to reflect on their role.

“When we asked secondary teachers what they planned to do on the day, the standard reply was ‘I’ve been too busy to think about it, but it’s nice to know someone cares.’

“What that tells us is that they are very busy, and many have been putting in countless unseen hours of extra effort to ensure that the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) works in the way it was intended for our students.

“If we are to attract more young people into this profession, we do need to address workload issues and ensure teachers have more time to reflect on, and improve their practice. Teachers, like students, are also lifelong learners.”

Mr Smith said there was a tendency to focus on the negative rather than the many positive things happening in schools. “The high average level of student achievement in New Zealand secondary schools demonstrates how passionate teachers are about their jobs, and about ensuring their students achieve highly.

“That has to be celebrated. We should all think about teachers this Sunday, and how we can show our appreciation and support.”


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