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World Teachers’ Day 5 October 2006

World Teachers’ Day 5 October 2006

The Director of the New Zealand Teachers Council, Dr Peter Lind, urges New Zealanders to acknowledge how important teachers are to their communities and the future development of the nation.

“In celebrating World Teachers’ Day on 5 October, we support the goals of UNESCO to raise the status of teachers internationally and we also affirm the important contribution to our future made by the early childhood, primary and secondary teachers and teacher educators here in New Zealand. Social, cultural and economic imperatives mean that all learners need access to high quality education.”

Speaking to the annual meeting of the New Zealand Education Institute (NZEI Te Riu Roa) recently, Dr Lind emphasised that it is inspiring teachers who determine the quality of learning young people enjoy and it is their professional commitment which provides the highest form of accountability. “This professionalism needs to be supported by policies that give teachers opportunities for variety in what they do and leadership options that don’t always lead them out of the teaching role into full time management.” Pathways that support the on-going professional learning of teachers and educators must be developed, along with the professional recognition of roles, such as teacher mentors that our experienced colleagues provide.

The Teachers Council is currently focusing on the early entry points to the profession; graduate teachers and the induction, mentoring and assessment of teachers in their first two years before gaining full registration. Equally important however, says Dr Lind, is working with the profession to reward, recognise and enrich the contributions of experienced teachers to their colleagues.

In 2006, World Teachers’ Day recognises how important true professionalism is for the strength of teachers’ work. This will be essential to achieve the international aim of “quality teachers for quality education”.


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