18 October 2006
PPTA elects new president
Making teaching a more attractive and enjoyable profession is among the key goals for PPTA’s president-elect Robin Duff.
Mr Duff, who takes over the presidential role in late January 2007, will lead the association into a new pay round as the current Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement (STCA) expires in June 2007.
He is an assistant head of department in English at Burnside High School, PPTA’s current junior vice-president, and a member of its political strategy and professional issues advisory committees.
He said improving the pay and conditions of secondary teachers, and particularly reducing the workload burden associated with NCEA assessment, moderation and administration, were very high on the agenda.
“Improving teacher pay and conditions is crucial to enable us to attract talented young people into teaching and retain those already in the profession,” Mr Duff said.
“Research shows that teachers’ job conditions are seen as a barrier to recruitment and retention and that teacher workload remains one of the major barriers to improving student achievement.
“The vast majority of people hold teachers in high regard, but they also understand the barriers that teachers face from managing difficult student behaviour and from heavy workloads and stress.
“Teachers are always setting out to encourage achievement, develop self esteem and unleash potential in their students.
“We want teachers to be able to focus on these key areas but we need to ensure that they have adequate support for carrying out the increasing range of non-teaching duties.
“We also need to ensure that initiatives for managing challenging student behaviour are fully funded so that difficult behaviour does not get in the way of students who want to achieve.
Mr Duff said other goals for PPTA were to increase the number of career pathways available to teachers who want to continue in the classroom, and boost opportunities for ongoing professional learning.
“We will be looking to extend career pathways such as specialist classroom teachers and senior subject advisers and open up other ones in the ICT and pastoral care areas.
“Ultimately, teachers’ working conditions are students’ learning conditions. We’re always aiming to make teaching a more attractive and enjoyable profession and if we can do that we’ll go along way towards improving student achievement.”