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Kiwi Teachers Least Appreciated Profession - Survey

Kiwi Teachers Least Appreciated Profession - Survey

By Fleur Revell
25 August 2014

It’s official - teachers have the hardest job in the country and are the least appreciated by Kiwis according to a new survey.

The Warehouse Stationery Inspiring Teachers survey investigated New Zealanders’ perceptions of the teaching profession and our attitudes towards teachers in relation to other professionals.

Nearly nine out of ten (87%) respondents in the nationwide survey felt that teachers have a “really hard job” While eight of ten (79%) said they felt teachers were undervalued by New Zealand society.

When asked which profession they felt received the least amount of gratitude, one quarter (24%) of those surveyed listed teachers. This was slightly higher than police at 23%, nurses at 21%, ambulance paramedics at 12%, and also higher than firefighters and doctors at 5% and 2% respectively.

The news wasn’t all bad for teachers though, with two thirds (66%) of those surveyed saying they have had a teacher who has had a significant, positive impact on their life.

This number was higher for those in the under 25 year old Generation Y age group with more than three quarters (77%) relating well to a teacher. The number was lower for their predecessors in the Generation X aged group (aged 35-44) with just over half (58%) able to identify positively with a teacher.

Interestingly, nearly all (98%) New Zealanders believe that a good teacher can change the course of a student’s life, with many of us regretful we weren't more appreciative of our teachers.

Around half (48%) of Kiwis said they wish they had told their best teacher how much they appreciated their efforts. But a further 30% said they did take the opportunity to express their appreciation.

Across the regions, Cantabrians felt that nurses and police were the professions that received least appreciation - at 26%. Teachers followed at 19%. In addition, ambulance staff at 17% were also mentioned more than the national average.

The research was commissioned by Warehouse Stationery as part of its campaign to find New Zealand's Most Inspiring Teacher.

CEO of Warehouse Stationery Pejman Okhovat says the research highlighted the need for initiatives like this where Kiwis can show in a tangible way the value they place on those charged with educating our children.

He says it was interesting to see the high number of New Zealanders (48%) who wished they had done more to thank their teachers and the New Zealand's Most Inspiring Teachers Campaign is one way they could do this.

"We are excited to be able to shine the spotlight on New Zealand teachers and the valuable work they do and hope this research inspires more Kiwis to show their appreciation for the valuable job that teachers perform every day," he says.

After just 1 week more than 1,200 have already nominated their favourite teacher.

This year judges include New Zealand Order of Merit recipient, teacher, and former netball star Bernice Mene; Director of Leadership at Palmerston North Boys High, Paul King, and Margaret McCaw a teacher for 35 years and mother of rugby star Richie McCaw.

For more details on how to be involved seewww.inspiringteachers.co.nz


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