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More Support For Beginning Teachers

September 29, 2004

NZEI Settlement Offers More Support For Beginning Teachers

Primary teachers throughout the country are to vote on a $420 million pay settlement that includes more support for beginning teachers.

The Education Review Office (ERO) has called for more professional development for beginning teachers, in a report just released. The primary teachers’ settlement shows that they and their union, NZEI Te Riu Roa, know that this support is vital and have been working to enhance that support.

“Teaching is a demanding profession and it’s unrealistic to expect a beginning teacher to be an absolute expert across all areas of their curriculum when they are just starting their career,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Colin Tarr.

“The ERO report states that 80% of the Year 2 beginning teachers met or exceeded the ERO’s expectations in engaging their students in learning. That’s a pretty good result for teachers at the very start of their career.”

"It is also pleasing to see that the ERO found that 84% of primary schools met or exceeded expectations when it came to providing professional support for beginning teachers.”

“The 25,000 primary teachers who belong to NZEI recognise that beginning teachers need professional support from experienced teachers and they made this a key focus of their negotiations for a new collective agreement.”

The negotiations were concluded last Friday and the proposed agreement that primary teachers are voting on includes several items aimed at enhancing the professional support provided for beginning teachers.

They include: Schools to be provided with staffing to assist beginning teachers in their second year to observe other teachers in their class or to carry out lesson planning or other professional development. A 300% increase in the yearly allowance for tutor teachers who provide professional development support for beginning teachers. The allowance will increases from $500 to $1500 next year and then to $2000 at the start of 2006. A 22% increase in allowance for primary teachers working in Normal Schools which provide work experience for student teachers. The allowance will rise from $1636 to $2000 a year.

“All teachers know how hard the first two years in the classroom are. It’s a steep learning curve for any professional starting their career and it’s no surprise to learn that they will need help to develop their skills.”

“Experienced teachers also know that beginning teachers are valued members of a teaching team because of the vitality and enthusiasm they inject into a school,” says Colin Tarr.


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