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Ready, Set, Teach; Teachers Change Lives And Inspire Dreams

“Teaching is a complex profession,” says Kathy Wolfe Chief Executive of Te Rito Maioha, “and the ERO report Ready, Set, Teach serves as an important opportunity for the sector, but a nuanced approach is required when reading its findings.”

“While there are critiques as to whether students are adequately prepared for teaching, it’s worth noting that the completion of initial teacher education study is not the final stage before teachers join the profession. The two-year induction and mentoring period teachers have before they are considered ‘fully qualified teachers’ is critical in ensuring teachers are well qualified and prepared for the profession.”

“The report also notes that some students have concerns about their ability to meet the required standard, however the reality is, any person new to a profession, will have reservations about their ability to meet the required standard from the outset. What’s important is that the education system ensures our new teachers are well supported and mentored to succeed.”

“The report includes the Covid-19 pandemic which was an unprecedented time in terms of stress and struggle for many professions including teaching. Some of these stresses and challenges reflect the realities of teaching in Aotearoa New Zealand today. The resilience, professionalism and flexibility demonstrated by the education sector during the Covid-19 pandemic was exemplary, and this one in a lifetime event should be considered when reading about the initial teacher education experience of these students.”

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“Being ready to teach is something Te Rito Maioha takes very seriously. Our students work while studying, they are learning and then putting that into practice immediately. So, for our tauira, they are frequently in a classroom environment alongside their study.”

“Tertiary providers programmes are continually monitored and moderated for quality delivery and student learning. This ERO report provides useful recommendations on how providers can continue to refine and deliver programmes to support teacher readiness to teach.”

“There are some real lessons to be learnt here, but we should avoid creating generalisations about the current quality of initial teacher education. Programmes have recently been updated and reapproved by the Teaching Council and New Zealand Qualifications Authority which, as the report notes, the information was drawn from previous initial teacher education programme requirements, therefore some improvements as suggested in the recommendations have already been addressed or are being addressed.”

“There is certainly more that can be done for new teachers relating to employment, pastoral care, mentoring, and overall support. However, Aotearoa New Zealand does not have a Teacher Workforce Strategy. This is the overarching missing piece and whatis required to enhance the teaching profession from attraction into study, readiness to teach, employment, retention, upskilling and leadership including demand and supply short, medium and long term.”

“Initial teacher education is just one part of that journey. We call on the government to work with the ECE, Primary and Secondary sectors to design and implement a Teacher Workforce Strategy as a matter of urgency. This includes all teachers from Early Childhood Education through to Secondary - a teacher is a teacher is a teacher!”

“We are incredibly proud of our graduates, the hurdles they often overcome and the dedication they have towards teaching. We owe it to the profession and our new teachers to learn from this report and ensure our teachers are as prepared as possible to take the next generation of children and young people on a successful learning journey.”

“Teachers teach and inspire children and young people to becomelearned and contribute positively to society. Their role is to change our children’s lives, why would we not invest in the profession and celebrate teachers? Let’s not use this report to denigrate teachers, but rather, use it to improve and enhance the systemic teacher professionin Aotearoa,” says Kathy Wolfe.

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