As we roll into another week of strike action, I’m struck by the fact that so much of the media and general public still seem to be missing the point on what’s actually going on in our classrooms. This is my attempt to present a complex issue in a more visual way. So basically, here’s the struggle:
I’m aware that not all classroom are exactly like this, but the overall trend remains the same – too many needs, too many kids, and not enough hours in the day (or night) to meet them.
Do kids seem to be arriving at school with more issues recently? Yes, but I think it’s only become a massive stress factor recently due to the creeping expectations around EVERYTHING ELSE we’re also supposed to be doing. We don’t seem to have that buffer anymore of a little extra time or flexibility to be able to absorb the additional challenges, or deviate from our plans to meet needs in a holistic way. We’re at maximum capacity in so many areas.
Add to that stress that anyone who’s ever attended school thinks that they’re an expert (and has an opinion), but many people have failed to account for the MASSIVE changes in teacher accountability, expectations, and hours now required to do the job.
I’m sure everyone appreciates the offer of 600 extra “learning support”staff made by the government in the latest offer – but there is very little information about how this might actually work and the kids need support now, not in 2020 (plus, there are over 2500 schools in New Zealand!)
Kua tae te wā – it’s time and something really needs to change…. (well, actually many things) Below are a few small examples of how just about everything but the pay has changed over time…