The Teaching Profession

4 Jun

For me, staffing a school is one of the toughest tasks facing a principal today. There are certain positions that are getting more and more difficult to fill.  The attrition rates particularly of young teachers is of concern given the difficulty the profession has of attracting the best and brightest to the profession. The best and the brightest are not been drawn to our profession. Teachers are not even encouraging their children to be teachers.

There is no denying that the quality of school leaders and the culture of learning communities contribute.  We know that schools are only as good as 1) their leaders and 2) the systems that support them

In New Zealand we are building the capacity of our leaders in order to develop our aspiring leaders.  Through ministry initiatives such as NAPP and First Time Principals there is wonderful mentoring. It is about creating the right conditions and the right support systems. Systems such as Ministry, NZQA, PPTA and in my case the Catholic Office.

Students must be at the centre though. If we can create the right conditions for learning to happen for students, we should be able to create the right conditions for teachers to remain engaged and inspired in their work. Teachers deserve greater control over their professional working lives and this should look and feel like the working lives of other professions.

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One Response to “The Teaching Profession”

  1. Melulater June 4, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

    I agree that staffing a school can be hard. But I look at it from the other side. Having, in recent years, worked with a variety of leaders/principals, I’ve come to know who I can’t work with, won’t work with and under whom my teaching will suffer from “a failure to thrive”. Some leaders consider themselves to be coaches and mentors, but in actual fact are micromanagers and bullies. As teachers we are encouraged to trest students as individuals and work with their uniqueness. Alas there are leaders who also do not transfer that philosophy to their teachers and other staff. What are their strengths that yhe school can utilise, what can they take responsibility for? What weaknesses do they have? Does another staff member have a strength in thay first staff member’s weak area? Csn they compensate for or help the first teacher? And many other possible questions.
    Thanks for your post. Good topic. Thought provoking.

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