Early career teachers: Messages from the Teachers of Promise Study. Marie Cameron New Zealand Council for Educational Research Susan Lovett University of Canterbury Core Breakfast series 6 November 2012 Christchurch. Why does this research matter?.
New Zealand Council for Educational Research
University of Canterbury
Core Breakfast series
6 November 2012 Christchurch
held positive Studyviews of their principal’s leadership
had positive working environments(across all decile levels)
I am absolutely loving working in a New Zealand school again after having taught in London. I feel supported just the right amount, and left alone just the right amount too, to get on and do a good job. There is a good work/life balance encouraged and modelled at the school; teachers are respected and treated as professionals. (Jane, early 30s, primary)
I love the job. I love the diversity and I enjoy the challenges in the job (Barrie, 30-39, secondary school)
Opportunities to learn more about my subject area, about teaching well, about relating well with students (growth) (Mac, 31-40, secondary school)
Opportunity to continue learning, and being part of a community that focuses on children. (Isabella, 25-30, primary school)
Being able to work alongside teachers and mentor them. My liaison with the university for student teachers is also rewarding (Robert, 30-39, assistant principal, middle school)
Firstly, the job has its financial benefits after this long, so money keeps me in the job. Otherwise, I enjoy being with the children and being able to impact positively on their lives - academically and socially.(Kimberly, 41-50, intermediate)
There is a “culture of fear” in my school, where some teachers feel afraid to make even the smallest mistake, for fear of losing their job and perhaps even having their careers tarnished ... Several teachers have been disciplined unnecessarily and in a way which has not maintained their mana or dignity, nor even allowed them to easily move on to another job. (Ajay, 20-39, secondary school teacher)
Paperwork has increased to phenomenal levels and the focus has moved away from the students and student learning to maintaining the paper trail which is not read.
(James, 30-39, ex- intermediate)
My current role is 35 hours per week and when I go home that’s it. I do the occasional workshop on evenings or weekends but it is time in lieu.
(Leanna, 41-50, ex-secondary, now in education role with City Council)
lack of work-life balance
You need to have a life if you’re going to be an effective teacher. You can’t live the job, it is one of those jobs you could work 24 hours in a day and still have things to do. That’s what it feels like but I can’t effectively teach my kids how to live a proper life if I’m not living one myself … at the end of the day it is a job, it’s a very important job but it is a job and you need to have a life (Donald, early 30s, ex-primary school)
teaching did not meet their career goals
I think I could have remained as a teacher longer if I had more of a challenge and if I could see avenues for promotion. I did however love the students and the staff.(Elizabeth, early 30s, ex-secondary)
loss of commitment
I did envisage myself as a professional and getting as good as I could at my job … I don’t coach sport any more—I’m starting to catch that cynical disease that teachers get. Most days I’m out of there between 3.30 pm to 4.30 pm and I get to school around 8.15 am. If I really wanted to do my job with a high level of effectiveness, I’d be there earlier. But I’d rather leave at 4.00 pm and go to the gym. (Ajay, early 30s, secondary)
He’s [principal] always provoking that next level of thinking in you and [he] doesn’t just accept the first response. I mean, he does that with everyone … And I guess it seems, looking back now, that he’s always had his eye on the next step for me. He saw that developing my leadership knowledge was where I really needed to go, and it’s been hugely beneficial.(Robert, intermediate school DP, early 30s)
One thing that came out of that [study] was the value of listening and using questioning effectively. Being an active listener is much more challenging than I appreciated before and I think now I’m much better atit.(Ruby, early 30s, secondary teacher)
Therefore they were more likely to stay interested in leadership roles
You have to tell them what to do...
What do you do if intellectually and professionally you disagree with it [school decisions] and you think it is the wrong path?
Could I stand up as a leader and be part of it?
Steven (Secondary HOD)
From others ...
From schools ...
From others ...
- individuals can only do so much
- schools can only do so much
- external agencies (e.g. MOE) can only do so much