Education Conversation – Korero Matauranga – 2018 is out and everyone in New Zealand can have their say on what needs to change in education until 31 May 2018. Have you had your say yet? Actually, I’m always a bit skeptical about these kinds of things because the cynic in me says that my voice won’t change anything, but this time I’m going to put my yellow optimism hat on and hope that our voices are heard.
It was an interesting experience filling in the survey and even though I often think about things I’d like to change in education when the questions were in front of me I blanked. It took me some time to come up with some answers. Here goes:
1. If you were the boss of education in New Zealand, what would you do first?
The workload for teachers is way too high, so I would compensate teachers financially for all the work they do outside of class time. I am contracted to work 25 hours a week and I would easily work double that every week. 25 hours a week only covers the actual time I am in the classroom between 9am-3pm and doesn’t account for staff meetings, planning, classroom environment preparation and assessment; to name but a few of the things I am required to do outside the hours of 9 and 3.
2. What does a successful student of the future look like to you?
A successful student of the future gives things a go, is interested and curious, experiences an educational environment that is hands-on and technologically equipped, and learns from teachers who are knowledgable, fair and educationally challenging.
3. What will they need to know and be able to do?
- Read, write and numerate to a high level.
- Be able to converse confidently in Te Reo Maori.
- Develop an ability to innovate and create in a range of contexts.
- Develop an awareness of the global world and their place in it.
4. What things will need to be in place to make sure every learner is successful?
- More support and funding for special needs in the classroom.
- Access to a network that links all involved services in one place for children with access given to teachers, families and services to enhance communication and support given to teachers and families.
- Funding provided for one teacher aide per classroom to increase teacher-time for all students.
- Free access to early childhood education in rural communities and low socio-economic areas.
- Changing the times in which children can start primary school to one cohort per year in the beginning of the year.
- Free funding for prescription glasses for all children under the age of 18.
- Increased funding for Reading Recovery in low socio-economic areas.
- National phonics programme implemented as part of the New Zealand Curriculum.
- Te Reo Maori language learning from Year 1 onwards.
Well, that’s my 2 cents!