Teachers’ Burdens Hit Our Children


Waikanae teacher Doris Lake says  teachers are working for a ‘better Aotearoa for our mokopuna/tamariki’.  But this has been compromised by increased class numbers, learning difficulties and lack of access for our tamariki who need extra support. 

And teachers have to deal with a range of admin duties.

Doris, who teaches at Waikanae School, says: ‘I have been a New Zealand teacher for over 20 years, and mother for 21 years.

‘We are professionals in my eyes, but, to those who have minimal knowledge or understanding of what teaching today requires, views vary.  


‘I am passionate about the mahi I do and will always continue to embed the values of WHANAUNGATANGA, MAHITAHI and KOTAHITANGA into each and every child, teenager, and adult who crosses my pathway in their lifetime.

‘I may have taught them for a year or two; they may have been part of Kapa Haka, or, I may know them within our community. The impact that I would like my teaching to have is the value of kindness, care, and success. This is why I stay teaching.’

Now is the time for changes

Ms lake continues: ‘Where the future of our Profession is heading, I am unsure, but it is clear that now is the time for drastic changes in our education system.

‘If we want to sustain and keep a hold of our new educators, our profession needs to be valued by all and acknowledged as a PROFESSION.

‘Recently, the Government announced its first steps towards a goal of a bilingual Aotearoa  — that is, making te reo universally available in schools by 2025.  

‘I wonder, how will this truly be possible if we are unable to attract and retain new educators ? ‘ 

Who will be our leaders and teachers of tomorrow?

‘If we are unable to mend the issues now, how will this look for New Zealand in the future?’ she says.

‘Ko wai nga Rangatira o apopo mo nga mahi Matauranga?’

Doris Lake 

Yes i totally agree with you. I am surprised that the difficulties facing educators today has not led to more of a shortage than is at present facing many schools. With the socioeconomic changes since i was at school the teaching fraternity spends more time with children than their parents do. Im not sure how much of your time is now spent on out of classroom reporting let alone marking and planning but i guarantee it’s over the 40 hour weekfor which teachers are salaried.

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