Survey: NZ teachers undervalued

Last updated 16:19 25/08/2014

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New Zealand teachers have the hardest job and are least appreciated out of the country’s professionals, according to a new survey.

The Warehouse Stationery Inspiring Teachers survey of 1000 people found 87 per cent of respondents felt teachers had a ‘‘really hard job’’ and 79 per cent felt teachers were undervalued by society.

When asked which profession they felt received the least amount of gratitude, almost a quarter of those surveyed listed teachers. 

This was slightly higher than police at 23 per cent, nurses at 21 per cent, ambulance paramedics at 12 per cent, and higher than firefighters and doctors at 5 per cent and 2 per cent respectively. 

But it was not all negative for teachers, two thirds of those surveyed said they had a teacher who had a significant, positive impact on their life.

Almost 80 per cent of those surveyed from Generation Y, those younger than 25, said they related well to a teacher.

However, only 58 per cent of Generation X, those aged between 35 and 44, surveyed said they were able to identify positively with a teacher, according to the survey.

Almost all of those surveyed said they believed a good teacher could change the course of a student’s life, with many saying they regretted not appreciating their teachers more.

Almost 50 per cent said they wished they had told their best teacher how much they appreciated their efforts.

But 30 per cent said they did seize the opportunity to show their appreciation.

Warehouse Stationery chief executive Pejman Okhovat said the research highlighted the need for initiatives that allowed people to show in a tangible way the value they placed on those charged with educating children.

Warehouse Stationery, which commissioned the research, had launched a campaign to find New Zealand’s most inspiring teacher. 

"We are excited to be able to shine the spotlight on New Zealand teachers and the valuable work they do and hope this research inspires more people to show their appreciation for the valuable job that teachers perform every day," Okhovat said. 

One week into the search, 1200 nominations had been received. 

Judges in the hunt for New Zealand’s most inspiring teacher included New Zealand Order of Merit recipient, teacher, and former netball star Bernice Mene, director of leadership at Palmerston North Boys High, Paul King, and Margaret McCaw a teacher for 35 years and mother of rugby star Richie McCaw. 

For more details go to Inspiring Teachers.

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