READER REPORT:

Why do you teach? A step in faith

GEORGIA-ROSE TRAVIS
Last updated 14:30 26/02/2013
Schools
Fairffax NZ
BIG HEARTS: Teaching is about giving to others and contributing to the wider community.

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Why do you love teaching?

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There are many news items in local and national papers about the loss of teaching positions in Canterbury, mergers, closures and future teacher redundancies.

These comments, as well as a forseen lack of teaching positions for the number of teachers seeking employment, does not seem to bode well for the profession – yet students are still flooding to complete teacher training. Why?

Add to the mix the debacle with Novopay and why would anyone in their right mind want to think about a teaching career?

Against all advice, I took the leap from a comfortable well paid job with a nice office, continual opportunities for professional development and study, and walked in to a void of unknowns, including unemployment and a massive struggle to even secure an interview once teacher training was completed. An idiotic decision you might say.

I don't think so.

A New Zealand teaching qualification is recognised worldwide as one of the best teaching and learning diplomas available, and worldwide Kiwi teachers are being snapped up.

With this in mind, teacher training isn't a bad idea if you are seeking to find employment overseas where there are significant shortfalls in teacher numbers, but maybe not so great if you are planning to stay in Christchurch.

Last year saw the largest number of graduating teacher numbers in the Canterbury area and also nationwide. It will be interesting to see what the numbers of graduating teachers are like at the end of this coming year.

Of all those graduates from this year that I know were seriously seeking employment, all but one has found a position, so maybe the outlook is not as bad as commonly understood.

The number of individuals entering teacher training is not slowing down. So, what does the growing number of trainee teachers tell us?

The number of people being made redundant across New Zealand rose these last couple of years, which resulted in people rethinking their options and considering retraining – many of them going on to become teachers.

More than anything else this shows that we live in a caring society. People who have lost their jobs or who have come to teacher training by any other route are thinking about others more than themselves.

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They are thinking about our youth, our education and what they have that they can give to others and contribute to a wider section of our communities than maybe they were able to prior.

Canterbury is truly a community, not without problems, but regardless, a true and genuine community invested in helping each other and investing in our future generations.

Teaching is professed as not an easy occupation and not everyone is suited to the challenges it presents.

How blessed are we that in Christchurch, with all the challenges that everyone has faced these last two years and continue to face in the future, so many are willing to give so much more of themselves to others? Not just to others, but to our youth, the future of Christchurch and New Zealand.

The numbers of individuals wanting to complete teaching training in Christchurch is an indicator of how many people are thinking of giving their life to the service of others. What an amazing place to live.

This is even more amazing because teaching is one of the few career paths that one does not undertake for money, but rather for love, passion and hope.

It is a step in faith that it will all work out in the end, even with over-production of graduating teachers.

There are no reasons that all graduates, with enough passion, perseverance and hope cannot realise their teaching goals, whether overseas, nationwide, or with a bit of faith in Christchurch.

There may be an oversupply of teachers, but Canterbury also seems to have an abundance of goodwill, community spirit and hope for the future.

As more families arrive, youngsters enrol in schools, we'll need teachers... so the figures may be gloomy now, but that won't always be the case, and when the city takes off again, ready to take the plunge will be newly trained, up to date, enthusiastic teachers. Yep! Christchurch has a lot to look forward to.

Even though the Government has plans to close schools, merge sites and force redundancies and even in the face of not being paid by Novopay - me included - teachers continue to teach.

They continue to arrive at work and support our youth, encourage our teenagers, guide dreams and show great resilience where many would have given up and walked away.

Teachers may come in all shapes and sizes, attitudes and outlooks, but what they all have in common is that they all have a spark that keeps them going, that feeling of worth and value when just one student has a spark ignited.

It is not a job for everyone, but those that enter the profession and stick with it have a special quality that the Government, regardless of what it forces on them, Novopay, or general negative publicity cannot destroy.

Teachers can, teachers do and teachers teach, not for the money, kudos or self gratification, but primarily because they have a desire to make a difference, or at least give all they have to try to make a difference.

Why do teachers teach - because teachers truly care.


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