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Riversdale School Newsletter Term 2 Week 4

Farewell: Zohan Campbell

Tena Koutou Parents, Caregivers and Whanau.

Hello everyone,

Kia ora e hoa mä.

Tōtika – Balance

Mahia i runga i te rangimārie me te ngākau māhaki

With a peaceful mind and respectful heart, we will always get the best results

School will be closed for the day on Wednesday 29 May 2019

We greatly appreciate the community support that we have already received following the decision by teachers and principals to strike on Wednesday 29 May.

The decision to take further strike action was not taken lightly by any of us. For the first time, both primary and secondary teachers are striking together because the crisis in education hits us all very hard and we need the Government to understand how serious it is.

Schools are grappling with the fallout of a 40% nosedive in the number of people training to be teachers between 2010 and 2016, even while the population grew by 400,000. While the situation improved a little last year and the Government has announced an urgent $95m package to recruit teachers, this is not sufficient to address the crisis. Schools struggle daily to find enough teachers to meet their relief teacher needs and this will worsen as winter approaches. There is also a desperate need for more support for children with additional learning needs.

The fact is that teaching is no longer considered an attractive profession due to long-term under-funding of the education sector. A significant pay jolt is part of the solution, alongside significant improvements to our heavy workloads. Otherwise our schools will end up with larger class sizes and more teachers leaving.

On Wednesday 29 May we hope you will join us at our local public event, likely to be from midday. Tentatively, this is a walk from the Ram to the Trout along the main street in Gore. Teachers are then going to stand on the bridge that heads across to East Gore. We would love to see you and your children standing with us – together we are a community and we can make a difference. We will advise you of further details when they are confirmed.

New School Phone Number – 027 555 3534. Please delete all previous numbers and only use this number, or the landline, to contact the school for messages, absences, or to talk with staff. The landline is still

03 2025 814.

The newsletter is being published on our website. You will be able to find it there, and all previous weeks ones as well. Shortly we will move to just publishing it there … but we will let you know when this is happening.

Please return all pool keys to Riversdale Service Station or the School. Thank you.

Coming up this term:

Monday 27 May Board of Trustees meeting, 7.30pm at school. All welcome.

Wednesday 29 May Teacher Strike. School Closed.

Thursday 30 May Community Assembly at 1.30pm in the school hall.

Monday 3 June Queens Birthday observed. School closed.

Thursday 6 June Northern Cross Country.

Monday 10, 17, 24 June Senior children at badminton skills sessions.

Wednesday 19 June Home and School AGM.

Friday 21 June Southland Cross Country at Waimumu.

Thursday 27 June Community Assembly at 1.30pm in the school hall.

Friday 28 June School Reports and children’s workbooks are sent home.

Monday 1 July Parent/Child/Teacher Interviews from 3.15pm.

Tuesday 2 July Parent/Child/Teacher Interviews from 3.15pm.

Friday 5 July Last day of Term 2.

Monday 22 July Term 3 starts.

Thursday 25 July John Parsons, Cybersafety expert, at school working with teachers and children. Parents also welcome to come along.

Voting Closes at noon on Friday 7 June 2019

Board of Trustees Elections

Voting Papers sent by Wednesday 29 May, 2019

Election Day (voting closes) Noon Friday 7

June 2019

Count Votes Thursday 13 June, 2019

Board takes office Friday 14 June 2019

A list nominations is available for viewing on the noticeboard in the school foyer.

Home and School AGM

Wednesday 19 June, Waikaia Hotel

Meal at 6pm, followed by the meeting at 7.30pm.

Our Charter Targets:

This year we are working on two learning targets in our Charter. This means that we gather detailed entry data and then gather the same type of test data at the end of the year, to measure how much progress each child has made. We really appreciate your support with our spelling target which is every child will improve their spelling ability. Our base line data was taken by testing each child on the essential spelling word lists in Term 1. Across the course of this year every child will have words to learn for homework every week. If your child tells you they do not have words, please make contact with their teacher …. they could just be tricking you!!!

This article was contributed to Education Week, an educational publication that comes once a week. It is by a teacher, Lisa Geraghty, and points out some of the reasons why teachers in the Primary sector are taking industrial action.

We can no longer sustain our careers based on ‘love’: why one educator is striking by Lisa Geraghty

For the third time in less than a year, I have chosen to strike for our teaching profession. This is why.

I am a New Zealand primary school teacher. I am passionate about my profession and I love my students. Passion and love are why I stay, but it is becoming increasingly harder to do so. So, for the third time in less than a year, I have chosen to strike. Again.

Our education system is in crisis.

Our government do not appear to intrinsically value teachers. We play a vital role in society, yet the education sector is not deemed worthy of adequate funding. Does this then mean that our children are not worth investing in? Despite this cavalier attitude towards teachers, the government demands excellence from us. They expect us to maintain a high level of integrity and professionalism, but without the respect usually accorded to a degreed professional.

They demand more and more from us as a sector, and they expect us to deliver the world inside of the classroom, but will not compensate us fairly for our skills. They demand a first class education system, but are not willing to pay for it.

This is why I am striking.

I chose a degreed profession. It took me six years to become a fully registered teacher. I took out a large student loan and spent ten years paying it back. I commit hours of time on top of the standard 40 hours a week, because this is what is necessary to teach effectively.

I maintain a detailed teaching portfolio as evidence of classroom success, in addition to the multitude of administrative tasks and assessments required for each working week. I undergo yearly attestations and have regular observations to affirm my effectiveness. I engage in weekly and ongoing professional development to ensure I am up-to-date with the most effective teaching strategies.

I do all of this outside of direct classroom contact time and alongside regular staff meetings, syndicate meetings, parent interactions and extracurricular activities. I do this because it is simply what is required to be a successful teacher in a profession that demands excellence. I do this because I know that our children deserve a quality education.

Teacher pay caps and the rising cost of living mean that my colleagues and I are taking a yearly pay cut as we continue to deliver our children that quality education. Our profession is only becoming more multi-faceted and requires skills more diverse than ever before.

Unfortunately, misunderstanding the realities and complexities of our profession means that, even though we are skilled graduate professionals, we are so undervalued, so under respected and so significantly underpaid, that teaching can no longer compete as a viable career option.

This is why I am striking.

On top of this, the pressures we are facing in schools are growing every day. Today’s children come armed with broad, complex learning needs and increased social, emotional and mental health needs. We are no longer able to focus solely on teaching, assessment and academic progress. We are required to exercise skills that cross a range of careers in order to cater to our students.

The pastoral care of our students has become paramount. We are having to navigate a new, complex world of learners and parents who require, demand and expect individualised learning programmes. We have become much more than educators!

So we have asked for help.

We have asked for a Special Needs Coordinator, a teacher experienced in diverse learning needs, inside each and every school across New Zealand.

We have asked to be given more classroom release time in order to effectively plan successful lessons because the need for personalised programmes is at an all time high. We have asked for a significant pay increase to raise the status of the profession so that we are in line with other degreed professions.

This will directly address our critical recruitment and retention issues. It will ensure that teaching is a viable career option looking into the future. We need to make sure that ours is a profession held in high regard, just as other degreed professions such as doctors, lawyers, engineers and architects are.

We have asked for pay parity with our secondary colleagues, something we fought for and won in the 1990s, and which the government refuse to honour.

Sadly, our government will not budge. They have said ‘no’ repeatedly to our teachers. They have said ‘no’ repeatedly to our children.

This is why I am striking.

Being a teacher today comes at a personal cost. The growing needs of our children along with the increasing demands on staff mean that we never clock out. All too often, we neglect our families, our health and our well-being.

We inject our personal salaries into our underfunded classrooms. After all, we teach for ‘love’, right? Our students come first. This is what it takes to commit ourselves to other people’s children professionally. Teachers can no longer afford to prop up the sector. We cannot continue to give so much of our time. We can no longer inject our own incomes back into the classroom because our salaries have not kept up with the cost of living. We can no longer sustain our careers based on ‘love’.

This is why I am striking.

Our sector cannot afford to lose young, passionate teachers such as the one who was told by a Minister of Parliament earlier in the week that “teachers should find another job if they are unhappy.”

That statement demonstrates a complete disregard for the profession, the crisis we are facing and the vital role teachers play in society. We are not expendable. But we are leaving. Ultimately, it is our children that will pay the price for an attitude such as this.

On May 29, primary and secondary educators across New Zealand will unite in what will be the largest strike action in our nation’s history. We will stand united as one voice to fight to raise the status of the teaching profession itself.

We will stand united as one voice for our children.

Junior Netball - Thank you to all those who supported the Junior Netball girl’s fundraiser. The raffles have been drawn and winners contacted.

Pink Shirt Day - Thanks to all our students, the Mental Health Foundation received $114.40 from the proceeds of Pink Shirt Day.



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