Over the past few days, I have had the privilege of reading through all the student reports. It has been really lovely to see the progress that has been made by so many students, both academically and socially/emotionally. I would like to say a big thank you to the teachers for their diligence in getting these reports written. It is a big job that takes a large amount of time, while still having to complete the day to day requirements of planning and preparing learning activities for the children.
Over the next week or so the staff will be involved in a careful analysis of which students have made pleasing progress and those who have not made the progress we would have hoped. The middle of the year is a good time to take stock of this and ensure we have a plan for the second half of the year to accelerate progress if needed. This is not always a simple process and the potential barriers to learning have to be carefully analysed in order to know the best path forward. If your child has not made progress in certain areas then you will need to come to the Learning Conferences next term with an expectation that there are things you can be doing at home to assist your child with this. There may be insights you have also that you would like the teacher to consider, so please bring these to the discussion. A successful learning pathway is a partnership between you as parents and us as educators.
If you do not receive your child’s report by 2 pm Thursday please check your spam and if it is not there then contact the school office so we can re-send the report via a different avenue.
Over the past two weeks, you will have been aware that primary teachers and principals have been attending paid union meetings around the country. These have been in order to vote to accept or decline the offer presented by the Ministry of Education for our contract renewals. Many of the requests put forward by our union were not met, and the general vibe that I am sensing from teachers around the country is that this is not ok. Largely the requests related to work conditions and load, and support given for meeting student needs. Many young teachers and first-time principals (around 40%) are not staying in the profession for more than five years because the demands are extremely high, and there isn’t enough time and resources given to support these demands. A huge portion of the education workforce is nearing retirement, so without young educators remaining in the profession, I start to feel concerned for the future of our country. As a society, we need to start valuing and respecting the importance that education and therefore educators have in our country, or our children will suffer and in turn the future of our society. You may like to think about how you can support teachers, both personally and also through engaging at a political level for change in work conditions. Important to note that generally, a happy, engaged teacher results in happy, engaged children.
I pray you will enjoy a wonderful school break with your children. Your input into their lives is invaluable and I know for myself that the memories of playing, cooking, crafting and exploring with my parents during the holidays are things I cherish and thank God for.