By: Rachel Das

Denise Torrey says the job is more rewarding than it is made out to be. (Photo / File)

A Christchurch principal’s criticising media over a poor representation of teaching, saying it’s affecting young people’s choice of profession.

NZEI teachers and principals are meeting to address the nationwide education crisis this morning in Wellington.

Somerfield Te Kura Wairepo principal Denise Torrey says they desperately need more young teachers coming through, as the older generation of teachers prepares to retire.

She says young people are on to it and pick up on the negative slant teaching’s given.

“There are so many talented young people sitting in our high schools or out in our communities who would make fabulous teachers and they would bring so much to people sitting in our schools.”

Torrey says teaching needs to be made more attractive.

She says she gets around ten applicants for a job that would’ve drawn 120 not long ago – and they need bright, talented new trainees.

She wants high schoolers contemplating the job to visit a school and experience the positives of the profession.

One of those, she says, is getting to know children’s families.

“Schools are the centre of these communities, and if you ask the majority of the parents, they love their local schools because their children love coming to school and are very happy.”

Torrey says there are multiple levels of complexity to the situation, from a lack of new trainees and an aging teacher population, to poor pay and huge mental health problems amongst Christchurch students – as well as around the country.

She says there are no quick solutions, but it’s a wonderful profession.

“When you see children happy and learning and sharing their learning and articulating their learning, it just makes your day and it makes the job very special.

“If you get a group of teachers together, you cannot shut them up about their kids. They just love talking about their kids.”

Source: Newstalk ZB


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