The changing role of teaching

4 Jun 2018

“In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something else” Lee Iacocca

The role of teaching has changed dramatically and continues to evolve. Just last week NESA launched its numeracy and literacy progressions – each a vast and prescriptive volume of standards to measure a child’s progress in these key areas. They will take weeks in an already busy term to ‘unpack’. The description of a Primary teacher’s day in the article above gives a great sense of the teaching day. There are few jobs where daily personal interactions can number in the hundreds. In addition, like all workplaces email, messages, staff meetings, professional learning, compliance and accreditation are part of the fabric of daily life. Sadly, over the past years the number of the students who tell me they are considering teaching has declined, fewer of my teacher friends who have children ever recommend teaching as a career to their own children. Yes, it is true – teaching has changed and expectations have increased.  Positively, there are key attractions – teaching salaries have grown and continue to grow and job security is high. As you read the article and walk through the day with Daniel Steele, it is great to see how a new generation of teachers approach their work and manage a range of demands. Keeping teachers like him in the workforce is essential. To work out ways to do this we need to be open to discussing the demands on individuals. We also need to look at the system and how improvements could be made more widely to enable teachers to work effectively where it matters most... in the classroom.