Manukau Courier : January 31st 2012
www.aucklandnow.co.nz Tuesday, January 31, 2012 Manukau Ph 262 1241 Three Kings Ph 625 8091 From New Entrant to Year 11, NumberWorks'nWords after- school tuition brings out the best in Kiwi students by: • tailoring lessons according to each individual's needs • setting achievable goals and monitoring their progress • developing our own programmes using only qualified Maths and English experts Maths & English FREE ASSESSMENT -- BOOK NOW! NWW05MAN YOUR CHILDREN ARE AMAZING ALREADY. WE JUST HELP THEM PROVE IT. MANUKAU TRE NOW OPEN! Quick training criticised By TROELS SOMMERVILLE Bad idea: James Cook High School principal Bryan Smith Photo: TROELS SOMMERVILLE Top programme: Auckland University dean of education Graeme Aitken says the programme is based on ''powerful research'' from overseas. ' I think our kids have the biggest need in education and I'm not sure experimenting on them is a good idea. ' Bryan Smith James Cook High principal A PROGRAMME fast-tracking teachers into low-decile secondary schools will be just another exper- iment on south Auckland's youth, principal Bryan Smith says. The Auckland University and Teach First NZ project aims to get graduates with degrees in relevant fields into low-decile classrooms with just six weeks' training. Graduates will be placed in tough-to-staff schools, especially in south Auckland. They'll be bonded to their first school for two years and have on- the-job training -- after which they will have the status and pay rates of fully qualified teachers. But the plan's a bad idea, Mr Smith says. It's an insult to the teaching pro- fession to believe that someone could be qualified after just six weeks, the James Cook High School principal says. Would you like your doctor to have done a six-week training course over Christmas? No. Would like to have your lawyer to have done a six-week course? No. And I think that working with kids is every bit as important as those jobs -- and in terms of the future it can't be more important.'' Children in south Auckland schools don't always come in fired up to learn'' and many are already behind where they should be when they arrive at high school. I think our kids have the biggest need in education and I'm not sure experimenting on them is a good idea,'' he says. But Auckland University's dean of education Graeme Aitken says the programme is based on power- ful research'' from overseas and has received top ratings in the United Kingdom. We're not telling people about low-decile education -- they're experiencing it and we're working with them to make them the best teachers they can be.'' The programme's a different way of addressing the discrepancies between higher and lower decile schools, he says. If we didn't have educational inequality then we wouldn't need innovative solutions.'' Participants will be chosen over a rigorous'' four-day selection process that will assess their aptitude and attitude, he says. Mr Smith is worried about the amount of support available to the teachers from the programme because he will have to designate one of his staff as a mentor. Mr Aitken admits there's still a bit of tinkering to be done regarding the details of the time allowances for the mentors but sufficient networks will be in place. The programme's first 20 candidates -- who all must already hold a degree -- are to be recruited next month and training is set to begin at the end of this year. The teachers at their selected schools will be getting fortnightly visits from university programme leaders while the in-school mentor will help support them throughout the two years. Aorere College has been in on the consultation process since the beginning and its principal Patrick Drumm is pretty excited about it''. His school can go through up to 20 new staff a year and he will be happy to take any of the programme's teachers. Quite frankly we need the best people in our schools and most cer- tainly in our south Auckland schools,'' he says. It will allow people who've gone into the workforce to move into teaching during the off-season'' without placing any financial bur- den on them because they will be paid from the moment they're hired. Taking a wait and see'' approach is Papatoetoe High School principal Peter Gall, who says the programme's a chance for some lower decile schools to attract top- qualified graduates. He'll be happy to employ one of the graduates as long as there is enough support from outside sources.
January 27th 2012
February 2nd 2012