The Government has announced plans to hire more than 850 new teachers.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins said on Sunday the Government is determined to “pull out all the stops” to meet the shortfall of teaching staff.
“We know that some schools and parents, particularly in the Auckland area but also in pockets around the country, are concerned that not enough teachers are coming into the system.”
By 2019, the Ministry of Education estimates it’ll need another 650 primary and secondary school teachers to keep up with growing rolls.
"Our immediate focus is to get sufficient quality teachers in place for the next school year,” Minister Hipkins said.
But it’s struggling to keep people in the profession, with pay lower than it used to be and conditions getting worse, teachers say.
6000 Kiwi teachers currently living overseas have been contacted by Immigration NZ in an attempt to try and lure them back.
However, Maggie Watts, who has spent ten years teaching overseas, says she is frustrated at the process involved to re-register as a teacher in New Zealand, despite the industry crying out for teaching staff.
“It seems to be quite a convoluted process in terms of getting back into the classroom.
“Because I took three years off, having my girls, I’m having to do a TER – a teacher refresh course – to reactivate my registration,” she told RadioLIVE.
Ms Watt says the course consists of four papers that take up to twelve weeks to complete each.
She says teachers can still teach during the refresher course, with exemption from a school principal, but she has found that there is little time left to plan for classes, marking school work, and less time to spend with her own family.
Reflecting on her career, Ms Watts said teaching is a “great profession”.
“I think many teachers do it because they love the kids and they just love making it different,” she told RadioLIVE.
Listen to the full interview with Maggie Watts above.