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Hawke’s Bay Schools Take on Locally Trained Teachers

February 24, 2010

Staff at Napier Boy’s High School includes eight Hawke’s Bay trained teachers – “a pretty good muster,” says principal Ross Brown.

Four who did their teaching training on the EIT Hawke’s Bay campus last year – Emma Smith (teaching science and chemistry), Carol Leung (music), Rex Newman (science) and Peter Robin (Te reo Māori) – say their very close and supportive class keep in touch.

Like the others, Nick Swain – into his second year of teaching mathematics at Boys’ High – found his experience of EIT “fantastic” and the teaching programme a “thorough” preparation for a career in education.

All five are provisionally registered teachers.  The other three Hawke’s Bay trained teachers are Michael Hay (agriculture), Rachel Hammond (science, biology and physics) and Paul Garland (technology).

Coordinator of the Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary) Walt Rutgers says about three-quarters of those who do the conjoint Massey University/EIT programme go into the local teaching scene.

The programme’s sole lecturer, Mr Rutgers says Hawke’s Bay schools actively support the course and willingly offer placements for teaching practice, which are done in three blocks totalling 15 weeks in the classroom.

Napier Boys’ principal Ross Brown says placements are an opportunity for teacher trainees to familiarise themselves with the school, determine whether they want to be part of that longer-term and to develop skills for coping in a boy’s environment.

Some 60 percent of postgraduates get jobs through being on the spot, Mr Rutgers says, and it’s not unusual for a Hawke’s Bay school to employ a large number of those who have trained locally.

“Karamu High School has had seven graduates of the programme.  Last year the school hired five to add to two already employed as teachers.

“Students from the last nine intakes are represented in nearly all schools in Hawke’s Bay.  The percentage who have stayed in teaching long term is very much higher than the national average.”

Established in 2001, the conjoint programme trains an average of 25 teachers across all subjects each year.

“The intent in setting it up was to provide an avenue for EIT graduates to staircase with another year on campus through the Massey University programme and then to go into the local teaching service.”

The diploma programme is well supported – “we have turned people away and continue to get inquiries.”
This year’s intake attracted younger graduates compared to past students who have more typically been aged in their late 20s to early 30s.  That, Mr Rutgers suggests, could be because the recession has resulted in fewer job opportunities.

Students with EIT degrees have most commonly been graduates of the Bachelor of Arts (Māori), the Bachelor of Computing Systems, the Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design and the Bachelor of Recreation and Sport programmes.

“This year we also have one graduate from wine science, so that’s five EIT degrees represented,” Mr Rutgers says. “We also have a couple of Visual Arts and Design graduates.”

With a considerable number of teachers aged 55-65 retiring over the next 10 years, the future for teacher training in Hawke’s Bay looks bright.  Student numbers are expected to hold over this time, so there should be more jobs advertised.

The Massey College of Education has pledged its long-term commitment to this area, so the conjoint delivery of this programme has a secure future.