Posts by Melissa Schwalger

Pay equity stories: Mel’s story

“I think people see us as just performing our natural womanly instinct to care and nurture. There is a common perception that ECE is not ‘proper teaching’; that it’s just glorified child minding. I get that reaction all the time to my job and it drives me crazy. I worked my butt off to educate myself on all that theory and pedagogy. But after four years and two degrees in a BA/BTeach I graduated into a marketplace that deemed me worth the same as a data entry operator or a mail room clerk.”

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In the footsteps of Beeby

In 1938, Dr Clarence Beeby brought his radical ideas about the value of the arts into the heart of our public education system. Art and Crafts and Physical Education Advisers were introduced that year under the new assistant Director of Education, with experimental programmes trialled in Wellington and Dunedin. Two years later, Beeby became the…

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Give peace a chance

Folded paper boats

  Principals are great people managers. Good leaders have the support and trust of whānau and their working relationships with boards and staff are positive. But good relationships take time and effort, and it’s not unusual for overloaded leaders to miss the warning signs and suddenly find themselves in turmoil. No matter how dire the…

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Early intervention: Yes please! But where’s the money?

Alfroi with teacher Nisha Rani and early intervention teacher, Katherine Reilly

Figures bandied about by officials suggest that a $30,000 investment in early intervention education will save the government around $150,000 down the track. Yet officials are also clear that there will be no new funding for the early intervention, and in fact the Ministry of Education may have less to spend. Last term, the ministry’s…

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PORSE the winner in nanny intern programme

It looks like PORSE (owned by Evolve Education) is onto a real money-making winner with its nanny intern course. According to its media release and website, young women (they’re invariably women) aged 17-25 can do PORSE’s 21-week Nanny Intern Programme, at absolutely NO COST. Such an amazing deal – how do they do it? The…

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Ngahere Tamariki – Children of the forest

A four-year-old girl scrambles to the top of a steep, slippery slope, her face flushed with triumph. Just 20 minutes earlier, she had been clinging to a tree root at the bottom of the hill, too scared to move. This sort of achievement is what bush kindergarten is all about. “Bush kindies” in various forms…

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Feeding childhood independence or parental fears?

This is a photo of my son on the very first day he was allowed to walk to school by himself. He was five-and-a-half years old and his excitement is obvious. As his mum, I was less thrilled. I watched the clock until about 9.15am, at which point I figured that the school would have…

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