Posts by Michelle Nixon

Cashing in on kids

Earlier this month The New Zealand Herald revealed that two home-based childcare businesses have been overcharging the government for thousands of dollars in taxpayer subsidies. The services won’t be allowed to expand, but they’ll still get government subsidies and they won’t be prosecuted because the amount of money involved didn’t meet a criminal threshold. In…

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Yes – let's talk!

Educators want to talk to parents. Parents want to talk to us. NZEI activists share their advice on how to get the communication right. Share this information with parents. It’s 10 to 9, children are swarming, some try to give you money, others press you with permission slips, one little boy pulls on your sleeve…

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Antidotes to anxiety

More and more New Zealand children are being prescribed medication for anxiety disorders, and many remain undiagnosed. – Michelle Nixon reports.   Up to 10-12 percent of children may be affected to an extent that causes distress, nausea, headaches, hyperventilating and sleep disturbance. High-stakes testing doesn’t help. A recent ERO review suggests schools do more…

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The spark for bilingual education

It’s a Polynesian festival of languages in the Finlayson Park playground, plus a smattering of English and a dash of Mandarin. With a roll of 1100 it’s the biggest primary school in Aotearoa. All those who want to teach at this Manurewa school must be willing to study Teaching English in Schools to Speakers of…

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IES: we already have clusters

Pinehaven School principal Kaylene Macnee says there’s not a lot of support necessary to have cluster group meetings. “It’s just the will, if you’ve got something there to model it from.” She says primary principals have talked a lot about IES. “In our schools we need the funding to go to the kids” not to…

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But we already have clusters

Teachers have given an overwhelming No Confidence vote to the government’s proposed Investing in Educational Success policy, which is a GERM version of what many already practise. They say the $359m of IES funding would better spent on students. Michelle Nixon reports After months of debate on the proposed policy, NZEI members met to vote…

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Be afraid: the privatisation of public education

We all know the outward signs of privatisation” taxpayer funded charter schools plus the cut that private schooling takes from our public education dollar. But what about the hidden privatisation within our education system – the private providers of professional development (PD) and policy advice; the international companies that sell tests and preparation materials for…

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Kohanga kaiako Ki Taiao

Na ta rourou, na taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi With your food basket and my food basket the people will thrive On a sunny west coast beach, tiny preschoolers and their kaiako are down by the waves chatting excitedly in te reo Maori about erosion. If it’s not so sunny they picnic in…

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Is the future post-graduate?

In June the government called for tenders for new initial teacher education qualifications – “exemplary” qualifications to be delivered in partnership with schools. There are two rounds with funding for a total of 315 equivalent full-time students. Winners get an extra $4000 per student on top of the usual funding. The first round finished in…

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The good soil

Make sure it’s fun, accessible and edible! Involve the children from the start in the whole cycle – planting, weeding, caring for plants, farming produce and harvesting seeds for next season. Gardening, farming, cooking can all be integrated into the curriculum, for example, units of work on nutrition or the solar system. As well as…

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