With continuous teacher strikes this year, you might be concerned about how these class disruptions are affecting your child’s learning.
As a parent, it’s difficult to comprehend all the information surrounding the teacher strikes without getting caught up in the politics of it all. Here’s everything you need to know about the strikes and what you can do to ensure your child stays on track.
What you need to know
There have been 3 official strikes in the past year. There will be more partial strikes to come.
Both rostering and regional strikes have been planned for teachers at participating schools across the country.
Rostering strikes will see participating teachers of specific year groups alternate their strike days. With the proposed rostering strikes, teachers of the nominated year group will take the day off to strike, while remaining teachers will attend to their usual classes. This means the affected year group will not receive teaching on these days. Regional strikes will see all teachers within that region strike for the day.
Please note all schools will have an independent policy when it comes to the strikes. Contact your child’s school directly to see if your child’s classes will be affected on these proposed dates.
What does this mean?
Although some schools remain open on strike days,teachers are under even more pressure to fit class content into remaining classes for the term. This means less contact time between your child and their teacher and your child may have to learn content over fewer classes than usual.
What you can do?
Because your child will have less contact time with their teachers due to the strikes, they may have to do more independent learning. This could mean more work outside of class hours to ensure they understand the content taught in class. Ensure your child is prepared for their internals and exams despite the class disruptions by following these steps:
1. Talk to your child
With a constant flow of internals and exams quickly approaching, your child will already be under a lot of pressure so, ensure you approach them gently.
Ask them if they feel like the strikes are affecting their classes first before jumping into the specifics. Have a conversation with your child about their classes and workload. Has their teacher set extra homework? Are there any topics your child felt were rushed in class?
2. Utilise learning resources
- Textbooks: Your child might have been issued a textbook for some of their subjects. Most textbooks will be split into topics and at the end of each topic there will be small exercises, these exercises can be a great form of revision.
- Class notes: Ask your child if they can explain what their notes mean and whether they feel like they understand the concept fully. Many students simply copy their notes from the whiteboard into their workbooks, so if they look over their notes but struggle to relay what they actually mean, they will need to go back and learn more about the concept.
- NCEA Walkthrough Guides: StudyTime’s walkthrough guides are affordable, lightweight, easy-to-digest resources that could really help your child understand information that was skimmed over in class. They are broken down into the separate topics within each subject so if there is one area of science, math, or English that your child feels they need to go over more than others, you only have to purchase that one guide. Take a look at the walkthrough guides offered here.
3. Contact the school
Get in touch with your child’s teachers and deans to see how they are managing the strikes. Because many other parents will have the same concerns you do, the school might already have strategies in place to ensure students are well equipped for their internals and exams. Check the school website, newsletters, and phone the school office if you have any further questions.
4. Build a community
Talk to other parents. While you’re at your child’s sports game ask if any other parents are doing extra things at home to help with revision. Don’t forget you’re not the only parent affected by the school strikes. Thousands of parents will be just as concerned as you are, so discuss your concerns and work together to find a solution. It may be that one parent leads an after-school study group at their house to ensure all your children can go over their notes. Or you might discover after talking with other parents that there’s one subject in particular that your child and their classmates are falling behind in. This will give a great indicator of where to start.
5. Enrol your child into tutoring
A few tutoring sessions could be all your child needs to wrap their head around a concept that was skimmed over in class. To read more about tutoring with Inspiration Education check out our website.
If you’re apprehensive about tutoring discuss it with your child. They’ll know more than you do whether the tutoring is a good idea. Again when you suggest the idea of tutoring to your child, be gentle. They might think you’re implying the need it. Instead, ask if they think tutoring would be useful for their upcoming exams. This way you’re giving them the chance to take control of their progress. Suggest our free trial session. After filling out the form, we’ll have a chat with you and find out more about your child and what we can do to help them. From here your child will be paired with the best suited tutor they’ll have an initial 30-minute strategy session free of charge.
For more on the student-matching process click here.
Although teacher strikes are disruptive to your child’s learning, they won’t happen every year. Looking into term three and beyond, the school focus will head towards final hand-ins and exams. As the term two holidays approach use the time to sit down with your child and plan ahead. Utilise the StudyTimes Walkthrough Guides and tutoring services now so the exam period doesn’t catch you and your child by surprise.