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Should we move to NZ?

Should we move to NZ?

Old Sep 23rd 2018, 3:10 pm
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Default Should we move to NZ?

Hi all - been reading comments on this site for years and finally took the plunge and joined up. I’m the same as most people....I’m after some advice....

My wife and I are secondary teachers (PE and English). We visited New Zealand for a month back in 2010 and loved it. At the time we said that we could never live there as it seemed about 20-30 years behind England....move on 8 years, 2 young kids and career frustration....that idea of being a bit old fashioned is something that really appeals to us.

I am quite the realist and won’t bore you with we want to move to improve our quality of life as your lifestyle is what you make it. But the move is something we are considering for an adventure and to break free of the education system in the UK. We love teaching, but can’t stand the red tape and box ticking and basically how devalued we feel as educators by parents, our bosses and the general public. We wake up everyday to help kids achieve their potential but everyday we get smacked back down by someone moaning about this and that. It’s depressing.

So I guess what I’d like to know is - how are teachers received in NZ? Do parents value them? Are they constantly under pressure to get ‘results’? Is the education system in NZ like the UK was 30 years ago - when it was actually about experience and expected parents to raise their own children who then actually wanted to be taught?

We know that the weather in NZ is not sunny all the time, we know the cost of living is higher, we know the houses aren’t as high spec as the uk. We aren’t expecting a Utopia. But if we can fall back in love with our dream jobs then we can live happy! And that’s all that matters to us.

We also want our children to grow up in a world not dominated by social media and a culture that moans about everything whilst doing nothing to improve it. Is life in NZ good with children? Can kids still be kids until they are in their teens? Or is it similar to the UK when they rush to be adults and then moan about missing out on things when they were younger?

Any advice/feedback would be greatly appreciated!
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Old Sep 23rd 2018, 5:03 pm
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Default Re: Should we move to NZ?

"Old-fashioned" ? Or just "Different" ?
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Old Sep 23rd 2018, 5:14 pm
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Default Re: Should we move to NZ?

That's pretty much the reason why we are relocating at the beginning of 2019. We're a family consisting of a teacher and engineer and three children ages 13-8. Red tape dictates our work lives and we want more for our children. Our recent experience of secondary school has been frightening. Good luck.
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Old Sep 23rd 2018, 8:12 pm
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Default Re: Should we move to NZ?

no
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Old Sep 23rd 2018, 8:16 pm
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Default Re: Should we move to NZ?

Any explanation for your response?
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Old Sep 23rd 2018, 8:43 pm
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Default Re: Should we move to NZ?

Originally Posted by cwilkes84 View Post
Any explanation for your response?
teachers are underpaid (when they are or have they now sorted that debacle out properly?) they still have to chase numbers and I also do not believe that English and PE teachers are on any visa lists. and you might like to read this https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/a...ectid=11924965 and this https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/edu...-nz-classrooms

I do not rate the system over here until at least the kids get to college, aged 13 where it is more like the UK but still very learn it yourself type of teaching. my daughter is in year 13 and is having difficulty with her maths teacher actually teaching her the mats stating she is not allowed to tell them they have to figure it out for themselves. may just be this useless teacher but it has been a theme all through there years of teaching here.
for me the move was a mistake, we on a day to day comparison are worse off here than we ever were in the UK, OH's jobs have been full on expecting him to cover more than he is contracted to and the bully culture in the workplace is something we have not experienced on a scale as here.
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Old Sep 23rd 2018, 10:22 pm
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Default Re: Should we move to NZ?

Once again, you make generalisations about your own personal experiences and criticise the education system in the whole country. Oh, you forgot to mention that New Zealand is the sole cause of your depression that you have gone on about.
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Old Sep 24th 2018, 2:01 am
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Default Re: Should we move to NZ?

Hi Cwilkes84, Welcome to the BritishExpats, usually a friendly bunch here with different experiences to share. My daughter is 17 with one more year of high school, so the following comments are as a parent. When she was 5, we sent her to the best private school in Christchurch thinking we were doing the right thing. But she didn't fit in and didn't enjoy that school. At age 9, she moved to an alternative school (project based learning, special character school) where she excelled. She is now at high school and plans to go on to university. I put a lot of her growth down to good teachers with enthusiasm and encouragement from those teachers. At high school she has found some teachers better than others. On a different note, I attended a recent open school day for our home stay student who is at a different school. In my opinion, I could identify some teachers whose heart was not in the job, while others were clearly loving what they do.

I think teachers are vital to students and the long term impact that teachers can have on children is amazing. But in reality there is probably little difference between NZ and the UK. There are financial pressures everywhere with school budgets very stretched resulting in lack of resources, or regular fundraising to fill the gaps.

Of course there will be differences between schools in different cities, and also between city and country schools. I would suggest that if you are wanting attitudes of 30 years ago, then country schools would be most suitable, or schools that are furthest away from Auckland (eg Timaru, Ashburton, Dunedin, Gore, Invercargill). Country communities or smaller towns also tend to pull together with less moaning and more doing.
Best wishes.
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Old Sep 24th 2018, 2:51 am
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Default Re: Should we move to NZ?

Originally Posted by KiwiDean View Post
Once again, you make generalisations about your own personal experiences and criticise the education system in the whole country. Oh, you forgot to mention that New Zealand is the sole cause of your depression that you have gone on about.
Not just me experience with the education in NZ, i have many discussions with other families all over the country who also feel it does not compare to UK, see links also provided and I shall tell everyone an their aunt about it and the fact I had to call in the Education Minister to get it sorted so it didn't happen to another family. and I am not sorry for "going on about" my depression which again is not just a problem myself have had to go through but other immigrants as well.
I will not tailor my experiences just because they are not all sweetness and light. If you have a problem with that just ignore my posts

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Old Sep 24th 2018, 3:38 am
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Default Re: Should we move to NZ?

Originally Posted by chc4me View Post
Hi Cwilkes84, Welcome to the BritishExpats, usually a friendly bunch here with different experiences to share. My daughter is 17 with one more year of high school, so the following comments are as a parent. When she was 5, we sent her to the best private school in Christchurch thinking we were doing the right thing. But she didn't fit in and didn't enjoy that school. At age 9, she moved to an alternative school (project based learning, special character school) where she excelled. She is now at high school and plans to go on to university. I put a lot of her growth down to good teachers with enthusiasm and encouragement from those teachers. At high school she has found some teachers better than others. On a different note, I attended a recent open school day for our home stay student who is at a different school. In my opinion, I could identify some teachers whose heart was not in the job, while others were clearly loving what they do.

I think teachers are vital to students and the long term impact that teachers can have on children is amazing. But in reality there is probably little difference between NZ and the UK. There are financial pressures everywhere with school budgets very stretched resulting in lack of resources, or regular fundraising to fill the gaps.

Of course there will be differences between schools in different cities, and also between city and country schools. I would suggest that if you are wanting attitudes of 30 years ago, then country schools would be most suitable, or schools that are furthest away from Auckland (eg Timaru, Ashburton, Dunedin, Gore, Invercargill). Country communities or smaller towns also tend to pull together with less moaning and more doing.
Best wishes.
Karma for a first class post Chc4me.


On another note and as a reminder:
Posters here are free to share their experiences & express their opinions . They should be able to do this without being denigrated in some way or lambasted .

There are ways to care and share that does not involve being unpleasant. If in doubt it might be wise to take a refresher course of the BE Site Rules. In particular Site Rule 1.

Thank you
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Old Sep 24th 2018, 3:48 am
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Default Re: Should we move to NZ?

Originally Posted by cwilkes84 View Post

I am quite the realist and won’t bore you with we want to move to improve our quality of life as your lifestyle is what you make it. But the move is something we are considering for an adventure and to break free of the education system in the UK. We love teaching, but can’t stand the red tape and box ticking and basically how devalued we feel as educators by parents, our bosses and the general public. We wake up everyday to help kids achieve their potential but everyday we get smacked back down by someone moaning about this and that. It’s depressing.
Just research the latest strike action by teachers in NZ, it seems your gripes are exactly there's too.

I would say if you want to give NZ a crack then do it but I wouldn't pin all your hopes on your jobs being less stressful, less red tape, less box ticking or having a smaller work load as these are all things that NZ teachers complain about as well. If you want to come out, live a different life, explore the country and this part of the world then focus on that rather than thinking that teaching will be any different here than what it is in the UK.

I would like to add that I am not a teacher, I'm basing my thoughts on the recent strike action and reading reports in the news from teachers along the lines of "I get to school at 6am and don't leave until 7pm, I work weekends, school holidays and evenings all whilst my right leg hangs off whilst suffering from amoebic dysentery" type stories. Your observations of teaching in the UK sound the same as NZ teachers also so I would really look into it carefully if you really want better working conditions.
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Old Sep 24th 2018, 3:50 am
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Default Re: Should we move to NZ?

On a positive note, my 25 y/o nephew( Kiwi) and gf ( kiwi) both attended low decile high schools in the provinces and university here in NZ. Now on their OE in the UK, both have quickly obtained employment in their chosen careers( degree related) in environment and design. Their employers believe that their NZ education was what set them apart from the many UK/ European applicants . Independent, critical thinkers with loads of initiative and grit. Their degrees are recognised and highly regarded. Their NZ education has not held them back from well paid international careers.

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Old Sep 24th 2018, 4:36 am
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Default Re: Should we move to NZ?

Originally Posted by chc4me View Post
I would suggest that if you are wanting attitudes of 30 years ago, then country schools would be most suitable, or schools that are furthest away from Auckland (eg Timaru, Ashburton, Dunedin, Gore, Invercargill). Country communities or smaller towns also tend to pull together with less moaning and more doing.
Best wishes.
Most schools in country towns are staffed by a huge number of people who grew up in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch, and almost all of them were educated there. Hardly "attitudes of 30 years ago." Country towns can also be brutal cesspools of infighting, whinging, and moaning, especially if there are longtime families there who have had historical feuds or transients who have bought a local shop and are trying to stir things up. Some country towns are wonderful and some are riven with rivalries and jealousies that have spun out of control. Some are open to newcomers and some are very, very insular and closed . . . and proximity to Auckland has nothing to do with anything. Universally, however, country towns are complex places and they don't fit urbanite stereotypes.

To OPs point, I think you should consider a change of profession. The contours of teaching are pretty similar. You have to remember that Education Ministries are not individual silos, the people in them all go to the same international conferences, read the same journals, contract out to the same think tanks, and ground their policies and programs in the theoretical frameworks of their colleagues in other countries.

At a school level, if your students are not getting results, you will still be questioned and have to explain yourself. You will have parents who think you are great and you will have parents who think you are rubbish and won't be shy about telling you and your principal that. You may have a principal who obsesses over minutiae or one who is pretty hands-off. The kids are as driven by social media as they are anywhere else.

New Zealand is a modern developed country. Don't come thinking it is the UK 30 years ago, because it absolutely is not. The New Zealand education system has actually been a pioneer and early adapter of many of the things now commonplace in the education field (for better or for worse).

You will still work the same very, very long hours as teachers in the UK, you will still have some difficult kids you have to find ways to engage, you will still have a ton of programming, planning, and reporting to do.

In short the fundamentals of it don't change much . . . even if you are in a small country town far away from Auckland.

The other point that was brought up, it is pretty hard to get a job as an outsider, and the two areas you mentioned (especially PE) are oversubscribed. It can be very difficult to get a job in a nice country area if that's where you choose to settle. You will probably have to start as relief and use that as your in.

So I wouldn't really move to New Zealand with the hope that it will make you fall in love with teaching again, because I doubt very much that New Zealand will cause that to happen. If you're unhappy in the UK, moving halfway around the world to do the same thing just in a different setting isn't likely to change much.

If you want to use a move to NZ as a springboard to explore other avenues and possibilities available in your life, that might be much more suitable. Once you get a visa, you may want to look at taking a year off from your current roles in the UK rather than resigning, to try something else in NZ and see if it sticks before resigning permanently.

Good luck.
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Old Sep 24th 2018, 4:54 am
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Default Re: Should we move to NZ?

So to get started you would need to get registration. check out this website to see what you need to do https://educationcouncil.org.nz/cont...rseas-teachers

I'm not sure if your area of education are on any long term visas and it may be that you both would need to get job offers to get you both over if the salary threshhold for one job is not above $75,795 per year based on a 40 hour week), this is taking the visa as the skill level classification visa. this is something that you would really need to do a bit of research on.
This link has pay you could expect, not sure if the 2 year experience is based on NZ experience or all. https://www.careers.govt.nz/jobs-dat.../about-the-job
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Old Sep 24th 2018, 5:08 am
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Default Re: Should we move to NZ?

I meet a lot of teachers from a range of schools. The happiest seem to be those at mid-range schools where the parents are interested but not obsessively so. The higher the decile rating, the more likely you are to get emails from parents demanding why Jemima didn't get an A. At a low decile school you'll be grateful when parents show up to parent's evening. It's a bit hard to compare the two education systems and probably best not to. I recommend starting in a larger town unless you are keen on city life. Once you get your teaching registration there are some options outside of the mainstream education system and perhaps opportunities for self employment. If you want sun, go north, if you don't mind, go south - there's a climate to sort most people's preferences. I have had no trouble finding a warm cosy home.

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