A Hawke's Bay primary school teacher wants Education Minister Chris Hipkins to spend a week in her classroom to see the pressure she's under.
Tania Henare from Frimley School walked off the job along with hundreds of other teachers across Hawke's Bay as part of rolling strikes running across the country this week.
There were demonstrations across the region on Tuesday morning, with rallies and marches in Hastings, Waipawa and Dannevirke.
Henare said if Hipkins were standing in front of her she would tell him to come to Frimley School for a week, so he could truly understand what teachers were going through.
She said teachers did not want to be striking, but had to.
"We are here for our kids, we are here for our children and this is not helping that cause, but we've got to be heard.
"We're having teachers resigning, leaving the actual teaching force everyday, and moving onto something else.
"The burnout is real, the stress levels are real.
'We've got to be counsellors, nurse, mum, all of it."
She said the Government should be looking after the teachers it has, rather than recruiting from outside of the country.
The most recent offer from the Government to teachers is a 3 per cent pay rise each year for three years, with most teachers receiving a pay rise of between $9500 and $11,000 within 24 months.
It would also see a partial removal of the cap on qualifications for some teachers from 2020. All NZEI members would also receive a one-off gross payment of $500.
Hipkins said the new offer is worth $698 million, an increase of $129m from the previous offer.
"The Government has been very clear from the beginning, we're listening very carefully to the concerns teachers are raising, we would far rather work constructively with them, than have them taking strike action."
Parkvale School teacher Reuben Cooper said teachers needed to work with Hipkins and the Government to clean up a mess left by years of neglect.
His colleague Phillip Kenny said the pay increases were enough but the teacher to pupil ratio needed to be reduced.
"It's about the kids and it's about our working conditions.
"My perspective is I am OK with the financial settlement."
Hawke's Bay teachers will be back on the job on Wednesday, but strike action will continue in other parts of the country throughout the week, with Christchurch teachers striking on Wednesday, the rest of the South Island on Thursday, and Wellington on Friday.