Riki Teteina, 48, has 27 years teaching experience under his belt. He is principal of Newton Central School, a decile 8 school in Auckland. He is among 50,000 teachers expected to walk out on strike next week in protest of their pay and conditions. A particular issue is the increasing work-load teachers have to juggle on top of their lessons. Here, Riki tells Herald education reporter Simon Collins about a typical day at school for him.
TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2019
Got up, worked on emails until 6.30am. Getting up at 4.30 is something I've had to put in place in the last couple of months because the sheer amount of emails I'm getting that I don't have time to address. On Tuesday I received 150 emails from teachers, parents, board members and our property advisers.
7.45am: Arrived at school. I had 15 minutes to get myself prepared.
8am: Met with deputy principal about some recent behavioural problems.
8.15am: Met with admin staff to arrange for school photos that were being taken that day, class by class and a staff photo.
• A day in the life of a teacher: 'I woke at 4.30am with teaching on my mind'
• A day in the life of a teacher: No lunch break and checking emails at 10pm
• A day in the life of a teacher: '10pm laptop closed. I haven't got all my work done'
• Teachers' strike: It's not about the money, workload so large 'we often see people crying'
9am: Phone calls with various board members to prepare for a Board of Trustees meeting scheduled for that evening.
9.30am: Checked with admin staff to make sure documents are photocopied and food is being prepared for the board meeting.
9.30am: : Visited classrooms. Touched base with teachers around some of the things I had noted in the emails. Also ensured that we had coverage because we had a number of teachers absent because they were sick or on professional development.
11am: Met the family of a potential new international student and took them on a tour of the school.
11.30am: Staff photo.
11.45am: Met with deputy principal, who is also Special Needs Coordinator (Senco), on an application to the Ministry of Education for interim response funding for a child with learning needs.
Worked with the school's property consultant and our caretaker on property issues, including plans to replace our boiler, which means there will be no heating in the school during the replacement work for the next two weeks.
1.30pm: Made sure I had everything ready for my board meeting.
2pm: Tried to catch up with some emails. There was an issue with a building warrant of fitness for a new building - we got council compliance, however when Wormald did the health and safety checks they identified some issues around the fire alarms. I needed to address the fact that the building warrant of fitness was going to expire on May 20. I had to work with the Ministry's consultants and ensure that I was getting assurances that the WOF would be completed by May 20.
3.15pm: Staff meeting. We always have staff meetings on a Tuesday afternoon. It was supporting staff in their teacher inquiry, writing moderation for all the mainstream staff, and the Māori-medium unit doing writing moderation.
5.15pm: Met the board chair and our co-governance [Māori/mainstream] advisory team in preparation for the board meetings.
Attended meeting to Te Whao Urutaki, the Māori co-governance group for our school. Our key discussion was the upcoming board elections and how Te Whao Urutaki sits in those elections.
7pm: Board of Trustees meeting. I had 10 minutes to eat because we provide dinner for the board between the Te Whao Urutaki and board of trustees meetings. After the meeting I had discussions with individual members.
9.30pm: Meeting finished, and I left to go home.
10pm: Got home. I had half an hour with my family and was in bed by 10.30pm.