Deafening toots of support were all that could be heard as teachers stood on the Te Ngae Rd roundabout and the Old Taupo Rd/Pukuatua St intersection today as they called for more resources for the future of New Zealand. Although the spirits were high and the colours were bright, one teacher told the Rotorua Daily Post that it was all almost too much for one person to deal with. Rotorua Intermediate School teacher Phil Lash gives a small look into the struggles he faces being a teacher.
As Rotorua teachers are protesting for the future of education, others are considering their future in the industry altogether.
For Rotorua Intermediate School teacher Phil Lash, conditions and workload have left him considering leaving the job for good.
He said he was looking to leave teaching at the end of the year and said the profession was all too much for someone to deal with.
He said being a teacher meant being a parent to his Year 8 pupils, feeding some out of his own pocket daily and attending to their emotional needs as well as educational needs.
But with a class of 28, family time with his 12 and 14-year-old children was sacrificed as he worked late nights at least twice a week and often on the weekends.
Lash left teaching in 2014 but came back to the job he loved last year only to find conditions had become increasingly challenging.
On top of this, he said student behaviour had also worsened, which was something he had found from speaking to other teachers around the district.
And this all added up to the extreme demand he said teachers had.
"Hopefully the Government listens . . . it's for the kids and will make a positive impact on society."
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As for the strike, it was anything but a day off for Lash who stood with protesters at Te Ngae Rd at 8am and went back home to catch up on work before the midday march.
He then joined the march along the Rotorua sidewalks with about 800 other people, before he had to go back home and prepare for school tomorrow.
This would include marking, starting reports and work on the PACT assessment were scheduled.