Children do not come first.

npsThis week at Newmarket School we had camp and swimming and new children and I thought about our fabulous teachers at NPS. This post is a shout out for them and for all teachers.

I believe if we take care of our teachers then they will take care of our children.

I often hear and read about children being incredibly important and they are placed at the center of everything. They are highlighted in school documentation as being the heart of our schools. 

Don’t get me wrong, I believe our children are the heart of our schools too.

However we appear to miss something when we neglect to mention the place of our teachers. If our children are the heart of our schools then our teachers are the blood that pumps that heart.

One of my old principals used to say “Take care of our teachers and they will take care of our children.” Or she would say, “Our teachers are our greatest resource.” She also said,  “Without our fabulous teachers I would not have a fabulous school.”  

Sometimes too when I read documentation I want to change the word student or children for learner because I also believe that all teachers are learners too and if we use the word learner than this embraces our teachers too. 

Yes I know support staff, parents and whānau, but that is another post.

What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts.


3 thoughts on “Children do not come first.

  1. […] as learners is a topic very close to my heart. I have previously blogged about this recently in Children do not come first. Those of you who follow the work I do will know about the spaces and places I have created for […]


  2. Agree too Chris about those learning discussions. As teachers understand the ladder of inference with those discussions then student learning is addressed. I find as the years pass I look more at systems of teachers and how they learn. Behind our fabulous schools are strong heads and awesome as staff who do tackle those issues. I love hearing teachers say, how can I do better. I recently had a conversation with a young teacher and I thought how much she understood that concept.


  3. Definitely agree Sonya, equipping teachers with all they need to be the most effective practitioners possible is a key part of any school leadership. This includes not only tangible assets and equipment but also less tangible needs such as workload balance and a feeling of security/safety so they can take appropriate risks and feel valued for their time and innovation.

    With all that being said, unfortunately there are times when students needs have to come first if they are not receiving quality education. Hard discussions have to take place. This is too often not the case in some schools where the easy option is taken by leaders who want to preserve relationships and not confront issues.

    Thanks for the post… A good reminder.


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