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Students suffering as staff walk out in droves


Australia’s widening teacher shortage has hit a new low, with crucial subjects such as math, English and science missing the mark, and disability educators down by 500 in NSW public schools alone.

Teacher Wellbeing founding director Daniella Falecki, told Today Extra both experienced teachers and those relatively new to the job are walking out and students are suffering because of it.

But she said the reasons behind this are complicated.

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Students are suffering with the teacher shortages around the country. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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“I wish there was a magic wand we could wave to address it,” she said.

“If you have a math teacher teaching English and an English teacher teaching math because there are too many spaces to fill, it is obviously going to impact student learning and student outcomes also.”

She said school leaders are doing their best with the limited resources they have, but they too are being taken away from strategic planning to concentrate on filling empty places.

And on top of new teachers who don’t have mentors to guide them in their early careers, she said not having that consistency with who is teaching them is seeing students suffer.

Daniella said experienced teachers are leaving. (Today Extra)

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“It is hard to get staff teaching the specific areas that they are trained in, then you have teachers that are constantly moving between schools, with a high casual teacher rate, so students aren’t getting the same teacher for the whole term,” she said.

“We know through research that the relationship between a student and a teacher is profound and has a profound impact on outcomes, but it is tough out there for teachers and they are doing the best they can, but our experienced people are leaving.”

See the full chat with Daniella in the video above



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