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COVID-19 updates: please use online EC30 to renew
Learning in lockdown: advice from a Kiwi teacher in China
Wellbeing (and other cool stuff)
Ngā mihi nui ki a koe,

Teachers and education leaders are awesome. Amidst all this stress and uncertainty – I’ve seen many shining like a bright light.
This teaching couple from New Plymouth offering parents advice for the lockdown.

A Kapiti College art teacher who was the first to print plastic face masks on his 3D printer and deliver them to medical clinics.

A Hamilton primary school teacher who got on board and is using his school’s 3D printer to make more face shields.

Waikanae Kindergarten teachers doing fantastic daily story time videos.

PE teachers from around New Zealand making 90 second videos sharing their expertise on how to educate around physical activity.

And that’s barely scratching the surface. So many of you are juggling taking care of your families, being there for your loved ones all the while  focusing on keeping yourselves safe and well. Please continue to be kind to others but also be kind to yourself.
Just by making the effort to teach and support online in these unusual times, by caring enough to give this your best shot, you’ve already taught children and young people something invaluable. You’re demonstrating how to be flexible and adapt to new things. You’ve shown them how important it is to be there, even virtually, for people especially when it’s hard. You’re teaching them to work together for the good of the community – that even when times get tough or scary, people are good. So, in case you aren’t hearing this enough – thank you, thank you, thank you.

When e-learning begins or as you continue supporting parents, children and young people from home I urge you to take care of yourself and be guided by and trust in your professional judgement – you face challenging circumstances and are adapting to new ways of working quickly. Anchor yourself in the values and principles set out in the Code as you navigate this time.
These values underpin Our Code, Our Standards. They define, inspire and guide teachers – they describe who you are.
WHAKAMANA: empowering all learners to reach their highest potential by providing high-quality teaching and leadership.
MANAAKITANGA: creating a welcoming, caring and creative learning environment that treats everyone with respect and dignity.
PONO: showing integrity by acting in ways that are fair, honest, ethical and just.
WHANAUNGATANGA: engaging in positive and collaborative relationships with our learners, their families and whānau, our colleagues and the wider community.

Ngā mihi,

COVID-19 Updates

Renew online: If your certificate needs renewing please make sure you use our online application system EC30 Online. We cannot process paper forms currently and so we are only using the online EC30. The added benefit is, it’s also faster and easier. If you’re prompted to pay a late fee, you will be refunded by the Council, so please don’t worry.
Practising certificate card delays: Teachers who have successfully registered and certificated will be sent an approval email and the online Register of NZ Registered Teachers will be updated. There will be a delay in the delivery of your hard copy approval letter and practising card due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

As the late fee has been waived, please hold off sending any paper applications, as there is no one available to receive them at the Council office. We will have a further update on how to submit these to us as soon as possible.

The Ministry of Education has put together emergency payment for day relief teachers, kaiako, employees and kaimahi on timesheets.

Please regularly check the Ministry of Education COVID-19 webpage for new information concerning the education sector.


Advice from a Kiwi teacher living in China
New-Zealand primary teacher and vice-principal Anthony Uiterwijk has been teaching at Yew Wah International School of Guangzhou in China for the past five years, but for the past eight weeks things have been very different… He kindly shares with us his advice and lessons learned for teachers back home getting ready to teach online during COVID-19 lockdown.
What has life been like in China's lockdown? 
We live in a complex and were quarantined for two weeks after returning to China from an overseas trip in February, though we were allowed to walk around the complex for fresh air. Some colleagues who came back to China in March had much stricter conditions where they had to stay in their apartments and get daily temperature tests by health officials. We ordered our food online and it was delivered – we were never short on supplies. But, living in an apartment with two teachers being online most of the day is a challenge! My wife is an ECE teacher.

How have you been coping and maintaining mental wellbeing?
Daily walks, ice cream, staying away from the screen, for me I enjoy playing the guitar. We have an online group with teachers called ‘The Lighter side of Yew Wah’ where we share funny stories, videos or just joke with each other. Once quarantine was over, there were plenty of social interactions with staff – coffee, potluck dinners, games night.

What is your advice for teachers adapting to a new way of teaching and learning online?
Reduce the on-screen time for students and teachers!
We changed our lesson formats to 10-15 minutes instruction, 20 minutes off-
screen activity, report back to class for the last 10 minutes for feedback. We shortened the lessons by 5 minutes to create a break between each lesson (for students to go to the bathroom or stand on their balconies to look into the distance).
Some students struggled with the on-screen time, so we allowed parents to apply for exemption from some non-academic/non-exam subjects via our school office.
Ensure lessons are interactive, students need to be involved, otherwise it becomes too much like “real distance learning”.
With some of the bigger classes, teachers split the class (one group online/the other group offline) for some subjects to ensure the ability to deal with students’ individual needs. In
Classin teachers can also set up a “temporary classroom” to meet with individuals or a small group. I can highly recommend Classin, in our and our parents' experience, it is way superior to other platforms like: Seesaw, TEAMS or ZOOM.
What have been the most challenging aspects?
Teacher training and getting us up to speed with all the different features that can be used on the Classin platform. We ensured there was a lot of technical support for our staff (we have three dedicated IT people on our support staff, luckily).
What would you do differently, or what did you learn from the experience so far?
Parent education! Ensuring the parents understand the programme right from the start, show them the benefits of eLearning, because from their own “needs”, eLearning can be difficult to deal with (supervision, assisting their kids, etc.)

Wellbeing (and other cool stuff)

Wellbeing looks different for everyone so we have gathered some different resources for getting through the lockdown period.
During this time being stressed and needing help does not mean you are weak or vulnerable – everyone is feeling similarly.
Hauora is important not only because it has a positive impact on your learners’ outcomes, but it should be a focus regardless because you matter.

Please email us at if there are particular topics you would like information about or have ideas you want to share with your wider teacher whānau.
On this webpage find apps, podcasts and case studies of how your colleagues look after wellbeing. For example, we see how a kura's shared values are the glue that hold them together when times get tough. 
In this series of articles Associate Director, Te Whai toi Tangata, University of Waikato and Co-Chair Teachers in Crisis Contexts Collaborative Chris Henderson discusses how our mental health and wellbeing is critical in a crisis and how to manage it.
Teaching Today Podcast: teacher wellbeing

Professor Meihana Durie and psychologist Jacqui Maguire talk about and give advice for teachers taking care of themselves and each other. 
We asked our own staff, teachers, family members and friends to share what’s helping get them through life in lockdown.

Bear hunt

Put a teddy bear in your window facing the road and as people are out getting fresh air and exercise, they can enjoy the bears around their neighbourhood. Pin your address and check out the map here.

David Walliams daily storytelling

A free audiobook everyday of David Walliams's collection of wickedly funny, deliciously mischievous tales, read by the author himself.

Go Noodle Good Energy at Home

A free online resource, providing ways for kids and families to move and learn together.

Oat the Goat

An online digital animated story book which helps children see the surprising power of kindness.
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