Kia ora, Talofa lava, Kia orana, Mālō e lelei, Fakaalofa atu, Taloha ni, Ni sa Bula, Kam Na Mauri, Halo Olaketa, Ia Orana, Greetings.
As Māori and Pacific teachers you’re in demand, both for your language skills and as a role model for Māori and Pacific students in New Zealand.
The Ministry of Education has contracted ep.education to provide a Job Find Assistance Programme for Māori and Pasifika teachers, Te Reo speakers and speakers of Pasifika languages. This involves working one-on-one with an experienced consultant. They will help you with your CV, cover letters and applications for jobs, advise you on networking opportunities, identify barriers that may be holding you back, and identify your strengths and skills and how to market them.
For both Māori and Pacific teachers it’s vital to sell your language skills if you have them – these skills are an asset to all schools/centres, especially those with high numbers of Māori and Pacific students or bilingual units, and kura kaupapa, kohanga reo and aoga amata.
You can show the recruitment panel your language skills in te reo or Pacific languages by writing at least part of your CV and cover letter in the language you have skills in. How much you include depends on the school/centre you are applying to. For example, if you’re applying to teach at a kura kaupapa, kohanga reo or aoga amata, writing your CV and cover letter in te reo or Samoan shows the recruitment team that you have the necessary fluency for that position. If you’re applying to a bilingual unit or centre, writing your personal statement or teaching philosophy in English and te reo shows them that you can communicate equally well in both languages.
If you’re Māori Medium-trained and are applying for roles in mainstream classrooms, it can be helpful for the recruitment team if you describe your training on your CV in English, especially if the name of the course is in te reo, as they will be interested in what your training has involved but may not be able to understand te reo.
If you’re a Māori or Pacific graduate and you don't speak a language other than English, your skills as a role model and your experience as a bicultural New Zealander are also valuable to schools. It is very important that you promote these skills in your application.
Your CV should show the recruitment panel what unique skills and experiences you can bring to the role you are applying for. Include things that the recruitment panel wouldn’t know if you didn’t tell them - such as "I trained in kapa haka" or "I spent two years living in Tonga". These are your points of difference and will influence your success more than generic statements such as ‘I am a skilled communicator’ or ‘I have sound planning skills’ – these are expected of all teachers.
Be strategic in the schools you target. Choose schools that specialise in or offer the skills that you have, eg, te reo Māori bilingual unit. Be clear whether you wish to teach in a full immersion, bilingual or a mainstream classroom. When you make contact with schools you need to accurately describe the level of your language skills. This is also important when you are putting your name on the relieving lists at schools – if they have a bilingual unit and you are fluent in te reo, make sure you are on the bilingual teaching list as well as the general list.
There are also Māori and Pacific teacher networks, such as Ako Panuku for secondary Māori teachers. Research these groups and get in touch with them to find out how they work and how they can assist you.