Call yourself a teacher? Absolutely!

The Education Council is committed to lifting the status of the teaching profession; it’s a robust and determined path that teachers take to be recognised as a quality member of the teaching profession, with a legal right to call themselves a teacher and use the initials ‘RT’ after their name.

We want to know, would you support using the initials ‘RT’ after a registered teacher’s name?

Recently the bill that proposed to restrict the use of the title ‘teacher’ (Protecting Teacher Title) to only those with a recognised teaching qualification was withdrawn. The Council did not support the bill, and we were pleased with the decision.

The reason we did not support the bill was that we believed it would negatively affect registered teachers and that the law already states that it is an offence for anyone who is not a registered teacher to use that title. And, so far, there has never been a conviction based on the same.

Becoming a registered teacher as a result of completing a recognised qualification signals that a teacher has met the initial requirements for entry to the teaching profession. Registration is only approved once and does not expire, and all teachers in New Zealand schools, kura and state kindergartens must be registered.

When your application for registration is approved, you will get a practising certificate that is current for three years. A practising certificate provides assurance from the Education Council about a teacher's good character, including having a satisfactory Police vet, fitness to teach and competence. Certificated teachers must have both registration and a practising certificate to teach.

Being a registered teacher comes with the responsibility of a trusted position in society. All registered teachers work within the Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards for the Teaching Profession. The Code sets out the high standards for ethical behaviour that are expected of every teacher. The Standards describe the expectations of effective teaching practice. Together they set out what it is and what it means, to be a teacher in Aotearoa New Zealand.

This is your profession and your views matter to us. Email us what you think about using the intials ‘RT’ after a teacher’s name letstalk@educationcouncil.org.nz

Published 28 June 2018

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