There are still hundreds of teaching vacancies around the country, with an alarming lack of Kiwi people taking up the job.
New Zealand Principals Federation president Whetu Cormick said predicted figures from the Ministry of Education last year showed about 800 teachers were needed to cover vacancies.
He heard yesterday that about 200 overseas teachers had landed in New Zealand and taken up jobs in schools - but it still left a gaping hole of about 600 vacancies not filled.
He is especially concerned with the lack of New Zealand people getting into the profession, and the retention of those who do, he told TVNZ1's Breakfast today.
"We welcome those teachers [from overseas] and we hope they have a good experience here in Aoteroa New Zealand, but the reality is that we don't want to be employing teachers from overseas in the long term," he said. "We want young Kiwi New Zealanders to choose teaching as a career option."
People leaving high school are looking at higher paying career options that don't have as much compliance and workload, Mr Cormick said.
The teacher shortage is expected to affect about 16,000 students, when taking in the average class size of 25 students.
The students would be spread across the country, but Mr Cormick said he knows many of his colleagues will be thinking about how they are going to resolve the issue at their own school.
"There's a whole range of reasons why this has happened," he said. "If you look back over the last 10 years, under the previous Government, there was a whole lot of compliance around things like national standards which frankly turned a lot of our young teachers off - and mature teachers as well, like myself, who got out of the profession.
"I think this Government has a whole lot of work to do do repair what's happened in the past."