A total of 617 nominations have been submitted by parents, secondary student councils,
boards of trustees, management committees, and community organisations for the 2011-2012 round of the NEiTA Foundation’s national excellence in teaching and leadership awards.
Of these, 501 nominations are for teaching excellence and 116 for leadership excellence. Early childhood nominations total 123, with 381 primary and intermediate nominations and 113 secondary nominations.
Now in their 16th year, the awards, sponsored by ASG Education Programs New Zealand and Cognition Education, have averaged 392 nominations each cycle Brother Pat Lynch, convenor of the NEiTA selection panel, said nominations covered the diversity of teachers and leaders who make up the teaching profession.
“The silver bullet in creating an effective learning environment is for teachers to establish a classroom culture which is inspiring and engaging for students – a simple yet complex recipe to achieve for successful teaching.
“New Zealand has endured a number of disasters, making this a difficult year. It is heart-warming to know that so many people took the time to praise those excellent teachers and leaders in our school communities who are committed to improving the aspirations and educational outcomes for children,” Brother Lynch said.
Teachers working in areas affected by the Pike River mining disaster and the Christchurch earthquakes were praised by their nominators for their support of local families and their students. Nominators said that although the homes of some school families and teachers were destroyed, the teachers never let their own problems interfere with their commitment to their pupils.
Many noted the compassion and understanding shown by teachers as they and their children dealt with the effects of the earthquakes on their schools, homes and daily lives.
Nominated teachers and leaders will now complete a further submission prior to the selection process early next year when 20 area representatives will be selected to receive regional awards for excellence in Teaching and Leadership in Wellington next May. From these, 10 recipients will receive national awards at their schools or centres later in 2012.
National awardees will receive professional development grants from a pool totaling $35,000.
Two $5000 and three $2500 grants will each be made for excellence in teaching and for excellence in leadership.