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Teachers honoured in "People's choice" awards

Media Release
2 May 2006

Teachers honoured in "People's choice" awards

Twenty top teachers were recognised for their excellence in teaching at a ceremony held at Parliament today (subs: Tuesday 2 May 2006) for the ASG Friendly Society’s National Excellence in Teaching Awards (NEiTA).

The twenty Regional Award recipients range from early childhood teachers to secondary school teachers – including one from a teen parent unit, where the students have infants of their own.

The teachers shine in disciplines ranging from music, classical studies, dance and drama, to information technology, economics, history and mathematics.

Launched in New Zealand in 1996, by ASG, the NEiTA Awards aim to recognise and honour excellent teachers from local communities, to recognise and highlight excellence in teaching and to encourage students to enter the teaching profession. In 2004 the Awards were expanded to include a category for registered early childhood teachers.

“The NEiTA Awards are very much the ‘people’s choice’ teaching awards,” says NEiTA Foundation chairman, Terry O’Connell. “Nominations are made by parents of students and by secondary pupils.”

“These teachers have so impressed others with their creativity, dedication and passion for their work that school parents and students tend to become dedicated supporters, inspiring praise-filled and heartwarming NEiTA nominations.”

The 20 teachers today received certificates and plaques. In November, six of these teachers – two from each category – will be presented with a National Award. This award will be presented in their local community, giving their schools the opportunity to honour their teacher on their ‘home patch’.

Three of the six will also be awarded a professional development grant of $2,500, with one receiving an additional $2,500 to put towards their teaching development.

Education Minister Steve Maharey congratulated those teachers who received awards in recognition of their great teaching practices.

"The teachers being recognised today demonstrate the strength of our teaching profession. Good teachers make a huge difference to children's learning, that's why effective teaching is one of the government's top priorities," Steve Maharey said.

"We're making major investments to support effective teaching and ensure every school is a good school."

Awards evolving to recognise leadership in teaching

From 2007 the awards will be known as the NEiTA Foundation Teaching and Leadership Awards, jointly sponsored by ASG and Multi Serve, and will comprise two categories: the ASG Teaching Excellence Awards and the Multi Serve Leadership Awards

Education Minister the Hon. Steve Maharey today announced a partnership between the ASG Friendly Society, a trans-Tasman not-for-profit co-operative which helps parents to plan for their children’s education, and Multi Serve Education Trust, a local charitable trust which is an independent provider of a wide range of support services to schools and other education sector clients.

Nominations for the next awards programme will open in November this year and close in October 2007. The awards will be open to all school leaders, and registered early childhood, primary, intermediate and secondary teachers.

There will be four national awards for professional development or education research fellowships and six professional development grants.

These awards will recognise the profession of teaching, and reward excellence and leadership in education.

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