Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Trevor Mallard speech - Excellence in Teaching

Trevor Mallard speech to the ASG National Excellence in Teaching awards:

It's a pleasure to be here today as Minister of Education to celebrate a matter dear to my heart: excellence in teaching. I have in the last couple of months presented awards to top scholars and top schools and now here we are to acknowledge that what makes it all happen is excellent teachers.

Each occasion where we present awards for excellence creates an opportunity for public, tangible recognition of great successes in New Zealand education.

Quality teaching is the crucial ingredient for quality learning. We in government have a responsibility to take all the steps we can help teachers to maintain high quality performance.

High quality professional development for teachers is an essential component of this government's vision for New Zealand education. This government has an urgent commitment to closing the gaps; we are in dead earnest about making a difference to the lives of New Zealanders who have been getting a poor deal. The programmes we are developing for schools to play their part in this will need teachers with skills to match.

We cannot rely solely on the initial training our teachers had in teachers' colleges. Anyway most teachers in schools at present were trained before the administrative reforms and before the introduction of even the first of the New Zealand curriculum statements. And most were trained well before the explosion in information and communication technologies. For about half our teachers; those that are in the prime of their late forties or a bit older, initial training is now little more relevant to day to day life at school than a romantic memory.

Teachers tell me that students are harder to manage these days. We must provide opportunities for teachers to acquire new skills, new ways of managing the learning environment in their classrooms, new ways of using technology so that we can somehow capture the interest of the kids who at present are missing out.

Teachers tell me that they spend hundreds of hours making classroom resources. This has quite a lot to do with teachers striving to make programmes relevant and exciting. And it is particularly acute in the production of resources for and in Maori language.

We must make sure that relevant lively exciting resources are available and we must get our education website up and working to share the material teachers themselves are producing.

At present there is nothing in the regulations to say that teachers have to learn new skills, update knowledge, know about new curriculum, be a whizz with their computer or surf the net with expertise.

We are going to have an education council that makes participation in professional development mandatory, that makes sure that poor and badly behaved teachers are not recycled from school to school.

We will always value excellence although it is obvious that not every teacher can be a top teacher we can work towards a teaching profession in which we can be confident that every teacher is excellent.

I would like to know that all our teachers share our goal of closing the gaps. My favourite teachers work with all kids: those who are happy at school, keen to learn, well behaved, clean and tidy and those who feel alienated, who are angry and don't know how to behave and those who don't want to learn. Our high quality excellent teachers welcome all the kids that turn up in their classroom and they take responsibility for their learning needs whatever they are. And they have high expectations for all their students to achieve at the highest level possible.

Congratulations to today's award teachers. The achievement of excellence in such an important endeavour must be applauded by us all.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>


Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>


Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>


Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>


Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>


Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>


School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>


IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>


Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>




InfoPages News Channels