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Effective teachers make dreams a reality

Media Statement
For immediate release

4 October 2005

Effective teachers make dreams a reality

“World Teachers Day [5 October] is a time to think about those special people in classrooms throughout the country who have supported our dreams and influenced us to become who we are,” said Secretary for Education Howard Fancy.

“The theme for this year’s UNESCO-inspired day focuses on Quality Teachers for Quality Education and gives us cause to celebrate teachers who are making a positive difference to young people’s learning,” Howard Fancy said.

“I recall a teacher who made many subjects come alive for me through her ability to tap into the fascination and interest I had in astronomy. She had a huge influence on my learning through her ability to motivate and inspire me to think about all the future possibilities.

“An effective teacher sets learning alight. In classrooms up and down the country we have many teachers who are doing just this. Teachers who are committed to providing young New Zealanders with the opportunity and the motivation to be the best they can be.

“We have a great deal to celebrate as a result. Internationally our teachers are highly regarded and respected and New Zealand students consistently appear in the top half of surveys of OECD countries.

“We have more students staying on in school and over the last two years we have seen an increase in the number of students who leave school with a qualification compared to 10 years ago. And there are great things happening in many classrooms to raise literacy and numeracy achievement.

“Being an effective teacher isn’t good only for students. It is also a part of a positive and collaborative working environment. It is the buzz you get when you walk into a school, staffroom or class from teachers who are working together to make learning real and exciting for every student.

“Today’s young people are New Zealand’s future – their opportunities are in the hands of our teachers. World Teachers Day is a time when we can celebrate and value the work of teachers. Our whole society benefits from the fine contribution they make.”

Howard Fancy said World Teachers Day is recognised in more than 100 countries and was created by UNESCO in 1993 to focus attention on the contributions and achievements of teachers, as well as their concerns and priorities.

ENDS

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