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Top Tutor Gains National Recognition

Top Tutor Gains National Recognition with Ako Aotearoa Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award

Scott Bregmen has been recognised with the Ako Aotearoa Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award for sustained teaching excellence during an awards ceremony at Parliament Buildings on Wednesday, 4 August.

Established in 2001, the national awards recognise and encourage excellence in tertiary teaching while also providing an opportunity for teachers to further their careers and share best practice. The Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards are bestowed by the Tertiary Education Minister, Steven Joyce with the Prime Minister making one overall award.

A key focus of the tertiary awards is to identify and reward teaching practice that is student-focused and promotes effective learning. This year’s Ako Aotearoa Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award acknowledges Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec) tutor, Scott Bregmen, as a leading educator in tertiary education for his sustained excellence in student-centred teaching practice.

Since 1994, Mr Bregmen has lectured at WelTec in a broad range of subjects where he has consistently tailored his delivery to match the individual needs of students.

WelTec Chief Executive, Dr Linda Sissons has a long-standing appreciation of Mr Bregmen’s teaching practice. “Scott has showcased his outstanding dedication as a teacher and has extraordinary skills to engage learners in a tertiary setting. His ability to continuously monitor students’ learning and tailor his delivery to suit their needs is what makes Scott simply exceptional. It is for these reasons that Scott has won this national award and we celebrate his achievement knowing it is particularly well-deserved.”

Mr Bregmen is humbled by the accolade, which he views as recognition for his hard work as a teaching professional. "I'm blown away. It's a real honour and privilege to work with my students and their families. And as I see it, I'm really accepting this recognition on behalf of the hard-working families, colleagues and community groups involved with the students I teach.”

Mr Bregmen’s students come to WelTec with a variety of skills. Many have specific learning needs that require a specialist’s approach to ensure they can achieve in a tertiary setting. "The joy of teaching is witnessing the transformation. It's watching kids come here and really start to build confidence. I’ve had students who were barely communicating when they joined the class gradually come out of their shell and really begin to sparkle. I'm doing exactly what I want to be doing. Teaching is a real privilege and an honour."

Scott and Maree Bregmen currently run one of New Zealand's few tertiary education programmes for students with intellectual disabilities, mental disabilities and other students with specialised needs at WelTec.

The Certificate in Community Vocational Learning Skills at WelTec has been developed by Mr Bregmen as an education pathway for people to bridge the gap from secondary school to entering the workforce or going on to other tertiary education.

Parents of students taught by Mr Bregmen have reported a dramatic change in the confidence and motivation of their children since enrolling in the programme and the results confirm parent feedback. In 2009 the majority of Mr Bregmen’s students transitioned successfully to employment or further tertiary study in other subject areas.

Tina Joslin, mother of student Andrew Joslin states, "When Andrew first started the course he would never make eye-contact with anyone and had no drive to do anything. By the end of the course he had an 'extra stride in his step', all thanks to the extra efforts that Scott has put into him."

According to Mr Bregmen teaching is a reciprocal learning process, "I gain so much from teaching my students. They inspire me every day with their acceptance of people, their enthusiasm, and their incredible tenacity and courage to push past their fears continuing to challenge themselves. I wouldn't be anywhere else."


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