Initiative Launches to Recognise Teachers
Posted by Fleur Revell
Kiwi kids can show their appreciation for their teachers hard work thanks to the New Zealand’s Most Inspiring Teachers campaign, which launches this month.
The New Zealand’s Most Inspiring Teachers campaign is an initiative created by Warehouse Stationery to allow students, their parents and families to acknowledge the hard work of teachers.
This year judges include New Zealand Order of Merit recipient, teacher, and former netball star Bernice Mene; Director of Leadership at Palmerston North Boys’ High School and Deputy Commander 1 NZ Brigade at Linton, Paul King, and Margaret McCaw a teacher of 35 years and mother of rugby star Richie McCaw.
With more than $40,000 worth of travel, stationery and technology awarded to the teachers receiving the highest number of votes, the company hopes the New Zealand public will be enthusiastic when it comes to nominating their favourite teacher and seeing them compensated for the valuable work they do. Schools of the winning teachers will also receive stationery prizes provided by the organiser of the initiative.
Mene a qualified secondary school languages teacher (English, French & German), began her career at Otago Girls’ High School and is now an advisor for AUT and the NZ Academy of Sport. She says it’s important to have campaigns such as this to recognise and reward teachers for the job they do.
“An inspirational teacher or leader can really shape your life and give you a great outlook from a young age. They can give you the structure to cope with demands of school work, sport and time and help students find the motivation to develop their abilities,” says Mene.
Colonel Paul King, a recipient of the NATO Meritorious Service Medal following recent service in Afghanistan, leads a first principles of leadership and character education programme – the first of its kind in this country at Palmerston North Boys’ High School.
“Everything comes down to leadership, and so it is vitally important to have inspirational leaders in the classroom inspiring the next generation to pursue excellence, destroy mediocrity and be of outstanding character,” he says.
King says he’s excited to see the high standard of nominees in this year’s awards.
“The rewards of education are long term and it’s important to sow the right seeds early. Recognising the great teachers who make a difference in our lives and that of our children is essential. Success breeds success.
“Positive recognition allows people to flourish. As they flourish they will learn to serve the future generation with equal positivity and inspiration. This initiative is one way where those that have inspired us can be recognised for their efforts,” he says.
Also on the judging panel is Margaret McCaw, currently a part-time teacher at St Marks School in Opawa Christchurch, who has taught in primary and intermediate schools for the past three decades.
As the mother of rugby star Richie McCaw she says she understands the pressures that both students and teachers face in today’s world.
“Teachers have a key role in developing children to their full potential. One of the most rewarding aspects to the role is seeing the positive change that occurs when a student grows through education. I am really looking forward to helping to recognise the great work some of my colleagues have been doing and the impact it has made on young lives.”
The CEO of Warehouse Stationery Pejman Okhovat says the initiative was established to bring greater recognition to one of the nation’s most essential service providers.
“For those of us lucky enough to have been inspired by someone in the education system the rewards are long lasting and the desire to learn is a something which never leaves us. We are excited to be involved in championing the role of teachers in New Zealand and encouraging them in the great work they do,” says Okhovat.
For more details on how to be involved see www.inspiringteachers.co.nz