Name: Paula Calver
School: Mount Albert Grammar School, Auckland
Paula is an outstanding teacher and leader within our science department. She is always thinking of new and creative ideas to help lead us into a new generation of teaching.
Paula is also helping to guide teachers who are struggling to keep up with the pace of the profession by offering one-to-one coaching and caring and compassionate guidance while maintaining absolute professionalism.
Paula is continuously looking to keep moving her own practice forward and actively engages in further study on top of the already massive load she carries.
I am in constant awe of how she does it and she inspires me to be a better teacher. It is also working with her that makes me realise how important our job is.
Name: Holly Chapman
School: Taieri College, Dunedin
I have a 13-year-old son who is very difficult to manage at home.
This is the first time ever that he has spoke so highly of his teacher this year. He will do any work that is required at home by her.
She has built such a strong relationship with him of respect, empathy and guidance. She is one-of-a-kind who goes beyond to make sure she has that strong connection with her students.
Name: Karen Hu
School: Wellington East Girls’ College, Wellington
I believe that Ms Hu should be recognised as a hero because being a Chinese teacher, she isn't well known across the school and I feel as if her hard efforts put into teaching aren't being noticed.
She goes out of her way to make learning Chinese really fun and not only focuses on the language skills but also the cultural side of it. We make dumplings, play board games in Chinese, and she even organised a well known calligrapher to teach us, but all this is only possible because our class is part of the Confucius Institute. The Confucius Institute gives our Chinese classes more funding, scholarships and equipment (eg books, instruments, games etc). Ms Hu organised this all in her own time just so the class could have more opportunities.
This year and last year she organised a whole day to celebrate Chinese language week. She had to invite guests, invite people to run workshops, provide equipment and make sure the event was running smoothly. A whole day event isn't easy to organise with so many people and it turned out amazingly both times.
As my form teacher, she isn't just a teacher but also a friend you can rely on for guidance and advice. For example, she knew exams were coming up and it was a stressful time so she showed us PPAP (the Pen Pinapple Apple Pen song) in hopes of cheering us up (which worked).
Ms Hu really is an awesome teacher who doesn't get the recognition she deserves. You can see from all these examples that she really cares about us students and goes above and beyond for our learning.
Of course there are other teachers that care, but Ms Hu just goes that extra mile for us and to spread Chinese culture around the school. This is my first time sending in a nomination and my writing isn't the best but I really hope that you can see how Ms Hu is truly a unsung hero.
Name: Tineka Moodie
Tineka is an integral part of our centre team, always working to support and grow practice and pedagogy from amongst her team of teachers.
Every day she leads the over-twos team in nourishing and educating up to 45 of our community's most precious taonga and will never step forward to acknowledge her own successes and amazing rapport with our children and their families.
She consistently seeks to grow her practice and uses this to guide her own team in providing the very best of experiences for our tamariki. She will never accept a compliment and is always quick to share the glow of every positive step forward. She truly is an unsung hero!
Name: Elda Heywood
School: Collingwood Area School, Collingwood
Not only is she the best art teacher with excellent results, she is the royalty of the school for her art room is known as the Queendom.
If it weren't for Elda 'Her majesty' Heywood I don't know where I would be. She looks after her art kids and has even stayed with a couple of us all day through to 10:30 at night to help get us through finishing our art folio boards.
As if Visual Arts is not all-consuming enough, she also plays the role of guidance counselor, supporting our student contacts in keeping our school a happy place. She will do anything for the students of our school and is more than definitely an 'unsung hero'. :)