I see it was teacher appreciation week last week over in the United States. It would have to be one of the occasions that I’ll advocate we take up over here in New Zealand in some form. In honour of that, I’d like to brag about the awesome people I work with. My faculty are the best – not only do we spend most of the day laughing together, sharing ideas, consoling over that awful class and helping pick up the pieces for next time, we are always striving to do the very best for our students by improving our pedagogical practice. They patiently let me discuss my new ideas for the faculty, bring me back to reality when needed, and run with those that are do-able (that’s the next blog post).
Last year, my faculty’s awesomeness was acknowledged by being named finalists in our inaugural Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards, the only faculty group finalists across the country. Our story can be found here. Disclaimer: we are definitely not the only Maths & Stats department in New Zealand doing great things – I was just lucky enough to be off school on a fellowship, which gave me the time to pour over the research and put the application together. We do have some very good research published in NZ on teaching and Mathematics, and pedagogy generally – check out our Best Evidence Synthesis series here. These are a systematic review of international education research that showed improvement in student outcomes. I especially recommend the Effective Pedagogy in Mathematics summary document – every maths teacher should have a copy!