Clyde teachers receive prestigious awards

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Two more Clyde Primary School teachers have received a national award that recognises exemplary teaching practices.

Cherelle Gibson and Megan Tyrrell were the only two Central Otago teachers to receive the Advanced Classroom Expertise Teacher (ACET) awards this year.

Clyde principal Doug White said he was thrilled at the recognition the teachers had achieved. Four of the school’s six teachers have now received the award; Stephanie Kitto received it last year and Sally Lloyd in 2014.

“This is quite an achievement for our small school,” Mr White said.

The ACET scheme was set up in 2013 as part of the settlement of the Primary Teachers’ Collective Agreement. The scheme recognises teachers with exemplary classroom practice and encourages highly experienced expert teachers to stay in the classroom.

Teachers who receive ACET receive an annual $5000 salary increase and the Clyde teachers said that was appreciated, but the acknowledgement of teaching expertise was a higher honour.

To be considered for the award, the teachers needed to submit detailed portfolios showing how they linked theory to practice and provide evidence in four categories: exemplary use of evidence and research to inform practice; exemplary engagement with families/whanau in improving outcomes for children; leadership in developing practice among peers; and exemplary ongoing professional learning and development.

The Clyde teachers said preparing the portfolios was a tremendous amount of work but a valuable exercise.

“It made you reflect on your own pedagogy, and where you’re at now, where you’ve come from and the next step,” Miss Tyrrell said.

“It’s just made us better teachers,” Mrs Gibson said.

This in turn led to better outcomes for children, which was what it was all about, they said.

Ministry of Education head of early learning and student achievement Karl Le Quesne said the ACET scheme provided valuable enhancement of the career paths of teachers who wanted to remain in the classroom, rather than pursue management opportunities.

So far, 527 teachers have received ACET awards, including five teachers from Central Otago and nine from the Queenstown-Lakes district.

The scheme will continue to operate as long as it is part of the Primary Teachers’ Collective Agreement.

The agreed scheme provides that no more than 800 ACET allowances will be allocated at a time.