by Dr Emily Nelson, Programme Coordinator
Kia Ora koutou. We have come to the end of another highly successful year of the EIT Bachelor of Teaching (Primary), our fifth in Hawke’s Bay and our third in Gisborne. 19 final year Candidate Teachers are eligible to graduate and are excited to begin their teaching career. Their graduation is bitter sweet for the Teacher Educator team— we feel the loss of such wonderful candidates in our day-to-day lives – but we share their excitement to enter our teaching profession.
We continue to confound the broader employment statistics for beginning teachers currently circulating in the media – our graduates continue to impress. Almost all of our 2017 cohort have secured fulltime teaching positions for 2018 already! Congratulations to them and to their employing schools, we are so proud of the continuing high caliber of our Candidate Teachers. We are thrilled to hear consistently from principals that our Candidate Teachers interview well, and bring a wealth of concrete teaching experience to the interview experience.
This year’s final year cohort presented the teacher educator team with this beautiful taonga to symbolize our partnership. It is engraved with the whakataukī ‘Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini ke’ (My strength does not come from me alone but also from others). It holds pride of place in our foyer and we love it! I want to thank the BTP teacher educator team for their tireless commitment to the success of our Candidate Teachers!
Our Candidate Teachers’ success is due also to the superb mentoring and coaching they receive from their school Mentor Teachers, and class teachers in their partnership school. In our programme Candidate Teachers participate in school life and teaching two days per week, from the beginning of Year 1. Collective mentoring is vital in assisting them to synthesise their theoretical and practical learning. Growing great teachers is a collaborative commitment! What a thrill to see this expertise gathered together in one photo – the BTP partnership is strong!
Hawke’s Bay Partnership School Principals, Mentor Teachers and Teacher Educators celebrating another successful year together.
We particularly acknowledge the continued commitment of our three foundation Mentor Teachers—Lynda Allen (Frimley School), Shona Burrough (Havelock North Primary) and Heather Wilkie (Te Mata School). These three busy school leaders have mentored our Candidate Teachers in school-based learning, two days per week for five years continuously. Our Mentor Teachers are essential to our programme, and to the professional and personal growth of our Candidate Teachers as developing teachers. We value their wisdom, experience and coaching abilities more than we can say!
Lynda Allen (front row, 2nd from left), Heather Wilkie (front row, 4th from left)
Shona Burrough (front row, 1st on right)
This year we farewell three long-standing partnership schools —Flaxmere Primary, Haumoana School and Arthur Miller School in Hawke’s Bay and Awapuni School in Gisborne. These schools are taking a ‘sabbatical’ as partnership schools. We thank them for their commitment to the BTP and most especially their support of our Candidate Teachers. The diversity of our partnership schools is one of our greatest strengths and all our CTs have been enriched by the unique experiences these departing schools have offered them. We look forward to our continuing relationship with these schools as they host our CTs for practicum placements.
We welcome a number of new partnership schools into our network in 2018 also—Ebbett Park School, Bledisloe School and Puketapu School in Hawke’s Bay. We have been thrilled by the continuing level of interest among schools to partner with us and look forward to productive and rich relationships into next year and beyond. Our Tairāwhiti partnership school network is expanding also – we look forward to announcing these schools once partnership agreements are signed in the new year.
Sadly we are losing Jan Baynes, a foundation teacher educator in the Tairāwhiti team. Jan has contributed her wealth of literacy expertise to the BTP programme as well as an enduring commitment to provide wrap-around support to her students. We wish her well as she moves back into consultancy work – she is booked already well into 2018 across the country!
Tairāwhiti Candidate Teachers enjoying poroporoaki time together on the wharf at Tolaga Bay
It is with great excitement that we conclude this celebratory post by congratulating our original cohort of graduates who are now fully certificated teachers! The teacher educator team was cheering along from the audience at the recent Havelock North Graduation ceremony – we wish you continuing success in your teaching career! We were thrilled that out of the 16 teachers recognised in the ceremony we attended, 12 were from the EIT BTP!
As you wind up for Xmas and all your little soaps, boxes of chocolates and bottles of wine are ferried home to keep you going over summer, on behalf of the BTP programme in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti, I would like to wish you a fully relaxing, safe and rejuvenating break.