This morning we had the opportunity to partake in a very special celebration with our children and families – a tea party to applaud Christine for being awarded with a National Excellence in Teaching Award - NEiTA.
Last week Christine (accompanied by her lovely husband Mat) flew to Wellington to join twenty-four other teachers from across the education sector to receive regional awards for excellence in teaching and leadership in the Grand Hall, Parliament Buildings.
Christine’s nomination for this award came from community recognition of her exemplary teaching skills. Christine is well known as a thoughtful, purposeful and intentional teacher who promotes professionalism in Early Childhood Education. Christine’s work with children is underpinned by affection; this disposition of care and attention was confirmed again today when Liliana (5 years) stated, “She’s a good teacher to all of us and we love her so much!”
|Christine chats with reporters from The Advocate|
As you can imagine, preparing for a ‘surprise’ at kindergarten is never an easy task! However with the combined effort, aroha and energy of our kindergarten team and families, a truly wonderful tea party was prepared.
Kai tables were transformed with layers of white tablecloths, lace and vases bursting with colourful flowers. Fine china and teapots were collected, shared and laid out on the table alongside platters, plates and pedestals laden with the most delicious assortment of treats. Centre to all this mouth-watering fare was a truly sumptuous cake.
Christine was seated at the head of the tables in a beautifully adorned ‘princess chair’, she was surrounded by parents (past and present) her team, local media and our tamariki – Christine’s teaching community to which she has given her heart and her thinking.
“there is nothing more beautiful in life
than celebrating the talents, dreams,
joys, and accomplishments of another being
to see - and call attention to - the best in someone else...”
The NEiTA Awards were established by ASG Education Programs New Zealand 18 years ago to promote excellence in teaching. In the 2014 programme booklet NEiTA’s Chief Executive John Velegrinis states: “Today’s recipients are teachers and education leaders of the highest calibre. It is so heartening to meet teaching professionals who are so committed to bringing out the best in our children academically and socially. Their record of achievement in going above and beyond to help students’ reach their full potential is outstanding.” (NEiTA programme, 2014)
Here at Mairtown we continued to feel truly blessed to work alongside such an aspiring and dedicated professional. Congratulations Christine, you make us so proud!
Some reflections from the children on why Christine received a 'best teacher award':
"She helps other people - she helps on the Nature Programme - I went on the Nature Programme with her, we walked to the Magic Tree" - Kate
"I like playing with her in the sandpit" - Tyler C
"Christine does great painting. Her's nice, she's the nicest in the whole world" - Livia
"She listens to us...and she understands" - London-Rose
"I like when she's playing with children" - Maria