A chance for reflection: TeachNZ Study Awards

Issue: Volume 95, Number 13

Posted: 27 July 2016
Reference #: 1H9d38

Paraparaumu College assistant principal Helen Benson says a Study Award she received allowed her ‘breathing space’ to achieve her goals. Education Gazette asks Helen about the research she undertook.

What motivated you to apply for a Study Award?

I applied because I needed the extra time that the award provides to be able to manage study and work and family. I’ve undertaken a Masters in Secondary School Leadership (MSSL) whilst continuing to work full-time.

I would have struggled to complete the required papers in such a short space of time had I not had the Study Award. It allowed me a bit of breathing space.
What is the focus of your Award, and why did you choose it?

The MSSL qualification is tailored to allow middle and senior leaders in secondary schools to develop their leadership skills but also to develop projects that can be implemented in your own school.

That is what appealed to me about the MSSL – the way you are able to adapt each project to your current role in the school, but also have a sound theoretical framework to justify the chosen direction.

How have you integrated the focus of your Award into your teaching practice?

One of my main study goals relates to developing a school-wide focus on culturally responsive practice. Of particular interest has been developing the self-efficacy of teachers as well as the impact of distributed leadership within a school.

I have been able to lead professional development in this area across the school as well as support the current initiatives. This refers to Kia Eke Panuku, PB4L and e-learning through various projects I have undertaken in the variety of papers I have taken through Victoria University.

What would you say to fellow teachers thinking of applying for a Study Award?

I would encourage them to apply.

The great thing about this award is that it is really flexible and allows the teacher and school to work out how best to use the award in a way that suits both parties.

In my case, it allowed me to reduce my teaching load across the whole year, but I know others who have found it more useful to take a block of time when they had exams or key assignments due.

Taket time out for study or a sabbatical

The Ministry of Education is committed to supporting the professional development of teachers and principals. You could complete a qualification, take time off each week to study while teaching, move to another curriculum or subject area, or take time off to research a topic of interest.

Study Awards provide paid study leave to complete part-time or full-time study in an educational priority area. The length of study leave awarded is based on your proposed study.

Sabbaticals give teachers and principals the opportunity to spend three, five or 10 weeks completing a professional learning activity, and a chance for reflection and rejuvenation.
Applications are open for the 2017 Study Support Grants for area and secondary schools teachers.

There are 100 Secondary Teachers’ Study Support Grants and 12 Area Teachers’ Study Support Grants available.

The closing date for applications is Monday 19 September 2016.

Education Workforce website(external link)

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 8:14 pm, 27 July 2016

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