Boosting confidence: TeachNZ Study Awards

Issue: Volume 95, Number 14

Posted: 8 August 2016
Reference #: 1H9d3g

Iona Bonney is an art teacher at Albany Junior High School and believes the only ‘trouble’ with receiving a TeachNZ Study Award was that it fuelled her determination to continue studying.

What motivated you to apply for a TeachNZ Study Award?

"Throughout my teaching career I have undertaken professional development in the form of study outside of school which entailed hours of work after ‘work’."

"As an option subject teacher, I have had a long term interest in what makes students choose a school subject/curriculum area and what impact a school’s organisation has on their decision making. I had got to a stage where I really wanted to dedicate my energies into looking at it in greater depth."

"While I had a lot of observations from a teacher point of view, I really wanted to be able to step back and find out how it was experienced by the students."

"A work colleague won an award and I thought, ‘That’s what I need to do.’ I then went to a Massey University information session about scholarships and awards that were available for research which gave me the final push."

What is the focus of your Award, and why did you choose it?

"I knew that to achieve my long term goal I had to develop my research skills. In my Study Award year I took papers on research methods and on areas pertaining to my research focus – adolescent education, decision making and curriculum design – as the first stage of a Master of Education research study."

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

"Insights gained in my study have informed how I present curriculum and subject information, respond to students’ questions and the guidance I give to support their decision making around option choices."

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

"Do it and do it now. The study year enabled me to not only pursue a passion and develop my professional knowledge but it also gave me a huge boost in enthusiasm, confidence and energy. The only danger is that it also fuelled my determination to continue learning and study. The subsequent TeachNZ Study Support Grant enabled me to complete my master’s research thesis."

"I have always felt that the most indulgent luxury is being able to just think about what you want to – and my Study Award year gave me permission and encouragement to do just that."

Take 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 TeachNZ Study Support Grants for area and secondary school 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. Find more information on the TeachNZ website.

Study grants and sabbatical awards – Education Workforce(external link)

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 7:49 pm, 8 August 2016

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