Teacher refresh programme rekindles joy of teaching

Issue: Volume 98, Number 12

Posted: 22 July 2019
Reference #: 1H9w6Q

After 17 years away from teaching, it was Joanne Denekamp’s grandchildren who provided the impetus for her to take part in a teacher refresh programme so that she could return to teaching.

Joanne Denekamp.

Joanne Denekamp.

Joanne recently completed the free programme through the University of Auckland and will start her new job as a class teacher at Mangawhai Beach School, north of Auckland, in term three. 

She had been away from teaching since 2001, when she left her last position in a school in Auckland to work in the family business. 

“I noticed how fast my grandchildren are acquiring reading skills and improving in literacy,” says Joanne. “They’re so much more advanced than children of their age used to be, and I thought how exciting it would be to be part of that new environment.” 

Joanne says the course “…was very enjoyable and has brought me up to speed on the changes that have been happening since I left the classroom. There’ve been huge changes, such as phonics for reading, and the new directions are exciting.”

Flexible learning

The Teacher Education Refresh (TER) programme is delivered by four teaching council-approved providers. Designed to be flexible, it can be done through online distance learning and teachers can continue work while they study.  The Ministry is covering the costs of the TER programme until the end of June 2022.

The five-month programme is for three groups of people - provisionally certificated teachers who want to apply for another provisional practising certificate six years or more after becoming registered, teachers who have had no teaching experience since completing their initial education qualification and for those teachers who have not been in the classroom for a reasonable period.

Joanne was one of 49 people on her TER programme, which covered primary and secondary education. Mostly, the programme involves distance learning, but there are three face-to-face days, as well as forums for interaction and two major assignments to be completed. 

Upskilling courses 

“We really got to know the curriculum very well,” Joanne says, “and I’ve learnt new skills and made some really good new friends.” After completion, all attendees get a certificate. Further upskilling programmes are available in specialist areas such as early word reading, writing and new entrants.

Joanne also did a four-week practicum at a school in Wellsford, north of Auckland. “Now that I’m in the swing of things, it’s wonderful to experience again the energy and joy that children bring to class every day. 

“They love learning new things. Children are so proud of what they are achieving and it’s impossible to disappoint them because they soak up everything so fast.”

Teacher Education Refresh providers

University of Auckland; Open Polytechnic of NZ; Te Rito Maioha – Early Childhood New Zealand; Institute of Registered Music Teachers NZ (music teachers only).

For information visit Teaching Council – Teacher Education Refresh (TER) Programme.(external link)

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

Posted: 8:30 AM, 22 July 2019

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