Kerikeri High School teacher Jane Jarman is stoked to be among winners at this year’s National Excellence in Teaching Awards. Photo / Supplied
Bringing te ao Māori into the history curriculum has earned Kerikeri High School teacher Jane Jarman recognition at this year’s National Excellence in Teaching Awards.
Jarman, a history teacher at the high school, was among five early childhood, primary and secondary school educators who demonstrated “outstanding teaching practice and leadership” and were honoured with National Excellence in Teaching Awards (NEiTA).
The winners were announced on November 30.
Jarman, a teacher for 20 years, won the NEiTA Apple award in the high school category for immersing te ao Māori into the history curriculum, supporting Māori students to use their own cultural toolkit to achieve success, and encouraging non-Māori learners to understand events from a Māori perspective.
The award included a $5000 professional development grant.
Jarman said she was “stoked”.
“I keep pinching myself, I can’t believe I won something like that. That’s not why you teach; I do it because I love it.
“The only reason I’ve been able to win this award is because this is such a supportive environment to work in.”
Originally from Wales, Jarman moved to New Zealand 17 years ago and has spent 16 years as a teacher at Kerikeri High School.
Her passion for te ao Māori came from the school’s Te Kotahitanga project, a professional development programme helping teachers lift Māori achievement introduced by principal Elizabeth Forgie 19 years ago.
“When I arrived my first experience of the school was at Whitiora marae with [local hapū] Ngāti Rēhia.
“I have tried to incorporate te ao Māori into the curriculum so everyone can understand from a bicultural perspective.
“And to make sure our Māori learners can use their cultural toolkit in the classroom.
“I’m proud [of the award] but there’s still a lot of work to do.”
NEiTA chairman Allen Blewitt said Jarman was an “outstanding example of a life-long learner and innovator”.
The student who nominated her called her the “best dean ever”, and someone who always looked after the students and was always there to motivate them.
“Jane’s extensive use of mātauranga Māori in the classroom promotes engagement and achievement for all learners,” Blewitt said.
“Jane knows the importance of building positive respectful relationships with her students.
“She incorporates powerful examples and anecdotes that resonate with learners to help them connect with history.”
Other winners were Angela Walters of Fairfield Intermediate School in Hamilton, who won NEiTA Founders’ Principals Award for Leadership; Shea Bowden of Manurewa West Primary School who won an Apple Award; Corinne Pinguet of Ngahina Kindergarten in Paraparaumu who won a Seed Award.
The Kererū Team at Kids’ Domain Early Learning Centre in Auckland won the Seed Team Award.
The awards, in their 28th year, received a record number of almost 2000 nominations across Australia and New Zealand.
Blewitt said this reflects the enormous respect and gratitude felt by the wider community during these difficult Covid and post-Covid periods.
“Teachers being the superheroes they are, have contended with heavier workloads than ever before, as well as increased student anxiety and disengagement due to the pandemic.
“All five winners are highly experienced educators, averaging 19 years in the profession, each demonstrating the importance of life-long learning.”