Teacher recognised for innovative, inspiring work

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Northern Southland College teacher SeYe Chan took a trip to Wellington on Friday to find out if he had received a 2018 ASG National Excellence in Teaching Award.

Mr Chan made the top 15 of the awards.

The award ceremony took place at Parliament and the presentations were made by Education Minister Chris Hipkins.

Mr Chan, who is head of humanities at the college, was recognised in the innovative and inspiring teaching category.

Fifteen teachers were selected from more than 2000 nominations for the national awards.

Mr Chan said he was surprised to receive the award.

“I was a bit shocked because I know that so many other teachers are doing magnificent things.

“I’m very humbled and honoured to be one of these recipients.

“Teachers make a difference everywhere and it’s unfortunate they can’t all be recognised,” Mr Chan said.

A pupil nominated him for the awards.

The selection process involved Mr Chan writing an essay on how he demonstrated his innovative and inspirational skills.

“That got me into the top 15 of New Zealand.”

Five of those teachers were in the secondary sector.

In his essay he described the various projects he was involved in at the college, including what he called the 30-hour WWI experience.

“I dig a WWI trench every year with my year 12 history class .. They experience it firsthand what it was like to be in the trenches.”

Stage 2 – to find the top six teachers – involved submitting another short essay and answering questions via a video presentation.

“I didn’t quite make the top six – the top 15 is as far as I got.”