15 December 2009

As part of World Teachers’ Day celebrations, five University of Queensland teaching graduates were recently nominated for a Queensland College of Teachers excellence in teaching award.

The prestigious awards provide opportunities to recognise and celebrate teachers who inspire their school communities. There were two awards categories: Excellence in Teaching and Excellence in Beginning to Teach.

Three of the finalists in the Excellence in Teaching Award completed their teacher preparation studies at UQ. They were Greg Bland (Brisbane Girls’ Grammar School), Ben Luinys (St Patrick’s College, Townsville) and Sophia McLean (Kepnock State High School, Bundaberg).

In the Beginning to Teach Award, Jennifer Bergstrum (St Aidan’s Anglican Girls School, Corinda) and Danielle Oke (All Saints Anglican School, Merrimac) were amongst the five finalists.

Head of UQ’s School of Education Professor Peter Renshaw said he was delighted that UQ graduates were well represented amongst the nominees.

“It gives me great pleasure to see our former students being recognised for their outstanding work," he said.

"Our programs are designed to prepare and develop our graduates as first rate teachers many of whom are offered teaching positions beginning in the following year, before the completion of their programs.”

The University of Queensland has been educating teachers for the workforce since 1945 and is one of the most highly regarded schools of education in Australia. In 2009 UQ introduced a Bachelor of Education (Primary) to complement its existing Secondary and Middle Years of Schooling programs.

“The UQ teacher preparation programs are highly regarded by teachers with whom our students are placed for supervised practicum," Professor Renshaw said.

"The secondary teacher preparation program which these young teachers undertook provides lengthy teaching practice allowing time to build rapport with classroom students and staff and become involved in the 'whole school' experience.”

The nominated teachers represent a range of teaching areas which include mathematics, science, health and physical education, music and business.

Professor Renshaw said these types of awards were important to provide public recognition for the work of high achieving teachers and well as profiling the great work that teachers do in their communities.

“Not only do teachers educate, but they also inspire young minds and without excellent teachers in our schools, young students may not reach their potential,” he said.

For more information about studying Education at UQ in 2010, visit www.uq.edu.au/study or contact the UQ School of Education on (07) 3365 6550.

The University will also hold a UQ Options evening on Monday December 21 at the UQ Centre, Union Road, St Lucia campus from 4.30pm-7pm to help students get the best results from their OPs. Visit http://www.youruq.com/options for details.

Media: Melinda Kopanakis, Marketing and Communications Manager, UQ Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, telephone 07 3365 8820.