Award just about sums it up
Helping youngsters understand and enjoy mathematics has won a Mt Albert Grammar School teacher a prestigious national award.
Johanna McHardy was awarded a Woolf Fisher Fellowship for excellence in teaching.
The award will pay for her and her husband to go overseas for three weeks to the destination of her choice, where she will research mathematics.
Teachers can’t apply for the fellowship, but are selected by the trust.
“It was the most lovely surprise,” she says.
The award was presented to Mrs McHardy on October 13.
After tutoring for more than a decade, she decided to train as a teacher and started at the school in 2002.
“I did maths for a very long time, just not in a school environment. I enjoy the challenge and joy of maths and imparting that to students.”
Working with young people and helping them to enjoy their education is her passion.
“It’s not just about maths, it’s about life and giving them pathways.”
Although she hasn’t decided where to go on her fellowship, she has a daughter studying as a Commonwealth scholar at Oxford University in England who she would like to visit on her travels.
She is also interested in going to the Freudenthal Institute in Holland or possibly visiting Hungary or Russia.
Planning the trip will have to wait until school is finished and her students have sat their scholarship and NCEA exams, she says.
“I’m going to consult with my students about when they think the trip would have the least impact on their studies. I don’t want it to impact negatively on them.”
On her travels she hopes to visit different schools to see the way maths is taught and get ideas to apply to her teaching when she returns.
“It’s always good to broaden your horizons and look for new ways of doing things.”
Trust secretary Nigel Evans says past fellows and members of the public make recommendations about recipients.
The trust also looks at how schools are doing overall and gets confidential comments from board of trustees members once they have shortlisted candidates.
The winners don’t find out until they get a letter in the mail.
Dr Evans says Mrs McHardy is doing a great job with mathematics at her school.
“She’s absolutely dedicated, just the kind of teacher we are trying to find.”
Dedicated teacher: Johanna McHardy has won a national award for excellence in teaching.