Proud moment for Halswell Residential College as Maree Edwards receives teaching award from Minister of Education
Maree Edwards, a teacher at Halswell Residential College in Christchurch has won a National Teaching in Excellence Award for outstanding work in the teaching and support of autistic children and those with complex social behavioural and learning needs. Her mother, Erin Cairns, Principal of Ruru Special School in Invercargill also won a National Leadership Award in Education with both awards being presented at Parliament early in May.
“I’m very pleased and honoured to receive it and very conscious that teaching is very much a team effort to ensure that the individual educational needs of students are met”, Maree said.
Nominated by a Wellington parent of an autistic child, who spent 2 years in residence at Halswell College, he describes the most wonderful and enjoyable time his son spent at the college in Ms Edward’s class. These were the best years in his school life where he excelled to the point that he won prizes at the school for great improvement. She made an outstanding contribution to his education and wellbeing said Stuart McLaren, parent of Julian (now 14 years old). We attended and viewed her teaching in class and were astounded at her meticulous lesson planning, record keeping and innovative delivery of education. She not only extended each child to their ability but also included all the students in classroom activities. Ms Edwards valued all input from other professionals at the college and regularly consulted us as the parents for advice to ensure the very best of outcomes.
Since the Christchurch February earthquake, Ms Edwards has moved from the classroom to become an outreach support teacher for the college’s Learning and Behavioural Support programme.