The University of Newcastle, Australia

Inspiring teacher wins $1,000 prize

Friday, 11 November 2016

Outstanding sessional academic, Tess Rendoth won UON Academy’s $1,000 professional development prize in recognition of excellence and providing an exceptional student experience.

Tess was presented with her award at UON Academy’s end of year celebration and will use the prize money to attend a Sydney-based conference in February, focused on innovative practices towards teaching students with severe learning and profound multiple learning disabilities.

The UON Academy received a number of remarkable nominations after asking the UON community to recognise sessional academics in a 200 word submission.

Deputy Director of Workforce Strategy and Transformation, Tina Crawford said it was wonderful that students took the time to nominate their teachers.

“We were really impressed with Tess’s nomination as it came from one of her students who commented on her level of experience and enthusiasm for the course, and her ability to support and connect with students at every level,” Tina said.

Tess has worked in the School of Education and Arts for eight months. She studied at UON and holds a Bachelor of Teaching/Bachelor of Fine Art (Special education) and a Masters in Special Education.

“This award has really articulated to me what a privilege and honour it is to work with future teachers; to be able to create a learning environment that not only feeds their academic mind, but works to create a sense of meaningful connection, and develops the importance of lifelong learning and enthusiasm for education and inclusive practices within teaching,” Tess said.

“I hope that my students walk away from my class feeling more confident and enthusiastic about working in this space.”

The runners up were Adam Manning, a percussion teacher in the School of Creative Arts and Megan Sharp who works in the English, Language and Foundation Studies Centre. Both were nominated by colleagues.

The $1,000 was funded from prize money that the UON Academy received alongside a Best Practice Award by the Association for Tertiary Education Management (ATEM) in September.

“The UON Academy is proud to recognise and reward sessional academic staff and I am thrilled we could use the ATEM prize money to support a professional development opportunity for Tess,” Tina said.

Tess said she is proud to be part of the UON Academy community.

“I am very excited to see the capacity and positive effect of the UON Academy, and how it will grow and develop in the years to come,” Tess said.

“It is a wonderful initiative and I am proud to be a part of it in some way.”


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