Pukekohe Intermediate teacher Nicola Gibson has been bestowed the Jim Campbell Award for Excellence in Teaching by the New Zealand Association of Mathematics Teachers (NZAMT).
Nicola’s passion and enthusiasm for mathematics, together with her desire to share her knowledge with her peers and students has been evident to teachers within the schools where she has taught and in the wider Franklin community, is inspirational.
Having achieved her Master in Mathematics in 2015, she has become a leader in maths teaching in the Franklin area and a great role model and mentor to new teachers.
Nicola moved to Franklin from Rotorua around ten years ago and has been involved in the local Mathex quiz events for children in years five to eight for the last seven years.
The last two years she has been the coordinator and taken responsibility for writing the questions and then analysing the results. Following this process there are plans to hold workshops to assist with the teaching of mathematics in the areas that students find challenging emphasising a problem solving approach.
This year, Nicola has the position within the Community of Learning (COL) for Pukekohe, which involves 17 schools. She was chosen for this posting because of her maths background and the expertise that she willingly shares among the schools.
The senior management team at Pukekohe Intermediate School, observed her teaching practice and noted the improvement made by priority students in her class, not only in outcomes but also in engagement. She always supports her lessons with equipment and works with small groups encouraging a problem solving approach.
Student’s attitude towards mathematics and their confidence in their own ability has improved greatly. Nicola has provided for extension groups to compete in the Otago Maths Challenge.