In addition, up to 10 Early Career Teachers will receive a prize valued at $10,000 for professional development and a unique mentoring program. The new Early Career category aims to encourage and support teachers in the first five years of their profession who have the commitment, potential and passion to forge a successful teaching career.
Nathan Barker, Head of Community Investment at Commonwealth Bank, says this year’s Awards will help to acknowledge a new cohort of ‘pandemic heroes’.
“The last couple of years have been challenging for many, but especially for Australia’s teachers who have emerged as real-life heroes on the frontline of this evolving pandemic. Ongoing school disruption and various lockdowns across the nation have highlighted the valuable role that teachers have in our society and this year’s Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards will celebrate these incredible educators.
“We’re committed to improving the lives of students and are proud to be working in partnership with Schools Plus to achieve this by elevating teachers to help children reach their full potential,” said Mr Barker.
Rosemary Conn, CEO of Australian Schools Plus, said: “Now more than ever, Australia’s inspirational and dedicated teachers deserve recognition. Amidst life’s challenges and a period of education transformation, the sector has adapted to new ways of learning and teaching. It’s been inspiring to witness our nation’s educators display unwavering leadership, resilience, and commitment to their students and communities over the last couple of challenging years.”
Together, Commonwealth Bank and Schools Plus have maintained a shared vision that ensures their support for education goes to where it’s needed most to provide the greatest impact. Since the beginning of their partnership, 60 Teaching Awards winners have joined the Teaching Fellows group, which is industry-known for making a real difference to students and setting the standard for excellent education practice across the sector.
Rebecca West, a recipient of the 2021 Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards, was recognised for improving outcomes at her school through virtual learning when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Following her Award, Rebecca was named one of the Top 10 teachers in the world at last year’s Global Teacher Prize.
“Like many teachers, the pandemic forced me to quickly develop new learning programs that could be facilitated from home. I’ve always been passionate about making learning fun and engaging, in the classroom and on YouTube, so it was an obvious decision for me to create more educational videos to support my students and provide useful resources for parents and my fellow educators,” said Mrs West.
Mrs West, who is the Bonnyrigg Public School Assistant Principal: Curriculum & Instruction, used the awarded funding to extend her online learning community, build a professional learning network with other teachers, and facilitate connections for students with other schools.
“Being recognised at the 2021 Awards gave me validation that I have such an important role to play in nurturing young minds for the future. Being a teacher is one of the greatest joys in my life, which is why I still feel a great sense of gratitude and appreciation for receiving such high recognition within the profession. I encourage my peers in education to apply for the 2022 Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards as the opportunities as a Teaching Fellow are so beneficial to you, your students and the entire school community,” she said.
Applications and nominations for the Awards are open now and until 27 March 2022. Eligible teachers may either be nominated by someone or apply personally. For more information or to nominate an educator for the 2022 Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards, visit www.teachingawards.com.au.