National excellence award for passionate teacher of te reo Māori in teacher education
Kay-Lee Jones has helped nurture a love for te ao Māori in over 2000 student teachers in the University of Canterbury’s (UC) School of Teacher Education.
Kay-Lee Jones’ dedication to sharing her love of te reo Māori with student teachers who are earning the language and culture, has been rewarded with an Ako Aotearoa Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award.
The UC lecturer’s dedication and accomplishment has been recognised with a prestigious Ako Aotearoa Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award (Kaupapa Māori) announced today, as one of nine recipients nationally.
“To me as an educator teaching the next generation of kaiako (teachers), excellence means preparing our teachers to empower tamariki (children) to walk confidently in both Māori and Pākehā worlds,” she says.
Learning te reo Māori
Jones has always been very proud of her whakapapa Māori and has pursued opportunities to learn her ancestral language. In her upbringing Māori songs were sung and the odd Māori phrase or word usually pertaining to kai (food) were spoken, but te reo Māori wasn’t an everyday language of the home.