Two QLD teachers take home 2015 Commbank Teaching Awards

MORE than four in five Queenslanders (89 per cent) think it's important to celebrate teachers who are inspiring excellence in the classroom, according to new research from CommBank.

The survey of 1,000 Australians revealed more than one in four Queenslanders (27 per cent) have had a teacher that has influenced their choice of career and the vast majority (89 per cent) believe a good teacher can change a person's life.

Queenslanders acknowledge the positive influence teachers have on both the professional and personal lives of their students, saying:

  • A good teacher helps students make better life decisions (82 per cent).
  • They have personally had a teacher who has influenced their life and contributed to their personal success (51 per cent).
  • They will never forget a good teacher (87 per cent).

The research comes just before World Teacher's Day on Monday 5 October, and following CommBank's announcement of the winners of the 2015 Teaching Awards. The Teaching Awards recognise and reward teachers who are committed to developing their students' essential money management skills.

Commenting on the research, Kylie Macfarlane, General Manager Corporate Responsibility, Commonwealth Bank said, "There are so many creative and passionate teachers in Australia and it's great to see the nation recognises the importance of celebrating excellence in the classroom.

"We believe that better schools make a better country, and great schools are built on great teachers. We congratulate our 15 Teaching Award winners this year on the positive impact they have had on their students and school," she said.

Parents and Financial Skills

Overall, Queensland parents are confident they have strong financial skills with two thirds rating their skills as above average (67 per cent). However, parents still look to teachers for help with almost two thirds (63 percent) not confident to teach their children money skills. The most common reasons cited by Queensland parents include:

  • Not feeling they are expert in the area (24 per cent).
  • Believing children have access to more information through the internet and social media (16 percent).
  • Believing children are taught differently in schools today than when they were young (14 per cent).
  • Believing they are not up-to-date with the latest information (14 per cent)

Education and Financial Skills

Most Queenslanders (90 per cent) believe it is important for teachers to be involved in educating children about general money and financial management at school. The top five financial skills found to be the most important for children to learn at a young age include:

  • Differentiating between needs and wants (71 per cent).
  • Saving money (70 per cent).
  • Knowing how to budget (69 per cent).
  • Different ways of earning income (38 per cent).
  • Balancing accounts (35per cent).

2015 teaching awards

Fiona Baker
Calvary Christian College - Springwood, Brisbane QLD

The Year 6 students of Calvary Christian College run a café that caters for staff and parents on a weekly basis. Fiona plans to establish a student-run tuck shop selling food and drinks to students twice a week, with funds raised going back into the program to ensure its sustainability.

Gayle MacGregor
Mt Molloy State School - Mt Molloy QLD

Gayle MacGregor plans to make the most of the school's wood-fired pizza oven and kitchen garden to set up Pumpin' Pizzas - a pizza restaurant that hosts pizza nights for the local community. The project will provide students with lifelong skills in a wide range of financial areas, as well as develop their entrepreneurial potential in a fun and supportive environment.

The Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards recognise 15 teachers across Australia with $10,000 to further develop their financial education initiative, as well as an additional $2,000 personal reward for their efforts.

This year's program has been extended for the first time to include four additional category winners - a National Winner, an Innovation Award, a Technology Award and a Speciality Award.

The winners will be presented with their award by Ian Narev, Commonwealth Bank Chief Executive Officer, at a special ceremony in Sydney on Wednesday, 30 September.

"From using technology to connect senior school students as mentors to primary school students, or running an engaging training facility in an op-shop for special needs students, our winning teachers have designed outstanding programs to develop the essential money management skills of their students.

"We are delighted to recognise these excellent teachers and are inspired by their dedication," said Ms Macfarlane.

The Teaching Awards form part of CommBank's 25-year commitment to improving Australian education outcomes. This includes an initial $50 million investment over the next three years. 

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