Rena Heap

Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching

Senior Tutor, School of Science Mathematics and Technology Education, Faculty of Education, The University of Auckland

“Teaching the teachers.”


Rena says that 'teaching well is complex and challenging, so teaching others how to teach is doubly challenging'. She impresses on all levels by inspiring people, valuing learning, and opening minds.

Her work is self-aware, reflective, responsive, and trusting in her learners. By creating powerfully positive relationships, her classes move beyond participation into real engagement. Her willingness to take risks is rewarded by opening learners’ eyes to new ways of capturing young minds in future classrooms. A learner says 'you teach as if you’ve glitter in your veins! You have inspired me to teach'.

As a role model for pedagogical excellence, she transforms her learners to do great things. Her classes epitomise theory-in-action by making science fascinating, relevant, and fun. Many different methods and innovative exercises are used to stimulate interest in learning and to harness her content and pedagogical leadership into creating classroom success.

A peer adds that Rena possesses 'an indefinable quality that makes a teacher unforgettable'. One learner concludes with hope – that 'I can inspire and engage my learners the way you have me'.