Life Membership – Jan Robertson

Jan RobertsonIt was a special honour to be able to bestow a Life Membership Award on Jan Robertson at the NZALT Conference 2016 in Nelson.    Jan has served both NZALT and the broader languages community for many years, and has made an outstanding contribution to the aims and work of NZALT, and to the teaching and learning of German in Aotearoa-New Zealand.  Having become a member of NZALT in 1986, Jan’s service to NZALT is remarkable and unparalleled in its variety.   The full citation will be published in December in The New Zealand Language Teacher.  In the photo, Jan wears the taonga (greenstone pendant) that was gifted to her by NZALT alongside the award.

In an open letter to Executive and our members, Jan writes:

I would like to thank you all once again for the very great honour bestowed on me when I was awarded Life Membership of NZALT at the Nelson Conference. I was overwhelmed to be acknowledged by the Association, and very touched that Gail Spence, who has always been an inspiration to me, and whom I followed as President, flew in from Wellington for the occasion. That also meant a great deal to me.

Being a member of the NZALT Executive was fantastic PD, especially as I was teaching at the time in Dunedin, which seemed as a region to be far away from the rest of the country and from understanding the current teaching and learning languages issues. NZALT became politically active under Gail’s leadership, and has continued to be so, with dialogues opening up with the Ministry of Education and with NZQA, thus improving outcomes for students, as teachers have had a voice that has been listened to.

The strength of NZALT is its political forum with all languages teachers being united for the benefit of teaching and learning. I would exhort all members to take a turn on the Executive, as this is worthwhile personally and professionally.

Thank you NZALT. I had an amazing 16 years full of hard work, intensive discussions, serious thought, travel, sharing teaching and learning gems, and lots of fun and laughter, with colleagues and friends I will always treasure.

Warmest regards, Jan Robertson