A national teaching prize worth $20,000 has been presented to a Tauranga teacher who produces video lessons for his students.

Mike Scott, of Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, was awarded one of 12 Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching awards at an awards' ceremony in Wellington last night.

An electrical and electronics tutor, Mr Scott has been at the polytech for eight years.

He was nominated by the polytech and had to submit a portfolio describing, in 8000 words, his career and what he does in the classroom.


Mr Scott said he had trouble trimming his written submission from 13,000 words.

He thought the reason he had been nominated was because he won an award at the institute for innovative teaching.

"I started using laptops and computers in a 'flipped classroom'. It's where I produce video content and material for students to look at at home and prepare them for a lesson. Then when they come into class, they can get straight into the activity.

"I've been doing that since the start of this year and wouldn't look back."

Mr Scott began his career as an apprentice in the Royal Mail in England, then began studying at a college in east London. He got a job as a tutor at the college, while he was still studying, then stayed there for 15 years until moving to New Zealand in 2005.

Mr Scott, his wife and two children, planned to travel the country via campervan but when they got to Tauranga, loved it so much they decided to stay.

"I love working with the students here. The environment is just fantastic and the campus, compared to east London which is one of the most deprived areas - it's a total contrast."

The $20,000 prize will be used for buying new filming equipment, including a new computer, software, camera and lighting equipment.

Dr Peter Coolbear, director of Ako Aotearoa and member of the awards' committee, said there were 37 nominations for the awards this year and each of their portfolios reinforced that the best of New Zealand teaching was world class.