Teaching is more than just a five-day job for Trudi Bertie - she also puts in extra effort to get out and watch her students' weekend sports games or competitions.
Now the Northland teacher has come second in the primary/intermediate category of the search for New Zealand's Most Inspiring Teachers run by Warehouse Stationery.
Ms Bertie - known as Miss B to pupils at Maungakaramea School - started her teaching career at the rural school three and a half years ago.
"My Mum was always like 'be a teacher, be a teacher' and I was like 'no', because you never listen to your Mum.
"I did an after-school and holiday programme and from there I just got into it and it was something that really clicked."
Ms Bertie, 27, studied a Bachelor of Education at the University of Auckland's Te Tai Tokerau campus in Whangarei and graduated in 2012.
Her working day starts about 8am and ends about 5pm but it is not uncommon for her to spend extra time building relationships with her students and their families.
As a result, six parents nominated her for the inspiring teacher award.
"They mentioned how hard I'd worked because I go to a lot of the kids' sports games on Saturdays and dance competitions. I put in a lot of hours after school and on weekends and holidays. They say their kids have gone from not liking school to loving school.
That is pretty cool," she said. Teachers from all over the country are nominated for New Zealand's Most Inspiring Teachers competition each year. Public voting is held and the top 100 nominations proceed to a three-strong judging panel.
Ms Bertie said it was "humbling" to be considered inspiring but said it was important for her to make that extra effort.
"It's pretty special when you go out and see the kids' faces when they see you there, and the excitement they have."
Ms Bertie said she loved teaching.
"I love the kids and every day is really different, which is neat. Every day there's something fun happening and I get to control what happens in the classroom."