A Rotorua teacher has been recognised nationally for the hard work and dedication shown to his pupils and profession.
Otonga Rd Primary School teacher Shaun Wood was recently named runner-up in the primary school category in the New Zealand's Most Inspiring Teacher campaign.
Mr Wood said he was shocked to learn of the win.
"I can't believe so many pupils thought greatly of me. I closely connect with the kids themselves as individuals, not just where they have come from, or their previous class, or what other teachers think of them," he said.
"I do a lot of e-learning, so I try to make the learning really fun and relevant for all of my students. I find the interesting things to connect their learning to [is] what gets them going, and they love that because they are engaged and having fun."
Mr Wood said many teachers had a "calling" for the profession and went into it because they loved working with children and making an impact on their lives.
"There is evidence of an ageing workforce, however, I also think there are lots of great new teachers being pumped into schools who bring with them new ideals of how children can learn and be taught."
Cameron Baldwin, 10, wrote the winning nomination for his teacher, saying Mr Wood's dedication and enthusiastic approach made him inspiring.
"He has shown so much enthusiasm and dedication to his class, showing us parts of his life, sharing his lunch with us when we have forgotten ours, and he will be hungry, so we are full.
"He has shown his creativity by coming up with amazing new ideas to learning, and creating cool things that are bold and unique to show us things, like building a volcano," Cameron said.
"He has so much drive, when he arrives to class every morning it's always going to be a good day.
"He has inspired me and many others to follow our dreams no matter what ... simply by loving us, and building up our confidence and trust in him, and ourselves. He is the best teacher I have had, and the kindest."
Mr Wood will receive a tablet and smartphone, office furniture, and an assortment of classroom stationery items from Warehouse Stationery in recognition of his hard work.
Otonga Rd Primary School will receive stationery and a $500 Warehouse Stationery gift card.