Tuesday, 26 January 2010

My colleague Carol Armitage, Prevent Education Coordinator in our Equality and Entitlement Team, sent me this e-mail today...

"Hi Chris, Just to say I read your weekly comment with interest. It is always positive and still reminds me of why I became a teacher. You talk about the outstanding and inspirational staff working in schools and I would agree with you. What I find difficult to understand is that the teaching awards receive relatively few nominations from the Education Leeds area. As a judge part of my role is to promote the awards, sadly because of my role I cannot nominate. I wondered if you had any thoughts on how we could encourage schools to become involved. Where there has been involvement the impact on the school community has been far reaching.
Best wishes, Carol."

It frustrates me that more Leeds schools don't get involved with the Teaching Awards. Like Carol I think they encourage, motivate and inspire colleagues and schools and I fail to understand why so many people are so resistant to being associated or nominated. There is still something about awards and the connections for some colleagues with elitism, the concept of excellence and being the best at something.

We have so many extra-ordinary colleagues here in Leeds who should be nominated and I hope every school in Leeds will think about who they might nominate for an award. Carol is right that where schools have got involved with the teaching awards the impact is far reaching. I remember when Tony Blair visited one of our schools, when I worked in York, to personally present a colleague with the Primary Teacher of the Year Award and it was fantastic.

I would welcome feedback from colleagues about how we might further encourage colleagues and schools to enter for the Teaching Awards. All ideas welcome.


1 comment:

Peter Harris said...

Leeds did have a couple of regional teaching award winners and other shortlisted regional finalists last year. As a recipient of an award last year I can confirm that it is a fantastic experience. I knew nothing of my nomination and I was embarrassed at first. It was a considerable amount of work for the person nominating and I imagine that they would have been very disappointed had I not been shortlisted. When we asked parents for support for the nomination it was wonderful to read their positive comments about my work and, most importantly, the impact of the school as a whole. The teaching award is now a source of pride for me and for the school - it is displayed prominently in our foyer!

As a head teacher I find it hard to nominate for fear of that accusation of favouritism. Perhaps the publicity for the award should be directed more at other staff, directly to governors and to parents?

Having been a bit of a sceptic previously, I can now recommend involvement in the awards as a really positive experience.