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Celebrate your school's guiding stars

Would you have chosen a different career if you’d had better advice about your strengths and talents when you were at school?

Debbie Lloyd from CXK which is supporting the Kent Teacher of the Year Awards 2018.
Debbie Lloyd from CXK which is supporting the Kent Teacher of the Year Awards 2018.

Kent charity CXK, which helps young people into training and employment, knows a skilled advisor can change the course of a person’s life – and is encouraging people to nominate their careers teachers in the Kent Teacher of the Year Awards.

“An inspirational careers teacher can make such a difference to a person’s life in terms of helping them consider their strengths and weaknesses and the different pathways they could follow,” explained Debbie Lloyd, the charity’s assistant director of career management.

“We want to encourage them and recognise the fantastic work that they do.

“Quite often young people form views on certain occupations early on – for example, doctors and engineers are thought to be men. People can dismiss things because they think it’s not what girls do or not what boys do.

“We are keen to dispel some of those myths at an early age, and careers advice is so important in all of that.”

Her own favourite teacher – headmaster John Spalding, at Deanwood Primary School in Rainham – seemed to inspire young people everywhere he went.

“He was very creative, supportive and encouraging and interested in all his pupils. He was keen to enable youngsters to be the best they could be and would flex the curriculum to try to get those who wouldn’t do well in certain environments to engage,” Debbie recalled.

“He was so committed to the work he did. He was keen on extra-curricular activities and he and his wife used to do cookery classes after school in their own house. I remember lots of kids each baking their own Christmas cake.

“We kept in touch, and he and his wife became good friends with my parents. He died just before Christmas, and there were young people at his memorial speaking about the impact he had had on their lives - and a foreign family who came across from the Continent for the service, who said he’d become their honorary grandfather.

“I wrote a letter that was published in the Sunday Times when I was about 12, and after he died, his wife passed me a copy of the letter that he had framed and kept on his desk all those years.”

The Kent Teacher of the Year Awards are open to anyone who does paid or unpaid work in a school in Kent, Bromley or Bexley – teachers, volunteers, governors and non-teaching staff.

The deadline for nominations is Thursday, March 1 – and you can nominate several people if you want to, or a whole team together. The winners will be celebrated at an awards ceremony at the Mercure Great Danes Hotel in Maidstone in May.

The awards are organised by the KM Charity Team and supported by Kent County Council, the University of Kent, Kent Sport, Canterbury Christ Church University, the University of Greenwich, Kent Further Education, Three R’s Teacher Recruitment, MY Trust, Social Enterprise Kent, Beanstalk, the Mercure Great Danes Hotel, CXK, Salus, LoopCR, Kreston Reeves, and Diggerland.

For more information, or to make a nomination, visit www.kentteacheroftheyear.co.uk.

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