Published: 12:00, 16 February 2018
If there’s one thing bound to get a teacher’s goat, it’s the “you get such long holidays!” refrain.
An education specialist at Kent County Council is hoping the Kent Teacher of the Year Awards will help to correct that misconception – and show people the immense amount of uncredited work that teachers put in.
Joanne Winkler, senior advisor on teaching and learning, said: “An enormous amount of thought goes into excellent teaching.
“The public see teachers enjoying lengthy holidays, but when it’s term time they are working seven days a week, including in the evenings. They are on the go all the time and the pressure is huge.
“Recruitment is difficult; there’s a shortage of teachers, and we are asking teachers to do more. Some teachers go above and beyond, and the awards are about recognising some of the work that goes on over the year that doesn’t necessarily get credited.
“It’s a public thank you, a way of recognising the importance of teachers and other people who work in schools to improve children’s life chances - because that is what everyone who works in a school is about.”
One example of a teacher who went above and beyond was Joanne’s PE teacher Miss Tipple, who taught her at school in Brighton.
“PE was my favourite subject, and she was very good. I was part of the netball team - I wouldn’t have said I was a great player, but I really wanted to play, and I grew from that,” Joanne said.
“I am a Brighton FC fan and so was she, and when my dad couldn’t take me to the football, she used to take me with her family.”
The Kent Teacher of the Year Awards are open to anyone who does paid or unpaid work in a school or further education college in Kent, Bromley, or Bexley – including teachers, volunteers, governors, and non-teaching staff.
Members of the public and schools must make their nominations by Thursday, March 1. The winners will be invited to a prestigious awards ceremony in May at the Mercure Great Danes Hotel in Maidstone.
The awards are organised by the KM Charity Team and supported by Kent County Council, Medway Council, the University of Kent, Kent Further Education, Kent Sport, Canterbury Christ Church University, the University of Greenwich, 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 nominate someone, visit www.kentteacheroftheyear.co.uk