Teaching Awards

11 Sep 2007

I have had the great pleasure of visiting schools this past week or so as part of the judging process for the Teaching Awards. I have been judging in the Outstanding New Teacher category. Obviously I cannot comment on any individuals, as that has to remain confidential for now. But I can say that it has been a real delight to talk to students, parents, and fellow teachers and hear such ringing endorsements of the finalists. The students, in particular, were very astute and also very insightful and funny. They really know how to capture the essence of their teacher's abilities.

I know some people dislike these awards, arguing that it is wrong to pick out individuals when teaching is a team effort. After my experience as a judge, I have to disagree. Of course there will always be an element of lottery about who emerges as the final winner but the whole process is good for the teaching profession if it makes cynical old journalists like me realise just how many dedicated and skilled teachers there are out there.  

Many other professions have their 'stars' highlighted in the media  (think of the Oscars) and I think teaching deserves its place too.

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