#TOTY……..

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My year as teacher of the year……

I can’t believe it was a year ago I was named as Scottish teacher of the year. What a hoot.
When I found out I had been nominated I nearly died. I didn’t think I was doing anything special, I was just doing my job. I was just doing what I thought every teacher did. Looking after the weans.
Which let’s be honest, it is not a job. It’s a privilege.
I have written before about coming to my department and I have written about leaving it too.
Being recognised for doing something you think everyone does is both a joy and a total riddy.
The award ceremony itself was a lavish affair which if I am honest, overawed me a wee bit. A very good friend of mine described it as taking one for the team and that sometimes it was nice to enjoy everything that was good and great about Scottish education, and he was right.
We are good at criticising when something is wrong, when it gets frustrating and when we think we can’t go on.
I had the joy of seeing such hardworking education heroes being given a bit of recognition, and in some way I felt like a spare part.
There was me, a wee lassie from the top end of the scheme who had grafted but most of all had poured every bit of herself into the weans. For better or worse.
I genuinely didn’t expect it ( and had been told on the qt there was no chance I would…..) when they announced my name I was genuinely rendered speechless. Thankfully I had nice shoes on.
We had a lovely lunch and I walked with my HT to get the bus as I was training that evening.
I stuck the award in my bag and off I went.
Didn’t mention it at training.
Went home and went to bed as I was shattered and was heading to train in another authority the next day.
Again I didn’t say anything, and no one else did.
I got back to school the following week to the most fabulous from my weans, they were waiting for me at 7am.
The girls in the department were magical and it was as much an award for them as you can only be as good as the team you work with.
It was strange at school, well, I am sure you know what it was like. One member of staff asked one of my team So what is she really like to work with?
I just do what it says on the tin.
Teach weans, develop the curriculum and report to parents.
My parents were beyond themselves. So proud of their wee lassie and made a real fuss and my wee lady told anyone who would listen.
Her pride in me( at 5 years old) is something I will never forget. My pride in my students who nominated me and talked to inspectors, visitors and all sorts was the same.
I had no idea how much the wee things mattered to them. But they didn’t know how much they meant to me.
And how much they still do.
Being teacher of the year didn’t bring me fame and fortune, it gave me a quiet sense of beginnings.
I had many people asking what do you think you do that is so different to what every other teacher does?
Nada. But then I don’t think I have the same idea of what a teacher should be.
The weans called me their lingo mammy. I can think of no greater compliment.
I have just finished a teacher survey on job satisfaction and I genuinely still wake up every morning thinking yaaassss it’s work.
Granted I am doing a different role now but in a place to better support teachers and teachers to be. One of my mantras is if we don’t have inspired teachers then we can’t have inspired weans.
It’s been a pure pleasure. Teacher of the year. #TOTY14.

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