The Teaching Awards is an amazing way to recognise and celebrate the work of many inspirational educational staff member whether it’s in a mainstream or specialist school.
I was honoured to find out that I had been nominated in 2016 for Teaching Assistant of the Year by my fellow colleagues and students. The journey was amazing, it included a visit from previous winners who had come to see me within my school and to meet with staff, parents and student that I work with and I was very overwhelmed with what feedback I got from just doing my everyday job. I remember the day that I took my students from my tutor room to the year team assembly and it was during this that the principle announced that I had won a Silver Award and had been put forward along with three others from around the UK for the gold award. I couldn’t believe it, all I can remember is the whole year group screaming and shout “well done Tills” I was so emotional and tried to speak but I just started to cry, happy tears I should say though, and everyone ran to hug me. After that I was invited to the House of Commons to meet with other winners which was amazing and then of course there was the amazing TV awards hosted by Hugh Dennis. The night was fantastic with great hospitality and there were lots of brilliant winners and even though I didn’t win the gold, it will be a night and year I will never forget.
Since winning a Silver award I have now become Support Centre Lead within my school and oversee the day to day running of our Support Centre and ASC Specialist Provision. The school have been very supportive of me and trained me to become what I am now and all this has happened within a year of winning my award. This is all thanks the Stoke Damerel Community Colleges SENCO Marie Barrett who has alway pushed and supported me.
Stoke Damerel Community College is an amazing place which put a lot into helping our students, I am extremely proud of all the staff and how they go out of their way to support our student with special educational needs and help them with both the academic skills as well as the social skills that they need. One example that stands out for me is watching one of our students from our ASC specialist Provision going from being taught in a class of 2 with support from a TA (myself) to being transitioned into the mainstream classes and seeing him become more and more independent and then celebrating with him at the end of year 11 when he got the 4th highest results out of 240 students from the year group. He is now in our sixth form, fully independent and ready to step out into the world of work.
I am very proud to be working in such an amazing school which I see really as one massive happy loving family.
Nathan Tills, Stoke Damerel Community College
Silver Winner, Teaching Assistant of the Year, 2016