We interviewed Lesley Curtis, winner of last year’s Supply Teacher of the Year award to find out what the award meant to her and how it has impacted on her career.
Lesley was nominated by Liz Keys, Head Teacher from Bryn Celyn Primary School which was the school she was working at, at the time of the awards.
A year on from winning Supply Teacher of the Year award, how has this impacted on your career?
Other schools saw me winning the award, so a lot of teachers now recognise me and particularly ask for me to work in their school.
In your opinion, what characteristics does an inspirational supply teacher need?
An inspirational teacher should put the children’s needs first and make learning exciting and stimulating. Flexibility is important, for example, I can work in nursery all the way up to Year 6 and with special needs. It is also important to get on well with people.
What does the Inspirational Teaching Awards mean to supply teachers in Wales?
I wasn’t aware I was even nominated until my account manager, Anna rang to tell me I had been shortlisted. To be acknowledged is really nice, sometimes as a supply teacher you can feel like you’re not important and not part of the school so the Inspirational Teaching Awards make you feel appreciated.
What would you say to anyone considering nominating someone for this year’s awards?
I’d say do it. You are acknowledging a role someone has played and the hard work they have put in, it’s a great event.
If you hadn’t pursued a career within the teaching sector, what would have been your alternative career?
I had an inspirational teacher myself which made me want to be a teacher since I was 8 years old. I lived in Germany for a period when I was younger and I wasn’t sure I would be able to do teaching so I briefly considered working in the Tourism industry, however I came back to the UK so pursued my career in teaching.