Inspirational Teaching Awards: An Interview with John Healy

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As part of the build up to this year’s Inspirational Teaching Awards, we are interviewing previous winners to find out what winning the award meant to them.

Carolyn Pearse, Communications Officer for New Directions Holdings interviews John Healy, last year’s Inspirational Teaching Award winner for Primary Head and now works for New Directions as a Business Development Officer.

John, it’s almost a year on from winning your inspirational teaching award, how has this impacted your career?

It was a wonderful accolade towards the end of my headship career which ended on a high. I had gone into a school which was failing and it was particularly pleasing that the staff had made the nomination which was collectively achieved. The work I had done had been acknowledged, it boosted my self-esteem and I was extremely proud of my award as was my family, especially my 80 year old mother.

In your opinion, what characteristics does an inspirational teacher need?

– They need to inspire, raise aspirations and make people feel valued so they achieve.
– Be positive; make people feel good about themselves.
– Good leadership, work alongside them which empowers people to fulfil their potential.
– Identify unique potential to develop strengths, not weaknesses to support and nurture talents.

What does the Inspirational Teaching Awards mean to the education community in Wales?

Education help shapes society and our future generation, to be acknowledged and recognised for the work teachers do is fantastic. It motivates people within the education to continue the great work they are doing in a time where education is constantly being criticised.

Was there an impact on the school after winning this award?

Yes, we had a celebration back in school. The award brought people together and the whole school shared the joy of the award. It was fantastic for the school community to be publicly recognised and raised aspirations of the school community.

What would you say to anyone considering nominating someone for this year’s awards?

Go for it! It’s a wonderful way to express gratitude. It lifts moral, acknowledges staff and motivates to achieve more. It develops a sense of pride and brings celebration – the more celebration the better.

Finally, if you hadn’t pursued a career in teaching, what would have been your alternative career?

Hotel Management; I always worked in hotels for holiday jobs and I really enjoyed it.