Inspiration both seen and hidden

6th July 2007 at 01:00
The achievement of award-winning PE teacher Aimee Jones in cajoling a pupil into becoming a county-standard athlete is truly remarkable (page 3).

She took one of the most troubled pupils in her school and understood that trying to force this girl into gym kit would only end in tears. Instead, she demonstrated patience and empathy in finally exposing the hidden talent in a teenager that most had written off.

But however admirable this end-of-school-year story is, there are examples of excellent teaching practice and similar stories in schools in Wales that we never get to hear about at red carpet events.

This teacher was lucky enough to be in a school with a supportive head where her efforts did not go unnoticed under a mountain of paperwork. But how many teachers are left feeling that their hard work has not been appreciated in schools that are really up against it financially and otherwise?

Sharing good practice is an important part of the Assembly government's agenda. The General Teaching Council for Wales is forever seeking promotion for teacher-led conferences where ideas can be given and taken away. But, unless under-pressure heads are willing to allow staff time out, these ideas won't be exchanged or heard.

Today, more teachers have been nominated for awards. Following on from the Wales finals of the UK Teaching Awards, another ceremony held in Cardiff will recognise the inspirational achievements of teachers over a three-course lunch and a bottle of wine.

Not only will teachers be recognised but support staff too. But however impressed and humbled we are to see and read about these winning heads, teachers and secretaries, a thought should also be spared for the hundreds of other excellent teachers and support staff across Wales whose achievements will stay locked in classrooms forever and all because someone was just too busy to notice.

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