Teachers' achievements need to be showcased, but not through "tacky talent shows" that pick out the "best teacher in Scotland" for adulation, says the leader of the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association.
David Eaglesham will tell his union's annual congress today that new methods of celebrating teachers' talents must be found that avoid subscribing to the cult of idolising the individual.
In an attack on the education awards format favoured by governments north and south of the border, Mr Eaglesham says: "I believe it is invidious to suggest that one can isolate a single teacher and deem them the 'best teacher in Scotland'. It simply does not stand up to scrutiny as a relevant concept, is totally subjective, and based on the reality TV genre. Such 'contests' should play no part in celebrating success in Scottish education. And yet celebrate success we must."
He adds: "We have some of the most talented and gifted young people in the world being taught by some of the most gifted teachers in the world"
He calls on the Scottish Government to set up a group to examine methods of celebrating success in a "typically Scottish way". A possibility might be the "Success Stories" catalogue of good practice in schools, produced until 2004 by the Scottish Parent Teacher Council with the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland, the Scottish Qualifications Authority, and the former Scottish Executive, he suggests. "For a country which has lived for generations on its wit and inventiveness, it ill behoves us to simply ape transatlantic culture."
Meanwhile, Ann Ballinger, SSTA president, will urge delegates to raise their heads above the parapet and support vulnerable colleagues who are being bullied. "Some schools have a management system based entirely on bullying," she says, "and, should a member of staff be daft enough to question a decision made, have no hesitation in crushing that teacher beneath the collective book."
The conference will also debate motions criticising the Government's lack of strategic direction in its implementation of A Curriculum for Excellence, under-resourcing of the reforms, and premature changes to Standard grades and Intermediate 1 and 2 exams.