The last decade has seen a rise in teacher-led action in education. The introduction of The Chartered College of Teaching, providing a platform for teachers to access reams of research, has highlighted the need for teachers to be as up-to-date and aware of the most recent trends and findings in our industry.
The recent fairer funding headteachers' march saw thousands of our school leaders take to the streets and groups such as #WomenEd are supporting female teachers in their bid to achieve leadership positions. Where teachers feel like they aren’t being listened to they are taking steps to right perceived wrongs themselves. They are seeking to take back their own voice that for so long many have tried to assume for them.
To an extent, I felt the same when I looked around at book awards. There are dozens of book awards, some that have been running for many, many years. Some use teachers on their panels, some use children in classrooms, some seek a public vote and some use professors of education or publishing houses to make their decisions.
The Teacher Book Awards, however, is different. It gives every single teacher a voice, whether you are in the Outer Hebrides or Penzance, teaching 4 or 14-year-olds. This is what makes us unique.
We want to know which books are making waves in your classrooms, which books are having the greatest impact on learning and a love of reading. What books are changing lives? Using online voting we are opening up the awards process to every teacher. Every morning, hard working teachers are opening books and inspiring young minds with a book that perhaps doesn’t have the biggest marketing budget, doesn’t happen to be backed by a powerhouse publisher or didn’t happen to be made "book of the month" at Waterstones. These books are often overlooked everywhere but the classroom. The teacher may not be able to buy 30 copies so the sales figures for these books may not be high, but they still deserve recognition. They are still valued.
So the Teacher Book Awards is the opportunity for this. It is the chance for teachers to have a say and vote in up to seven different categories. The categories are:
- Early years and key stage 1
- Key stage 2
- Young adult
- Debut author
The nomination process starts today and will remain open throughout December. At the end of the month a shortlist of the top five most nominated titles or people will be announced.
Teachers in this country do a wonderful job opening young minds to the fantastic books in our shops, libraries and classrooms. So many superb titles have been released this year and we want to hear what ones have meant the most to your class.
To nominate a book, click here.
Ben King is a primary school teacher and the creator the Teacher Book Awards.