Alastair Field is the headteacher of Roundhay School’s Primary Campus in Leeds. The school recently won the award for ‘Primary School of the Year’ as part of the Pearson National Teaching Awards. Alastair shares why he believes a key part of his role is to spread the word about his fantastic team and the remarkable things they do for their students.
Giving all of yourself to the role
Anyone who works in a school is in a highly privileged position. Working with children and young people is an incredibly rewarding career; no two school days are the same and often, each day can be filled with laughter, joy and opportunities to shape the minds of future generations.
However, working in a school does come with its challenges. At times, it can be a highly pressured environment. This is partly due to the nature of the job - it’s emotive and it’s impossible not to give 100% of yourself every single day. The emotional weight that comes with that can sometimes be heavy.
The cumulative effect of this on staff can be exhausting so providing them with support is a priority for the leadership team. We are incredibly lucky in this country to have an army of education staff who are dedicated, compassionate and will always do their very best for the children and the families that they serve. We must therefore celebrate them!
Amazing things happen in schools
For those who don’t work in education, it’s sometimes hard to picture what goes on inside classrooms. Whilst some still believe it’s a ‘9am-3pm job’, those who work in schools know that this is never the case, and they work incredibly hard.
This is why moments like ‘Thank a Teacher Day’ and The National Teaching Awards are so important. They provide opportunities to celebrate all the amazing things that happen in schools and shout it from the roof tops.
Feeling truly inspired by my team
I am incredibly lucky to be able to work with a team of talented and committed staff. They truly strive for excellence to provide the best possible education for their children. They see their classes as an extended family unit and within that, they see 30 individual, future adults, who need inspiring, teaching and above all, need to feel love from those working with them.
Watching my team move mountains each day for the children that they serve is incredibly inspiring. I have a moral duty to share with my community the fantastic things they are doing.
How I celebrate the brilliant staff at Roundhay School
- I entered our school into the National Teaching Awards to celebrate the amazing team here at Roundhay. They deserved recognition for the things they do. I wholeheartedly recommend that schools get involved with this organisation!
- This year, we will be engaging with the ‘Thank a Teacher’ campaign and I will be encouraging our wider community to take the time to thank any member of staff who has made a difference to their lives.
- It’s my job to share stories, to celebrate exceptional members of staff and to spread the word about the miracles that are being performed in schools each day. I do this through our school newsletters and social media channels.
- Finally, as a school leader, I have a duty to ensure that my staff feel appreciated and that they know how grateful the whole school community is. They go above and beyond each day and they deserve to be recognised for this.This isn’t necessarily about gestures such as providing a special breakfast or donuts in the staffroom (although this does help!). It’s about creating a culture where leaders and colleagues thank each other, celebrate successes and pause to reflect on the truly remarkable things that happen inside schools.
So, take the time in the coming weeks to ‘shout from the roof tops’ about your school staff. Share the stories of our everyday heroes and spread the messages of joy. Thank a teacher, teaching assistant or anybody that works in a school - they all truly deserve to be celebrated!
Join us in celebrating all staff in schools!
The Thank a Teacher campaign recognises all staff working in UK schools and colleges.
Is there a school leader, teacher, teaching assistant, lunchtime supervisor, receptionist, caretaker or cleaner that you would like to thank?