The pleasures and responsibilities that teachers have in inspiring future generations of adults was the topic of conversation for both guest speakers at the Education Awards.
Special needs teacher, athletics coach and international triathlete Abi Schofield (26), of Peterborough, shared her inspirational story of how she went from running for emotional release to more demanding sporting pursuits, but for fun.
Abi said: “People often ask me why I teach children with high-functioning autism and do crazy endurance events such as a 48-hour treadmill challenge, marathons and triathlons.
“The truth is they give me pride and happiness that I want to pass onto other people.
“I would therefore implore anyone to make time for anything that gives you that fire in your belly.
“Whether it be sport, music, art or animals, find something simply for your own happiness.
“For me, to work with children is a privilege and the best thing you can do for children, as educators, is to believe in them - even when they themselves don’t.
“As educators, we have a wonderful opportunity to support children in finding their talents and interests.
“Therefore, the best thing you can do for children as educators is to believe in them, even when they themselves don’t.
“Equip them with the self-confidence and mental strength to carry them through life’s challenges because we have an opportunity to leave our legacy, and our mark, on the young minds that will outlive us.“
As educators, we have a wonderful opportunity to support children in finding their talents and the best thing you can do is to believe in them, even when they don’t believe in themselvesAbi Schofield, Peterborough-based special needs teacher, athletics coach and international triathlete
The awards night was rounded off by South Holland and the Deepings MP John Hayes whose speech focused on the “powers of community, endeavour, purpose, pride and shared achievement”.
Mr Hayes said: “These awards are an emerging tradition and they are now three years in.
“I hope that they continue year after year.”