The Queensland College of Teachers held their TEACHX Awards on Thursday night the 30th of October, 2020 digitally via video conference with some live components and some taped components. The next day was World Teacher’s Day.
The previous year we had held the event in Customs House.
Last year I had been tapped to accompany the former chair of the Board of Teacher Registration (QCT’s predecessor) Miss Merline Muldoon last year. Miss Muldoon had just become the award eponym for the Innovation in Teaching category. She shared war stories with the finalists of the category. Long retired their individual experiences remained the same – their passion for education shared.
On that night as each Finalist received their certificate and each winner gave a short speech there was a feeling in the air that is hard to explain but contained good will, pride and optimism for the education of students across the state. It may be hard to quantify how such events elevate the profession but if you were there on the night you were left in no doubt that they do.
With COVID the challenge was always going to be how to create as much of this in a new setting without human contact.
Last year I had been introduced by my manager in front of the finalists as the one who wrote half of their stories – a proud and rewarding moment for me.
I had been honoured to wait on Miss Muldoon.
This year I sat at my desk and listened to the ceremony on headphones.
The ceremony went well I believe and hopefully the teachers and their schools got something out of it. The nominees, finalists and winners were as deserving as any other year.
Afterwards I was very kindly invited to go out with the rest of the team and celebrate the completion of all of our hard work. We had a little champagne at the Regatta and toasted each other and what we had achieved as a team.
Last year the TEACHX Awards, rebranded significantly by some very hard working and talented colleagues and with the media releases prepared by me and my manger, received unprecedented media coverage.
At the time it was discussed that this would be highly unlikely to be repeated two years running due to the Awards being held in the final week of the Queensland State elections.
Then COVID-19 happened and one result of the that was the shrinking of media offices in the country.
Despite this and due to the sterling efforts of my manager there was a lot of coverage in the press.
Of the teachers I interviewed.
Media Sponsor The Courier Mail wrote a large article about the Awards and all Finalists.
Quest Newspapers also covered the Award Categories and Finalists and highlighted five Logan teachers Ping Ding, Donald Cameron, Sophie Gruhl, Margaret Sherrington and Michael King. It also covered Cameron Lynch and Gavin Jones. I had interviewed Ping Ding, Donald Cameron, Gavin Jones and Cameron Lynch.
Finalist Ben Habermehl was interviewed on ABC Breakfast Radio Brisbane by Craig Zonca and Loretta Ryan.
Finalist Donald Cameron was interviewed on ABC Breakfast Radio Brisbane by Craig Zonca and Loretta Ryan which is linked below.
A message from the Director of the Queensland College of Teachers was also published in The Courier Mail and can be found on the QCT’s website too.
Finally I will share one final story about one special teacher.
My manager wrote about a shortlisted nominee 82 year-old teacher Dell Rathbone, she then interviewed Dell and wrote about her as a Finalist.
Then no doubt with some help from my manager, Dell Rathbone was featured on the national television program The Project. To have shared Dell Rathbone’s story with such a wide audience is such a wonderful thing to have happened.