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Image for Accolade for Inspirational Teacher

Article by Kaz Russell-Graham | 25th July 2018

Accolade for Inspirational Teacher

Dan Luck teaches Foundation year at Bridge and Patrixbourne Church of England Primary School and his pigeonhole often has a lot of junk, so when he opened an envelope with the Kent Messenger logo and read: Dear Mr Luck, we are pleased to inform you that you are a winner at the Kent Teacher of the Year awards… he was shocked.

Doubly shocked, since he knew nothing of the nomination.

“I never in a million years thought I’d win something like that,” said Dan, who has been teaching for nine years.

The nomination had come from appreciative parents, and further endorsed by his then head teacher. Parents praised Dan for often going the “extra mile” – for example, setting up a social media group, Leo the Learning Lion, which helped parents follow what was going on in that all important early stage of school.

“Kids often say, ‘I haven’t done anything’ when parents ask them what they’ve done at school,” explains Dan. “I communicate what we did, and how we did it – and put up some photos. It can get valuable conversations going and parents can follow up if they want to.”

Dan was awarded Primary Teacher of the Year and overall Teacher of the Year in the Kent Messenger awards, which he attended with his partner. Everyone had won a category, “but it was the icing on the cake,” he says, “to be overall winner.”

Despite the lovely comments, Dan is humble about the award, recognising that many teachers work in difficult circumstances. “I normally love to be the centre of attention,” he admits, “but I didn’t feel like I deserved it. I imagined a very challenging primary school, and someone who had turned it all around. When the kids gave me a big clap, and said you’re the best teacher in Kent I really liked it, but also thought, ‘OK… but I’m not that good!’”

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