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Everyone who reads my blog knows how I feel about Teaching Assistants. The ones in my school are absolutely wonderful. They are hard working people who dedicate their working lives to the care, welfare and education of the poorly children in their care. They often complete the hardest jobs in school for the least money. With this in mind it gave me the greatest pleasure to nominate one of our fabulous TAs for an education award. She stands out from the crowd as an example of excellence in Teaching Assistants. Her name is Niki and she is our ICT Network Support Manager.

Niki is a level 4 TA and by golly she works hard! Her role has two elements to it. First she has classroom duties to attend to. This includes devising care plans and feeding plans for the children in her class. As class TA she expertly differentiates all lessons allowing every child in class to access the lesson fully using various means of technology. Her second role is as ICT Network Support Manager. In a nutshell Niki keeps all the tech at our school running. This is no small feat considering every child has their own PC, laptop, communication aid or ipad. We have Interactive Whiteboards, video equipment and a brand new website. Niki is currently populating the website with our required content. She is so skilled that she is able to support the children with external accreditation in ICT ensuring that all students reach their full potential. She has also taught our older students how to make videos which has enabled them to win awards in their own right. Our school has won the ‘Ace ICT Award’ for innovative use of ICT and Niki spearheaded this award. She also guided the school through the ‘The Third Millenium Award’ for ICT. These are just a couple of the awards that Niki has helped us to gain.

Niki is dedicated to furthering the use of ICT in school as she believes that if a child can access technology this will open doors for them in the future. To this end she works tirelessly training TAs and teachers so that we can all help the children towards a better future.

This is the reason why I nominated Niki for an award. On Tuesday evening my school turned out in force to support Niki in her bid. She of course was terrified. We had teachers, TAs and some children in the audience. Her Mum and young daughter were also present. As the names of the short listed nominees were called out I heard Niki’s daughter say ‘That’s my Mum’. She said it with such pride in her voice that she brought a lump to my throat. For a brief second, when the announcement was made I felt as though the World had stopped turning. I desperately wanted Niki to win, and hearing the pride from her daughter only compounded that thought. Then came the announcement and Niki had won! Obviously our school representatives made rather a lot of noise with our cheering and clapping. Niki and the children went off to collect the award and the prizes. Niki returned to her seat with the trophy and her Mum and daughter were thrilled. As a school we couldn’t have been more proud. Huge smiles adorned the faces of all our staff and children.

So there we have it. Our fabulous TA has won the ‘Innovation in Technology’ award for 2013. Well done Niki. A wonderful accolade for our TA. Be very proud! 😃 TA celebration day is November 29th. Niki and our TAs will certainly be celebrating.