Congratulations to SET Member Joe Cornmell, who is a Pearson FE Teacher of the Year Silver Award winner.
Joe, who teaches maths at LIPA Sixth Form College in Liverpool, is one of four teachers who will now be considered for the Pearson FE Teacher of the Year Gold Award in October.
Impressively, Joe was nominated for the FE Teacher of the Year awards when he was in only his second full year of teaching.
“When my line manager told me I had won the silver award I heard ‘award’ and for some reason the words ‘maths teacher’ and I thought ‘Brilliant, an award for teaching maths’,” Joe said. “But then I found out it was the FE Teacher of the Year award and I was like ‘ok, I really did not expect that’.”
Joe, who joined SET in 2015, completed his PGCE three years ago when he was 34. Prior to joining LIPA Sixth Form College in 2017, Joe worked for two years at Wirral Metropolitan College.
Joe came late to teaching having done an accounting apprenticeship when he left school at 16, followed by various jobs in his 20s and 30s, including working for the Home Office.
“I worked for the Home Office for six years and I started doing some training of staff there, and that’s when I realised that I wanted to teach,” he said.
It was around the same time that Joe was diagnosed with depression, something that Joe had suffered from since he was in his mid-teens.
“It helped explain a lot. I think my depression held me back to an extent,” Joe said.
Since becoming a teacher and a Member of SET Joe has embraced professional development and is currently studying for a post-graduate qualification in dyscalculia.
He teaches GCSE resit students at the college and aims to complete his QTLS soon, when time allows amid the pressures of juggling work and helping care for his young family.
“I joined SET because I really want to do my QTLS, and all the CPD resources available through SET and ETF are also really good. Plus I like feeling that I’m part of a community of teachers,” Joe said.
Joe was nominated by his line manager, and a fellow SET Member, Amy Deane, who is an English teacher and head of inclusion at the college.
“Teaching GCSE maths resits is one of the toughest jobs in the college,” Amy said.
“One of Joe’s real strengths as a teacher is in building very strong relationships with students. He also reflects on his practice a great deal.
“I think Joe’s Silver Pearson Award is a particular achievement because it’s not usually teachers who take resit subjects who win awards. I’m really pleased and proud that he has received recognition.”
The winners of the Pearson Gold Awards, covering several categories including FE Teacher of the Year, are due to be announced at a gala dinner in London on 21 October, 2018. The BBC programme, Britain’s Classroom Heroes, which is based on the Pearson Teaching Awards is due to be broadcast on BBC2 on 28 October.