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How not to hold a staff awards meeting

We're here to recognise the achievements of so-and-so for his transformative approach to something or other, says Tom Starkey...

  • How not to hold a staff awards meeting

Staff awards

GL (Deputy Vice Principal), BN, RR, CL

Apologies from:
GB. Apparently he’s at a ‘thought leader’ conference. He might want to lead his thoughts towards attending a meeting once in a while (especially as he’s the one getting the award).

Meeting held in:
Assembly hall – possibly in an attempt to find a room big enough to fit GB’s ego, had he turned up.

Item 1 – And the winner is…

An obviously excited GL has called the meeting to go over the details of the staff achievement awards, where the highlight would be a recognition award for GB, for his dynamic approach to something or other.

“It’s great that GB is getting recognition for how much he’s given to the school, and the way that he’s transformed the areas he’s working on. It’s quite remarkable how much he’s done. Such a dynamic personality. Just yesterday we were discussing workflow, and synergy and…”

CL put his hand up.


“As much as I’m all for staff getting praise for the job they do, I’ve just got one question.”


“Who is he?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, I don’t know who you’re on about. What does he look like?”

At this, the other members of the meeting breathed a collective sigh of relief.

“Oh, thank god – I thought it was just me,’ stated RR. ‘Is he the one with that mad smile who’s always going on about ‘marginal pains in education’?”

“There’s a few of those in my class,” nodded CL sagely.

“No, it’s ‘gains,’ confirmed BN. ‘And no, that was that consultant. He got done for speeding a couple of weeks back, apparently.”

“Is he the young chap who keeps popping into my classroom to talk about which direction the chairs should be facing?” asked CL.

“Nah. That’s the vice-principal.”

GL seemed a little perplexed that no-one had heard or seen anything of this educational giant amongst men walking down their corridors.

“So he’s a teacher then? If he’s on the corridors he can’t be SLT.”

BN received high-fives from the other members at this, and a whispered ‘Sick burn, bruh.’

GL then proceeded to explain that GB was the acting head of learning.

There were many blank looks.

When CL went to put his hand up again, he was gently dissuaded by RR.

Item 2 – Paradigm disruptor

There followed a long, long conversation as CL tried to explain to the rest of the members what it was that GB had done, and what he looked like. The conversation ended thus:

“...so he’s transformed classrooms into modern, innovative idea spaces.”

“Wait – you mean he’s the one who took out the walls in the classrooms and put in bean bags, so that it’s now it’s too loud to work over the sound of kids flinging themselves onto soft furnishings from huge distances?” asked RR.

“Well, it’s a little more complicated…”

“Well, blow me. If I thought being the source of that much disruption would get me an award, I’d have torched the labs years ago.”

It was decided that the awards panel may be better off populated by staff who actually recognised the person receiving the reward, and who wouldn’t set upon him with beanbags.


Not unless you count stony and resentful silence as business.

Meeting adjourned

So members could investigate thought leader conference lunches, since apparently anyone could get in.

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