Walsall College Lecturer named FE Lecturer of the Year at glamorous ceremony
Inspirational Melissa Tisdale wins a prestigious Gold Teaching Award in the Pearson National Teaching Awards
A Walsall lecturer has been named as one of the nation’s most inspirational educators at a prestigious awards ceremony.
Selected from thousands of nominations, Melissa Tisdale has won a Gold Award in the Pearson National Teaching Awards for FE Lecturer of the Year.
The award comes following a week-long celebration of teaching which ended with a prestigious ceremony celebrating all 102 Silver Winners of the Pearson National Teaching Awards. At the ceremony, Melissa Tisdale was honoured alongside their fellow Gold Winners across 15 categories as the best of the UK’s educators.
Melissa has some of the highest achieving Media students in the country despite many students coming from socially deprived areas with historic challenges to education.
Her success stems from her independent production company, Future Flames, where students gain valuable real-world work experience on external commissions, including filming and editing for the NHS.
This means that every student can list their experience working with a production company on their CV when they leave school, which is invaluable for finding future work.
Jatinder Sharma, OBE, Walsall College Principal and Chief Executive said: “My colleagues, the college governors and I could not be prouder of Melissa’s success. She is a teaching hero whose professionalism, learner dedication and teaching excellence have seen her go from strength to strength during her five years at Walsall College so far.
“We know this is only the beginning of what she and her students have set out to achieve in class and as part of Future Flames Productions. We anticipate there being lots more excellent work and enterprising employer-led activity over the months and years to come.”
Melissa also created the college’s own film festival through her company, with this annual festival raising funds for the charity Mind – more than £1,000 this year despite all being online. Her students gain incredible experience through her work as well as the chance to put together a professional quality showreel to present to employers when entering the world of employment.
Speaking about the award, Melissa said: “I’m honoured and overwhelmed to be included with so many worthy winners at the Pearson National Teaching Awards.
“My success is down to my passion for teaching and determination to see students achieve the best possible outcomes through hands-on, industry-led experience. I know how important it will be for them to put on their CVs that they have worked for a production company and have client liaison experience – it could be a make or break factor for their future careers.
“I hope this award recognition inspires others to excel in their teaching careers by continuing to strive for more on behalf of their learners, colleagues and the wider communities they support.”
The Pearson National Teaching Award winners have been honoured for their incredible work supporting learners across the country. Each award winner has repeatedly gone above and beyond their role to change the lives of their students and help them move towards a brighter future.
Founded in 1998 by Lord Puttman, it is an annual celebration of excellence in education, to recognise the life-changing impact an inspirational teacher can have on the lives of the young people they work with.
Sir Michael Morpurgo, celebrated author and former Children’s laureate, and President of the Teaching Awards Trust, said: “People of all ages will always remember that wonderful teacher who made such a difference in their lives. The teacher will never know how many lives they have changed, or the impact they have made on so many families, but our hope is that these awards help show our gratitude.”
Sharon Hague, Managing Director of Pearson School Qualifications, said: “Melissa is a shining example of the wonderful educators who work tirelessly across the country to provide the best possible experience for their students, and we thank them all.
“Throughout the awards we’ve heard so many inspirational stories of school and college staff who show such exceptional dedication to their students, to their colleagues, and to their communities. Our congratulations go to all winners on their award.”
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi continued: “I would like to congratulate Melissa Tisdale for this recognition of their amazing work and dedication to their students. Winning one of these awards is a terrific achievement and is testament to Melissa’s skill, commitment and passion for teaching.
“We are lucky enough to have some of the best teachers in the world and I would like to thank every single one of our education staff for their hard work supporting children and young people, especially during the pandemic.”