The teachers inspiring young people in Portsmouth

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Last year, Teach Portsmouth invited pupils and staff from Portsmouth's schools and colleges to take part in the My Teacher on a Postcard competition. We asked pupils to create a piece of artwork or written work on the theme of my teacher .

Join us as we look back at the competition that showed us how much Portsmouth's young people value their inspiring teachers.

Teach Portsmouth Week: a celebration of our teachers

The My Teacher on a Postcard competition was part of last year's Teach Portsmouth Week. This is a special event dedicated to acknowledging success in our schools and the valued contribution that Portsmouth's teachers make.

Teach Portsmouth Week 2019 was filled with celebratory events culminating in an awards ceremony to recognise and thank the city's amazing school staff.

My Teacher on a Postcard 

We launched the competition in summer 2019, initially hoping for 1000 entries that we would showcase at a local art exhibition later in the year. As the entries came in it quickly became clear that schools and pupils had risen to the challenge and far exceeded our expectations!

In the end we received over 2000 fantastic postcards and were delighted by this response to the competition. The number of entries showed us just how highly pupils in Portsmouth value their teachers.

As Councillor Suzy Horton, Cabinet Member for Children, Families & Education at Portsmouth City Council said at the time: 

It's been very moving to see the many different ways in which students have captured how their teachers have supported and influenced them.

The sheer number of entries for the competition has been amazing!

Cllr Suzy Horton, Cabinet Member for Children, Families & Education at Portsmouth City Council

We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part in the competition. Hopefully you had as much fun creating your postcards as we did viewing them!

A real appreciation for teachers stood out 

We received entries from pupils in early years settings right the way through to secondary schools. All those who entered the competition showed appreciation for their teachers, putting great effort and creativity into their postcards.

The entries featured a vast array of imaginative designs. From artwork depicting classroom settings to football pitches, and from handcrafted artwork to creative writing, each and every entry was inspired by my teacher inside or outside the classroom.

It is clear that teachers can leave a lasting impression on their pupils. One young pupil's postcard particularly embodied this sentiment, featuring the quote: "Having an inspiring teacher is like learning to ride a bike…the experience can NEVER be forgotten."

On display for all to enjoy

After 2000+ entries were whittled down to a shortlisted selection, winners in each age category were chosen in a public vote. We displayed the entries in a public art exhibition at HIVE Portsmouth in October to allow the amazing artwork and writing to be enjoyed by all.

We were delighted that some of the winners and their families joined us for the opening of the exhibition, led by Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader of Portsmouth City Council. 

So what do our inspirational Portsmouth teachers look like?

Now you've heard about how the competition worked, you're probably keen to see some of the fantastic entries. You'll find a small number of entries below to give you an idea of the creativity and appreciation that was evident throughout the designs. Rest assured that all of the entries were excellent and we were exceptionally impressed!

Now we challenge you!

Think back to your own school days. Can you remember a teacher who inspired, motivated or generally had a positive impact on you?

If you have a story about an inspirational teacher who made (or continues to make) a real difference, please share it with us. You could even take our lead and create some artwork or a piece of creative writing about them. We'd love to hear from you!

Share your stories or memories with us on social media, tagging @TeachPortsmouth or using the #TeachPortsmouth hashtag.

Have you been inspired to consider a career in teaching?

We hope this trip down memory lane shows how teachers can have a positive impact on the young people they teach, motivating them to achieve in school and enjoy learning.

Can you picture yourself as a teacher and the subject of one of our My Teacher on a Postcard competition entries? How would you feel knowing that as a teacher you had the opportunity to make a difference to young people's lives every day?

Teaching is a unique career where you can make a positive difference whilst enjoying a variety of rewards such as a competitive salary, career progression opportunities and a generous pension. If you're thinking about becoming a teacher, let us help you begin your journey.

If you are new to teaching, take a look at the different routes as well as what training providers are available in Portsmouth.

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