'Inspirational' teaching assistant shortlisted for national award
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
A teaching assistant from St Gregory's school in Sudbury has been shortlisted for the Pearson teaching assistant of the year award.
Tracy Pink is a teaching assistant in the Special Education Unit of the Sudbury school and supports children with moderate learning difficulties and complex additional needs, and has been nominated by headteacher Daniel Woodrow.
Mrs Pink, who has been at the school for 16 years, said: "It is fantastic to be recognised by the headteacher, fellow colleagues, and parents, it is a lovely feeling.
"It is an honour, it has been a hard year for everybody, so I was a little bit mindful of everybody else and how hard everybody has worked this year.
"The children are just amazing they never fail to lift, inspire and encourage you. You can come in on your darkest day and they just brighten your day.
"I work within a class which is a special support class and everyday these children have something to bring and absolutely amaze me.
"I work with lovely people and I have fantastic colleagues and we have a really inspirational headteacher so it is not hard to enjoy a day at St Gregory's."
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Mrs Pink, who works with children aged between four and eleven years old and has been trained to work with people with dyslexia and autism, spoke about what it would mean to win the award.
She said: "It's lovely just to be nominated but to think further than that would be amazing. I am a mother of three very sporty girls so I have spent quite a lot of my time with them growing up going to awards nights and watching them go up and collect their awards, so it would be quite nice if mum got something."
Headteacher Mr Woodrow said staff like Mrs Pink are like "gold dust" and does so much that goes unknown.
Mr Woodrow added: "Tracy excels at knowing just what to say and exactly when to say it to encourage, cajole and help the pupils she is working with.
"Tracy also has a tremendous sense of fun and is always happy to join in with games, dancing and challenges - sometimes it is hard to see who is enjoying a lesson more.
"Tracy takes a really active role in the wider life of the school. She voluntarily stays behind after school to run Netball Club, taking children to compete in local fixtures and tournaments.
"The club is always really well attended and is very popular due to Tracy’s passion, enthusiasm and positivity, at times she has also enrolled her own children to help too. She helps the children reach a high standard too."