A Kingston School of Education alumnus has been named London’s top new teacher. Anita Maynard, who works at Tolworth Infant School, is now the proud holder of the Teacher Training Agency trophy awarded annually to the most outstanding newcomer in the capital’s classrooms.
With just three years’ teaching experience to her name Anita still finds it hard to conceive she could have received such an accolade although she admits to being passionate about education. Before joining the staff at Tolworth Infants, she was already well known around the school after six years as a teaching assistant. It was at that point that the mother of three started to consider taking an even more active involvement, signing up for evening classes before enrolling at Kingston University where she received a first class degree from the School of Education.
On her return to Tolworth Infants Ms Maynard’s aptitude soon impressed two of her colleagues so much they nominated her for the Teacher Training Agency trophy. Fellow teacher Rebecca Helene credits Ms Maynard with making a huge difference to the performance of the 30 Year 1 pupils in her class, particularly through her use of drama and play to make the curriculum come alive. “Every child in Anita’s class last year underwent a complete turn around. She really is able to work miracles, motivating any pupil with her positive and calm attitude,” Mrs Helene said.
The Teaching Awards panel echoed those sentiments, noting that Ms Maynard possessed an exemplary enthusiasm for education and flair for teaching. “She is a natural teacher with gifts and talents to make real progress in the profession,” the judges added.
Now on a fast-track programme for prospective principals, Ms Maynard is heavily involved in the management of her school. Her first love, however, remains the classroom. “At my Kingston University interview, the panel asked me what the three most important attributes were for a teacher,” she said. “My answer then still stands now. I believe a teacher needs to be patient, consistent and they must have a sense of humour. That is the philosophy I apply to my work every day.”