Students Staff

18 July 2013

Top teacher receives Alumna of the Year award at Graduation 2013

Alumna of the year Dr Elizabeth Bailey at the University of Essex from University of Essex on Vimeo.

“My time at Essex really cemented my love for literature,” says our Alumna of the Year Dr Liz Bailey, who won the Outstanding New Teacher of the Year award at the Pearson Teaching Awards in 2012.

“The opportunity to read and discuss a wide range of texts inspired in me a passion for the subject that I had not had before. Essex also gave me confidence, the confidence to be myself and to follow my heart and interests.”

Liz completed a BA Literature, an MA Literature, and a PhD Literature in the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies at Essex. During her studies, she was a graduate teaching assistant, which fuelled her interest in a career in teaching.

In 2009 Liz began a teacher training scheme at Clacton County High School, where she became subject leader for English by the end of her first-year as a qualified teacher, and in 2012 became a member of the school’s senior management team. Her many achievements include helping a student become the first Clacton County High School pupil in 20 years to win a place at Cambridge University. She is also an inspirational Year 9 form tutor.

On winning the national finals of the Outstanding New Teacher of the Year, the award judges said Dr Bailey had brought “immense riches” to her pupils.

So what is the secret to her success: “I feel that it has all come down to being willing to invest time in developing relationships with pupils and really understanding what they need to do to be successful. It’s not about fancy tricks or putting on a show – it’s about making all pupils feel like they can succeed and in your lessons. “

Liz added: “Receiving the award is a true honour, particularly when I consider the thousands of Essex graduates who have gone on to contribute greatly to their chosen professions.

Liz enjoyed great academic success at Essex, but she remembers warmly the sense of community at the University and the friendships she formed.

“After so many years at the University there are so many memories,” she said. “Time spent with friends in the library reading room around exam time, department Christmas parties and jacket potatoes in the SU bar are small things that I often think about and miss.”

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