Parents say thanks to Gillespie’s teachers for class act

L-R: Jak Camoletto (Artisan Roast ), Deirdie O'Brien (Deputy head), Jeff Warden (deputy head), Karen Finlayson (Parent council & local business owner of Colour Elements)'. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
L-R: Jak Camoletto (Artisan Roast ), Deirdie O'Brien (Deputy head), Jeff Warden (deputy head), Karen Finlayson (Parent council & local business owner of Colour Elements)'. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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Gone are the days where an apple placed lovingly on a teacher’s desk is enough to alleviate the stresses and strains of modern education.

And to show how much parents and students appreciate the extra mile teachers go at one city high school, the parent council and local businesses bandied together to arrange a surprise in-service day treat.

The parents of the high school recognised that caring for the wellbeing of students begins by caring for the teachers who work with them every day.

James Gillespie’s High School Parent Council surprised teachers at the in-service day yesterday with fresh Artisan Roast coffee and home-made scones for elevenses plus freshly made pizza and cakes for lunch.

Newington-based Dough Pizza rose to the challenge and rustled up over 40 pizzas as afternoon sustenance for the hardworking staff.

Owner Robin Gardner said: “We believe strongly in the philosophy of supporting the local communities that we operate in.

“It’s about being flexible to requests, reaching out and getting involved to help each other.”

Mother-of-two and owner of local business Colour Elements, Karen Finlayson noticed the mounting pressures on teenagers and realised the impact this could have on teachers.

She said: “I was very aware there were wellbeing issues surrounding teenage years that have escalated since my oldest child, now 23 and youngest, who is about to leave school.

“There is a real difference in the pressure that is put on kids these days and after talking to the school I became aware that teachers are dealing with new pressures at work too as a 
result – we need to look after our teachers in order for them to be able to look after our children.

“Colour Elements promotes wellbeing through choice of clothes and I fully support this gesture which is all about ensuring the wellbeing of school staff and thanking them for their interest and care of the young people in the school.”

“While many professionals will be encouraged to do a good job through different incentives and financial rewards, the work of high school teachers often goes unnoticed.

“We want to send a strong message of thanks and appreciation to all staff who make school enjoyable for our teens.”

Depute headteacher Ian Porter said it was an incredible gesture and morale among teaching staff had gone through the roof. “Karen also made a speech telling the teachers their job is really valued and to say the parents appreciate it is not an easy job. It is such a lovely thing to say as well as the amazing food and coffee we were given.

“It is a particularly powerful message coming from parents. As a management team we make a point of showing our appreciation to staff but when it comes from the parents it is a huge boost. We pride ourselves on the genuinely strong link between pupils, staff and parents and carers here and it is a huge part of what we do.”

Corporate wellbeing is a hot topic this year but Karen said little is done for those within the public sector and hopes events such as this teacher appreciation day could be a great way to say a genuine thank you to staff within education.

fiona.pringle@jpress.co.uk