A tutor from Pontypridd has been honoured by her learners for her enthusiasm and engaging lessons at a recent awards ceremony, beating over 400 other tutors from South Wales to the post.
Helen Haines, 62, was presented with the Learner Choice Award at the first Coleg y Cymoedd Staff Recognition Awards. The Award was voted for by learners from across the college’s four campuses in the South Wales Valleys.
Helen, who has taught the ‘Access to HE Biological Sciences’ course at the Ystrad Mynach campus for 12 years, was praised by her learners for her “bubbly personality” and “refreshing approach” to lessons.
One learner, Michelle Dupuis, 43, from Caerphilly, spoke of Helen: “She is a brilliant and engaging person who can bring the subject of biology to life. I always look forward to my lessons with Helen. It is her lesson that has inspired me to follow my dream career.”
Following the award ceremony at the Nantgarw campus, Helen said: “I was completely blown away. I never expected to win the award, but it’s a great pleasure. I absolutely love teaching Biology, and meeting so many fantastic learners.
“We have such a range of people on the course now, including many mature learners who have chosen to return to education. Some have been made redundant, some have already got degrees, but everyone is so enthusiastic about the subject and achieving their career goals. It’s not a hard task teaching them.”
Helen even commented that, despite her husband’s wishes, she has no plans to retire any time soon as she loves teaching far too much.
Judith Evans, Principal at Coleg y Cymoedd said: “It’s a pleasure to see Helen receive the Learner Choice Award, following glowing comments from some of the learners. Helen captures the enthusiasm we encourage all our staff to have in their lessons, giving our learners the best education to ensure they’re at the forefront of any employment opportunities that come their way. She is an asset to the college!”
In its debut year, the Staff Recognition Awards covered categories such as Team Achievement Award, Use of Technology Award, Service Excellence Award, Literacy and Numeracy Award, Welsh Award, Teaching and Learning Award, Business Support Award, Special Recognition Award and Distinguished Employee Award, recognising some of the 900 staff across the four Coleg y Cymoedd campuses.