Welcome to The Teacher Book Awards 2018, a new and unique book awards run purely by teachers and using modern technology to give classroom teachers control over which books take home the prizes. We have no judging panel, no recommended reading lists and no control over the final decisions it will be decided entirely by teachers up and down the United Kingdom. So how will it work?
We have split our awards into 7 categories. These are;
- Early Years & Key Stage 1
- Key Stage 2
- Young Adult
- Debut Author
Teachers will be able to vote until the end of 2018 for any book published in that year in any of the categories above. We will be using an online voting tool that will be quick, simple and easy to use and will collect all the nominations from across the country at the end of the year. January will see the shortlist of winners released and the final voting process will begin. This will be done purely democratically with the 5 books with the highest number of votes at the end of December going through to the final. At the end of January those votes will be collected and the winners announced. We are hoping to host an awards evening but this largely rests on the support we get from the teacher population and the wider education sector.
So answers to a few questions.
Can I vote for a couple of categories and not others?
Yes, you can vote for as many or as few as you like.
Can I nominate more than one book in each category?
No, please keep your vote to one book.
Is this for qualified teachers only?
At the moment yes, we know and fully appreciate the tremendous work that is carried out daily by librarians and teaching assistants. However, for this year at least, we would like to keep this to just teachers. We feel that teachers have long been maligned and that taking some ownership over an event like this will help to promote the professionalism of our sector and demonstrate our love of reading. This takes nothing away from any other school worker it is simply the position we have taken and hope our colleagues will support us.
Is this unfair on smaller publishers with less budget?
Unfortunately there is little we can do about this. Any book can be nominated but we do appreciate people come into contact with smaller publishers less. Sadly by having an open national vote we aren’t in a position to push or promote any books over any others. We may look at this again next year and see if there is a way we could adapt this.
Couldn’t there just be more categories?
Yes there could but where would we stop? We are trying to keep this years awards as easy to implement as possible so the categories are now decided for the year.
But teachers can’t read every single book, surely there are too many to choose from?
We totally understand that teachers won’t have read every book, what we want to know is out of the books they have read which has had the most impact in their classrooms. This is how we can get a national picture of which books are being read, loved and recommended across the country.
How can I help?
If you would like to get involved and join our team please send a direct message to our Twitter feed @book_awards and someone will be in touch. Furthermore if you have any contacts or links to publishing houses, school resources manufacturers etc that you think may be keen or interested in sponsoring an award or running an advert for free for us, please do get in touch.
Thanks for your interest, can we just take this moment to say that none of us are marketing or promotional professionals. We are all classroom teachers just trying to do our bit to promote reading and quality literature. We want to do something directly from us to thank hard working authors. If you don’t like what we are doing or think it doesn’t work that’s fine but please bare with us as we attempt to make a success of this, an area none of us have any experience in.