May 2015 Winner – Esther Button, Mission Grove Primary

This month’s nomination for Smartie of the Month is a particularly special one. As well as receiving the highest praise from Mission Grove’s Deputy Head, Kate Jennings, Esther was the subject of a stunning letter of gratitude from one child’s parent, commending her for the wonderful contribution she has made in the classroom.

Esther has being working as a Teaching Assistant in Year 1 (Swallow class) at Mission Grove since the beginning of the year. Of her, a parent writes:

“[My son] has learned so much in this short time with Esther. I have seen improvement and change in him. I would always struggle to do homework with him, but now he likes homework and happily takes his pencil and sheet out of his book bag. After completing homework he says “let’s show Esther now!” which indicates how much impact she has made over him.

He is chatting more at home and gets involved in more conversation. Swallow class went to a trip to Lloyds Park, and usually I attend his trips, but this time I did not have to and my son had a lovely time. He told me where he went and was talking about the trip.

Esther is a lovely individual and kind person who has helped my son a great deal.”

When a copy of this letter came into our hands and did the rounds of the Smart office, we got all warm and fuzzy inside. Whilst we loved receiving such glowing feedback for one of our brilliant (and deserving!) Smarties, it was an equally poignant reminder of just why we do what we do.

To thank Esther for her stellar work, a special assembly was held at Mission Grove where consultant Dan Dunn-Stuart surprised her with the Smartie of the Month award. From the reaction in the crowd, we’re not the only ones to think Esther is a little bit of a superstar…

Dan “party pants” Dunn-Stuart awards Esther “smarty pants” Button

In case the fanfare and the jazzy pink certificate weren’t enough to make Esther feel special, she also bagged herself £50 cash to play with. We were delighted to receive this selfie from Esther and her boyfriend later that evening, enjoying a “drink on Smart”. Love it.

Cheers guys!
Cheers guys!

The ‘Smartie of the Month’ award recognises outstanding teachers and support staff for their dedication, professionalism and work on behalf of Smart Teachers. Each month, we recognise a different ‘Smartie’ based on contributions to their school, excellence in the classroom, leadership abilities, community involvement and a variety of other criteria. A teacher or teaching assistant will be chosen to receive this award in excellence. The winning candidate will receive a certificate of recognition and a cash prize from Smart Teachers.

Want to nominate a Smart teacher or TA? Email